Three songs by reggae icon Bob Marley and the Wailers were each certified gold in Germany last month.
The songs Could You Be Loved (1980), Is This Love (1978) and Three Little Birds (1977) each sold over 250,000 units, as measured in sales and streaming equivalent.
Veteran engineer Errol Brown worked on the session for Could You Be Loved.
"Well, I was working on the Uprising album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and within the progression Could You Be Loved came up, you could feel the energy in the studio. Of course, this was at the original Tuff Gong Recording Studio at 56 Hope Road, which is now the Bob Marley Museum. I was so proud of that session even though it took so long," Brown recalled.
He added, "We were working on this song up to the morning when we were supposed to be heading to Zimbabwe to celebrate Zimbabwe's independence celebration. I left the studio and went straight to the airport."
Brown described working in the studio with Marley.
"This man, Bob Marley, never ever an attitude, a very simple man... [I have] never, ever worked with no one else like Bob Marley in all the years of my life, from the 60s to this day just talking about him brings tears to my eyes... This man was so great in everything he did. I always tell people, there will never ever be a replacement for Bob Marley in my life,"
Brown shared an incident with the Jamaica Observer about the impact of Could You Be Loved:
"I remember we were opening for The Commodores in 1980, Bob Marley had everyone on their feet. The Commodores management saw Bob Marley stealing the show and told his manager he had to cut the show and Bob Marley and the Wailers came off, not doing Could You Be Loved. The place mashed down; pure noise. The people were chanting Bob's name and they had told the manager to put them back on. When Junior Mervin started that guitar intro, I'm mixing and I could hardly hear the PA, the place went flat, everyone singing Could You be Loved, especially when Bob Marley entered the stage."
Could You Be Loved, the first single released from Uprising, was written in 1979 on an aeroplane. The song peaked at #56 on Billboard's R&B Soul Singles Chart (now known as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart), #13 in Germany, #6 on Billboard's Dance Music Club Songs chart, #2 in Switzerland, #11 in Sweden, #6 in Spain, #10 in Norway, #2 in New Zealand, #4 in the Netherlands, #3 in Belgium, #10 in France, and #5 in the UK.
The song has been certified platinum in the UK and Italy and gold in New Zealand and Denmark.
Could You Be Loved has been covered by American singer Joe Cocker and it appears on his 1997 album Across from Midnight.
Marley's original version was ranked #363 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Best Songs of All Time in 2021.
Is This Love is featured on Marley's 1978 album Kaya. It rose to #39 in the Netherlands, #11 in Austria, #8 in Norway and New Zealand, #9 in the UK, and #16 in Sweden.
It has been certified gold in Brazil and Denmark, as well as platinum in the UK and Italy.
A remix of the song in 2016 by Dutch electronic producers Lvndscape and Bolier peaked at #16 on the UK singles chart. That version has been certified gold in the UK.
American singer Corinne Bailey Rae released a cover of Is This Love in 2011 and it won the Grammy for Best R&B Song Performance at the 54th Grammy Awards.
Pop singer Carly Simon covered Is This Love in 1983.
Three Little Birds is featured on Marley's ninth studio album Exodus, which was released in 1977. The single was released in 1980 and peaked at #49 in Germany, #3 in Spain, and #17 in the UK.
It has been certified gold in Denmark, platinum in Italy, and twice platinum in the UK.
Jazz musician Monty Alexander covered the song in 1992 and again in 1999. Then Ziggy Marley and Sean Paul put their spin on it for the 2004 motion picture Shark Tale.
British child singer Connie Talbot did a cover in 2008, which peaked at #3 on the UK Independent Singles chart and number one on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart.
Pop group Maroon 5 also covered it.
Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob and CEO of The Bob Marley Group of Companies, when asked to speak on the success of the music has this to say: "My dad's message was for everyone. He loved Germany and toured there often, so we are happy to see that the music has resonated for so many decades.
"The messages of songs like Is This Love, Could You Be Loved, and Three Little Birds speak to people's hearts, no matter the age, gender, or nationality. The rhythm of Bob Marley's music has a universal vibe that people all over the world connect to at a soul level. It's beautiful and powerful at the same time," she continued.
Marley visited the Federal Republic of Germany several times in the 1980. He did five shows to promote his Uprising album, which was released in June by Island Records. The tour's second date took place on June 1 in Munich at the Reitstadion. He also performed in Cologne, Kaiserslautern, Hamburg, and Kassel.
After doctors diagnosed him with terminal cancer on September 21, early on the US leg of the tour, Marley returned to Munich for treatment at the Ringberg Clinic of Dr Josef Issels in the state of Bavaria. At the time, Munich was one of the most diverse cities in West Germany, with immigrants from Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
Marley died in Miami on May 11, 1981, at age 36.
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