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Bob Marley - Exodus 30th Anniversary Edition

Bob Marley, Exodus 30th Anniversary

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

ISLAND Records has decided to mark the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s Exodus masterpiece this summer by releasing the album on the groundbreaking new formats of USB Memory Stick and Micro SD Memory Card.

Exodus will therefore be the very first artist-specific album to be released on these formats, both of which will be in stores from Monday, June 4, 2007.

America’s Time magazine described Exodus as “the best music album of the 20th century” – but while we wouldn’t go that far, it’s a seminal offering in many ways, especially in terms of the progression of reggae music and the laidback vibe of many of its tracks (which have paved the way for artists like Jack Johnson and co).

Exodus is being released in five formats for fans to choose from…

1) USB memory stick: A 4,000 limited edition, produced in the Rastafarian colours of red, green and gold. The Memory Stick contains not only the 10 original songs on Exodus but also three video tracks recorded at London’s Rainbow Theatre in June 1977.

Micro SD Memory Card: This collectors’ item is limited to just 2,000 copies. The Micro SD is a small, removable flash memory card – the size of a fingernail – that can be used in mobile phones, portable audio players and PCs. This Exodus format features the same contents as the USB Memory Stick.

Standard CD: The classic album, featuring the 10 tracks on the original release and now reissued as a special 30th Anniversary Edition packaged – for the first time – in a quality hardback case.

Deluxe CD: Limited to just 5,000 copies, this version features not only the album but also a separate DVD with 12 tracks from Marley’s historic Rainbow concerts in the summer of 1977.

LP: The return of the original and legendary10-track vinyl album, as first released in June 1977.

In addition, a specially-packaged 30th anniversary DVD of Exodus Live at the Rainbow will be in stores from Monday, June 18, while a new 144-page hardback book – which includes the full CD – is published on Thursday, June 7.

The Exodus book, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson at £25, has been edited by the esteemed music commentator and critic Richard Williams and includes contributions from such writers as Lloyd Bradley – author of the acclaimed Bass Culture history of reggae – Vivien Goldman, Robert Christgau, Neil Spencer and the celebrated poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. The book, which features over 200 images, is introduced by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records.

Marley recorded the Exodus album in exile in the UK. Having escaped an assassination attempt in Jamaica, he arrived in London during the first week of 1977 and set to work recording his fifth studio album.

Released on Friday, June 3, 1977, Exodus became the transforming album in Marley’s career, a recording of extraordinary creative maturity which resonated with audiences around the world. It stayed on the UK chart for 56 consecutive weeks and included three hit singles in the form of the title track, Jamming and One Love/People Get Ready, that helped to establish Marley as the Third World’s first superstar. It’s a legacy that survives 30 years after the album’s release.

For anyone who hasn’t heard it, the album is a damn near essential addition to any classic record collection and – in One Love in particular – has a song that is timeless in terms of its relevance and appeal to any listener. Credit, then, to Universal for making the album available in so many formats on its 30th anniversary and for helping to ensure that Marley’s musical legacy reaches a new generation of listeners.

Download picks: Exodus, Jammin, One Love/People Get Ready, Turn Your Lights Down Low, So Much Things To Say

Track listing:

  1. Natural Mystic
  2. So Much Things To Say
  3. Guiltiness
  4. The Heathen
  5. Exodus
  6. Jammin’
  7. Waiting In Vain
  8. Turn Your Lights Down Low
  9. Three Little Birds
  10. One Love / People Get Ready