12 of Bob Marley’s greatest hit songs

It’s a legend’s birthday today, and the best way to celebrate Bob Marley’s birthday is by sharing 12 of his greatest hits.

The singer, who would have been 75 years old today, February 6, is one of the world’s greatest singer and is known across the globe as an ambassador for reggae music. 

Below is a list of some of his biggest hits.

1. One Love 

“One love, One heart, Let’s get together and feel all right! ” 

One Love is considered as a universal song that is known for unity, peace and universal love. The song was originally recorded in 1965 as a ska song, but was reworked in the 1970s and was one of Bob’s biggest hits.

2. Three Little Birds 

Three Little Birds can be described as a feel-good song that was also used as a soundtrack in several movies, some of which are I Am A Legend, Sharktales and Strange Magic 3

3. Redemption Song

Redemption Song is a track that was used for global activism among black people. It was adopted by politicians, presidents and prime ministers across the world. The song was inspired by Pan-Africanist speaker Marcus Garvey’s speech, ‘The Work that Has Been Done’.

4. No Woman, No Cry

It was his live recording from London’s Lyceum Theatre in July 1975 that captured his greatness in entirety. It is said that the song was written when Bob was on a plane ride from Jamaica to London, and the singer was paying tribute to his friend, Vincent Ford, who would cook for him “in the government yard in Trench Town”.

5. Is This Love?

Presumed to be a love song to Rita, Is this love? was taken from 1978’s album Kaya. This track became one of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ biggest hits.

6. Could You Be Loved?

Possibly one of the most soothing Bob Marley and The Wailers’ track, Could You Be Loved was released on their last album, Uprising, in 1980. This song was one of Bob’s catchiest songs, and it became a radio favourite.

7. Jammin 

This feel-good single surprisingly came from a place of pain for Bob. Marley wrote the song in exile while in London after his 1976 assassination. After his time in London, political war made Bob return to Jamaica for his One Love Peace Concert on April 22, 1978. 

8. Get Up Stand Up

By 1980s Marley was already seen as a revolutionist, so his 1980 song Get Up Stand Up was undoubtedly accepted by the public. The song was co-written by Peter Tosh while touring Haiti.

9. Buffalo Soldier

The 1983 hit single was written by Bob Marley and Noel ‘King Sporty’ Williams. The track refers to the US black Cavalry regiments that fought in the Indian War and how their fight reflects the fight for survival. 

10. I Shot The Sheriff

I Shot The Sheriff was the last single Marley released with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer before they went solo. The song tells a story about a man who shot a sheriff but was wrongly accused of killing the deputy sheriff. However, in his 2001 documentary The Life Of Bob Marley, Marley’s girlfriend at the time, Esther Anderson, claims the song was about birth control.

11. Waiting In Vain

Bob was evidently a ladies man, and Waiting In Vain shows us a tender side of the singer. He wrote the song while dating Jamaican beauty queen Cindy Breakspeare, who later gave birth to his son, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley.

12. Stir It Up

An exceptional tune with a mellow vibe is how one could describe this track. Stir It Up is described as seductive and arguably one of Bob’s most popular love songs. He wrote the song a year after he got married to his wife, Rita, in 1967. The song was also popularised by Jamaican singer Jonny Nash when he covered the single. 

Happy birthday, Bob Marley!