“Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley & The Wailers (1973)

One thing that’s helped Bob Marley’s music stay relevant for nearly five decades is the fact that his songs are so catchy. You don’t have to be familiar with Rastafarian ideology to enjoy even his explicitly religious/political songs. As one would expect from someone who studied ’60s American soul very closely and specifically the music… Read More “Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley & The Wailers (1973)

“Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley & The Wailers (1980)

“Could You Be Loved” was the linchpin of a concerted effort to break Bob Marley to a Black American audience. Although the reggae king enjoyed worldwide acclaim for nearly a decade’s worth of albums by the time of 1980’s Uprising, he still wasn’t well-known beyond the progressive white rock community and the Caribbean-American community. While… Read More “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley & The Wailers (1980)

“The Bridge Is Over” by Boogie Down Productions (1987)

I didn’t know about the Queensbridge/Bronx hip-hop wars because a) I lived in suburban Detroit from 1984-1987 and b) even though I spent summers in NYC, I lived in Brooklyn, not Queens or The Bronx. I barely knew people outside my block, let alone my borough. I feel like this particular battle didn’t register with… Read More “The Bridge Is Over” by Boogie Down Productions (1987)

“Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy Chapman (1988)

I’m re-listening to Tracy Chapman’s 1988 debut album because I need to refresh myself a little bit to write this blurb, and because I really want to devote more time to listening to music actively. I don’t get a whole lot of just-sit-and-listen-to-music or even just-sit-and-listen-to-music-and-write time anymore. Back in the days before the internet,… Read More “Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy Chapman (1988)