Song of the Week – Positive Vibration, Bob Marley & the Wailers


Today’s post comes to you from sunny Jamaica. So I feel compelled to go with the obvious and feature some reggae music from Bob Marley. But beyond the Jamaica connection, the other reason to pick Marley for today’s SotW is because today is New Year’s Eve. As we put 2016 and the ugly presidential election campaign behind us, we need to focus hard on positive messages for 2017.

Bob Marley offers that to us with the lead off track, “Positive Vibration” from the 40 year old album, Rastaman Vibration.

Rastaman Vibration was the first Marley album that I really paid a lot of attention to, so it is one of my favorites. When it was released in the first half of 1976, it went all the way to #8 on the Billboard album charts. That was Marley’s best showing in the US.

Interestingly, Rastaman Vibration included some of Marley’s most political songs such as “Crazy Baldhead” (racial themes), “War” (adapted from a speech by Haile Salassie to the UN) and “Rat Race” (Jamaica’s role in the cold war). One wouldn’t think this would be the music embraced in the US at the height of the disco boom but I guess they were totally different audiences.

Another peculiar thing about Rastaman Vibration is that not a single song from this popular album was included in Marley’s massively successful “best of” album, Legend; not even the popular “Root, Rock, Reggae.”

If you check out the writing credits for the compositions on Rastaman Vibration, most of them are by friends and relatives of Marley. However there’s no question about it the Bob Marley wrote the songs. Apparently he did this due to a contractual dispute he was having with his publishing company at the time.

So let’s get back to “Positive Vibration.”

Rastaman vibration, yeah, positive
Live if you want to live
I’n’I vibration yeah, positive
Got to have a good vibe
I a man Iration, yeah, Irie ites
Positive vibration, yeah, positive
If you get down and you quarrel everyday
You’re saying prayers to the devils, I say, wooh
Why not help one another on the way?
Make it much easier (just a little bit easier)

Say you just can’t live that negative way
You know what I mean
Make way for the positive day
‘Cause it’s a new day
And it’s a new time
Yes, it’s a new feelin’
Said it’s a new sign
Oh, what a new day

Happy New Year, and enjoy… until next week.

One thought on “Song of the Week – Positive Vibration, Bob Marley & the Wailers

  1. I came late to Marley, actually at first I thought I didn’t like reggae because I didn’t like Marley. Then I heard the smokey dub reggae that I love and eventually I took to Bob. No Woman No Cry belongs in the Top 100, but reggae really isn’t about songs it’s about the groove and the sounds. Fire up a spliff.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.