The Ultimate Reggae Legends

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Writer Richie Unterberger agrees there have been scores of books written about Bob Marley and The Wailers, while the new book he has edited and compiled is certainly, The Ultimate Illustrated History. Packed full of photos and memorabilia from all phases of their journey, Bob Marley and The Wailers illuminates the lives and times of the man and his collaborators. Indeed, The Wailers are one of the most famous bands of all time, period. Their evolution from early-60s Jamaican ska act to international superstars was not just improbable, but unprecedented for an act from a third-world nation. The entire, incredible journey of Marley and The Wailers is covered in this visual history. Documenting the crucial role they played in establishing reggae as a globally popular form of music, and the influence that the Rastafari movement had on their lives and sound. Plus, how Marley’s socially conscious lyrics and actions made him a universal symbol of pride and justice. In our conversation Unterberger talks about The Wailers early years and how so many details are clouded in mystery; the rise of Marley as the front man and the group’s association with Chris Blackwell and his label, Island Records; the use of marijuana and the not-so-subtle elaborate album cover of Catch A Fire; the break up of The Wailers and Marley’s solo career; Bob’s love of soccer, his injury that led to cancer; the later years, Marley’suntimely death in 1981 and Bob Marley and The Wailers enduring legacy.

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