Exodus [Bonus Tracks] by Bob Marley & the Wailers
Since its original release in June 1977, Exodus probably has become Bob Marley & the Wailers' most commercially successful...
Since its original release in June 1977, Exodus probably has become Bob Marley & the Wailers' most commercially successful regular album. It was their first LP to reach the U.K. Top Ten, remaining in the charts there for over a year and eventually spawning seven Top 40 hits from its ten tracks. In the U.S., it did not chart as high as its predecessor, Rastaman Vibration, but two of its songs, "Exodus" and "Waiting in Vain," hit the R&B Top 40 and it eventually reached gold record status. The album's popularity may represent a triumph of music over message since, for the better part of the disc, Marley rehearses the basics of the Rastafarian movement, presenting a series of dire prophecies about what is wrong with those he calls the "downpressors" and what a comeuppance they are going to get on a rapidly approaching Judgment Day. The "Natural Mystic" he hears blowing through the air is a herald of this confrontation, and although his opponents have "So Much Things to Say," their "spiritual wickedness in high and low places" is going to be fought and defeated. "Guiltiness" and "The Heathen," as their titles suggest, further this harangue, culminating in the original LP's side one closer, "Exodus," in which "Jah people" leave "Babylon" for their "fatherland." Side two, with love songs like "Waiting in Vain" and "Turn Your Lights Down Low," is somewhat less concerned with spiritual retribution, but not entirely devoid of it, concluding with Marley's rewrite of Curtis Mayfield, "One Love/People Get Ready." The music accompanying these sentiments is consistently memorable and compelling, however, and that's the key to the album's appeal for non-Rastas. The 2001 reissue adds more than 12 and a half minutes by including long versions of "Jamming" and the single "Punky Reggae Party" from a 1977 12" single.