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Number 97

Bob Marley and the Wailers - No Woman, No Cry (Island WIP6244 - 1974)

My own personal introduction to the music of Bob Marley was through the Old Grey Whistle Test in the early 1970s, although my love for reggae started much earlier through the singles of Desmond Decker, Dave and Ansil Collins and The Pioneers, which I would often spin on the Dansette at parties. Bob Marley and the Wailers' music didn't seem out of place on the Whistle Test, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ry Cooder, Mike Oldfield and Led Zeppelin, but their image was utterly striking. I'd never seen dreadlocks before and was eager to find out more. I soon became familiar with the music through albums such as CATCH A FIRE, BURNIN' and NATTY DREAD, the LP that featured the song No Woman, No Cry credited to Vincent Ford, a friend of Marley's who apparently ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown in Marley's home of Jamaica. The single version of the song, which was soon to be heard around the UK, was in fact a live version taken from the band's Lyceum Theatre set recorded on July 19th 1975, almost a year after the release of the LP. The song remains one of the best loved of all reggae songs.