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Bob Marley and The Wailers

Exodus

Jun 1977

The album that broke reggae worldwide

Reggae

On Exodus Bob Marley made music that aimed at the head, the heart and the feet. In the process he introduced reggae to the world.

Filled with effortless bass lines from Aston Barrett – joined by Junior Marvin on guitar for those sweet chord flicks – all anchored by the talents of backing singers: Judy Mowatt, Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths plus keyboard player Tyrone Brownie. Add in the quality of Island Records studios and you have the greatest sounding reggae album ever.

As the opener Natural Mystic slinks its way into your room – a genuinely huge chugging bass line pulsates, growing louder until Bob tells us that “There’s a Natural Mystic flowing through the air” and you can feel it. Drum rattles introduce So Much Things To Say where Marley discusses religious martyrs. The rhythm section backing up Guiltiness is both tight and loose. The social politics of Heathen and the seven-minute Exodus end Side 1 with a movement of restless Jah people.

Side two feels like the lovers side and opens with the hugely popular Jamming. But that pales against Waiting in Vain – a groove whose influence extends way beyond reggae. The sexy love-song sway of Turn Your Lights Down is a real beauty – while Three Little Birds and the impossibly uplifting One Love/People Get Ready have been used in more upbeat adverts than you can shake a stick at.

Looking at its gorgeous gold embossed sleeve in 2016 as it closes in on a 40th anniversary – it’s the kind of record that sends sunshine through your speakers.