“Survival” by Bob Marley and The Wailers - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1979Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

The seeds of “Survival” were sown in '78 when Marley had spent some time in Shashamani, a Rastafarian settlement in Ethiopia. It was there he penned “Zimbabwe” and others, as ideas about an African themed album began to form. Songs from the upcoming LP were showcased in his summer concerts of '79 in Jamaica and the United States. In front of 25,000 fans in Boston, knowing that many international activists were in the crowd, he would make great statements between songs, calling for Africans to free themselves from the shackles of colonial rule once and for all. The album arrived in October, with a front-cover depicting a slave ship and the flags of 48 African countries, including 2 for Zimbabwe. Notable absentees were Libya and South Africa. This was political business, and Marley let it be known he was on the side of his downpressed African brothers and sisters through tracks such as “Zimbabwe”, “Survival”, “Africa Unite” and “Wake Up And Live”. He was lionized by the black Zimbabweans; when she gained her independence early in 1980, a small delegation was sent to Kingston to ask Marley in person if he'd appear in the independence celebration concert. So honoured was Marley that he subsidized the whole undertaking himself, paying for full crews and P.A. systems to make the event a massive success. 21 tons of equipment were involved, including a full 35,000-watt PA system, especially shipped all the way from London. It was an extra-ordinary gesture from Marley, generous and noble. The event was reported in Forbes magazine: “In the last hours of Rhodesia, on April 17, 1980, thousands flocked to Rufaro stadium in Mbare, the Harare township that was the crucible of the struggle. There was a carnival atmosphere; people wore caps and t-shirts bearing the face of the new prime minister, Robert Mugabe. At midnight, the green, gold and black flag of Zimbabwe, with the African fish eagle, replaced the Union Flag. A 32-year-old Prince Charles stood and saluted as the Union Flag came down for the last time in Africa.” Such was the crowdswell for the free concert that teargas had to be used in order to try and regain some control, and many were denied entry. Bob's response? Another free concert the following day. The man was a class act.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:00] 8.1.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - So Much Trouble In The World (Bob Marley) Reggae
A2 [03:51] 7.2.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Zimbabwe (Bob Marley) Reggae
A3 [03:11] 6.2.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Top Rankin’ (Bob Marley) Reggae
A4 [04:21] 6.0.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Babylon System (Bob Marley) Reggae
A5 [03:54] 7.8.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Survival (Bob Marley) Reggae
B1 [02:55] 6.4.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Africa Unite (Bob Marley) Reggae
B2 [03:51] 6.9.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - One Drop (Bob Marley) Reggae
B3 [03:51] 5.7.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Ride Natty Ride (Bob Marley) Reggae
B4 [03:14] 8.0.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Ambush In The Night (Bob Marley) Reggae
B5 [05:00] 5.9.png Bob Marley and The Wailers - Wake Up And Live (Bob Marley, Sangie Davis) Reggae

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