30 years of a Legend
February is Reggae Month and the Jamaica Observer continues its coverage with related stories.
LEGEND, the best- selling reggae album of all time by Bob Marley and the Wailers, turns 30 this year.
The greatest hits collection was originally released in May 1984 by Island Records, three years after Marley's death from cancer at age 36.
The set has been re-released on three occasions. A definitive re-mastered edition was released in 2002; it was followed by a deluxe edition that year. Last year, Legend: Remixed (2013) was released by the Universal Music Group. That version debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Album chart. Fifteen of the 16 songs on the original album were covered by several artistes including Marley's sons, Ziggy and Stephen.
The original Legend was released in vinyl format and contains all 10 of Marley's Top 40 hit songs in the United Kingdom as well as Redemption Song, the acoustic anthem from his Uprising album. There are also three songs by the original Wailers (Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston), namely Stir it Up, I Shot the Sheriff and Get Up, Stand Up.
Also included are Exodus, Waiting in Vain, Could You be Loved and Buffalo Soldier.
The cassette edition featured two extra songs: Punky Reggae Party, Jammin' and Easy Skanking.
Legend is the second-longest charting album in the history of Billboard magazine. Combining its time on the publication's 200 and Top Pop Catalogue Albums charts, it has a run of 992 non-consecutive weeks.
As of January 2014, the album has sold 11,470,000 copies in the United States. Those are figures from 1991 when SoundScan started tracking album sales.
In the United Kingdom, Legend has sold 2,826,912 copies making it the 26th biggest-selling album of all time in that country.
Legend has to date sold over 25 million copies worldwide.
In 2003, the album ranked number 46 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.