Bob Marley was certainly a very popular figure during his lifetime, but in the years since his death from cancer in May 1981 at the age of just 36, he has become one of the most iconic musicians of all time, with worldwide recognition that eclipses nearly any other musician you’d care to name. You’ll find folks sporting Bob Marley shirts in Africa and East Asia, South America. You hear his music on the streets in all those places, and of course in America and Europe as well. He is everywhere (as is reggae, in large part because of him).
There are scant few videos of Marley playing acoustic guitar, though through the years various acoustic demos and such have been released, and there is certainly no shortage of other artists covering his many classic songs on acoustic guitar. For this 75th birthday celebration, we’re posting the wonderful Playing for Change version of Marley’s “Redemption Song,” in which various musicians around the world (including son Stephen Marley) perform the song live together in their various locales. You’ll hear some nice acoustic guitar work in there, including some great slide punctuation from Roberto Luti in Italy. And if you dig that Playing for Change “Redemption Song,” check out the Playing for Change versions of Marley’s “One Love,” “Three Little Birds,” “Get Up Stand Up,” “Natural Mystic,” and “War/No More Trouble“; there’s cool acoustic guitar on all of them in parts (and lots of musicians you may know popping up here and there).
Plus, here’s Marley’s own solo acoustic version of that song from 1980. —Blair Jackson