Almost a quarter of a century after his untimely death, the legend of Bob Marley continues to grow and his mighty back catalogue of peerless songs retains its unparalleled ability to move and inspire people the world over.
The story of how the rhythms of a tiny Caribbean island came to dominate the planet is one of the most extraordinary in the history of popular culture. And although Jamaica boasts many fine singers and musicians, it was the vision of one man and his band - Bob Marley and the Wailers - which spearheaded the global takeover of the music he liked to call 'roots rock reggae'.
"You'd probably find it hard to go for 24 hours anywhere in the world without seeing his image or hearing one of his songs," reckons Chris Blackwell, the former Island Records boss who launched Marley's international career and produced many of his finest records.
Born in rural Jamaica in 1945 but growing up in the tough ghetto environment of Kingston's Trenchtown, Marley has been called the Third World's first superstar. Yet the most striking characteristic of his music is its capacity to transcend race, gender, class and every other artificial barrier mankind choses to erect and - as Chris Blackwell puts it - to speak with a unique directness to "anyone, any time, anywhere."
To those engaged in struggling against oppression, his rebel music has a particular resonance. But you don't have to belong to the down-pressed and dispossessed to embrace Marley's message of liberation, his anthems of hope and his dreams of freedom.
Today, an audience not even born when he died of cancer in 1981 at the tragically young age of 36 , is constantly discovering his songs anew. 'Timeless' is a much overused word that has become a clich?É¬© in popular music, an industry that by its very definition is built on the passing whims of fad and fashion. Yet there is nothing transient about the music of Bob Marley. Listen, for example, to Slogans, a song he recorded as a sketchy demo in 1979, but which is only now being released for the first time, and you might imagine the lyrics articulate the tragedy of New Orleans in 2005.
Many of Marley's works are anthem's to this very day. Some of the many include; 'One Love', 'Three Little Birds', 'No Woman No Cry'and 'Redemption Song'.
Blue Mountain Music publish the following albums for this artist for the World;
'Catch A Fire'; 'Burnin'; 'Natty Dread'; 'Rastaman Vibration'; 'Survival'; 'Exodus'; 'Kaya' and 'Uprising'.