A Step Back to “Is This Love”, the 1978 Reggae Classic by Bob Marley & the Wailers

I wanna love you and treat you right

I wanna love you, every day and every night, we’ll be together…

Is this love, is this love, is this love, is this love that I’m feelin’? 

If you can sing this song, then we probably should be coming for your wedding soon, or your kid’s graduation, seeing as it was a huge hit song from 1978 that peaked at number 9 on UK charts. It has been a solid classic from the time I was born till now. 

Our feature for this week is the artist behind the song, Is this Love? Robert Nesta Marley. Some sources report that it was actually Nesta Robert Marley, but it was reversed because Nesta sounded like a girl’s name.

Either way, you’d probably remember if I said Bob Marley though (yeah, the reggae guy). 

Bob was born on February 6th 1945, (the year World War II ended) in a so-called third world country (that he would later put on the world map with his music), Jamaica. Marley started his musical journey at 18 alongside Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. They were finally known as The Wailers after multiple names changes: from The Wailing Rudeboys, to The Wailing Wailers. Together they released their debut album in 1965, The Wailing Wailers. Eleven more albums would follow before they would sign to Island records and later become Bob Marley and The Wailers. They would see themselves switching from louder instrumentations and singing to rhythmically based song making in the 70s. This also happened to coincide with Bob’s conversion to Rastafari. When Marley moved to London, they adapted this paradigm shift with their The Best Of The Wailers album.

After the band disbanded in 1974, Marley carried on with the name and his first International breakthrough outside Jamaica from the Live! Album with the song No woman No Cry. This hit was followed by the album Rastaman Vibration (in the USA) which gained in on the top 50 Billboard Soul Charts.

One remarkable event to remember in Bob’s life occurred on 3 December 1976, two days before his concert, Smile Jamaica. When an attempt was made on Marley’s life. This attempt was perceived to be politically motivated as the concert, organised by the Prime minister, was believed to be partisan. Nonetheless, the concert was held, and an injured Marley performed as scheduled. When he was asked why he went through with it? Marley answered; 

“The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”
In 1984 (3 years after his death), Island Records released the Legend album, which would later go on to become the greatest selling reggae album of all time. It is estimated more than 75 million records are sold worldwide. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. He sits at number 11 in Rolling Stone’s ranking of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

Listen to Bob Marley & The Wailers Is This Love

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