Bob Marley Albums Ranked Worst to Best
Bob Marley's legend was sealed before his death from skin cancer in May 1981 at age 36. Look no further than our list of Bob Marley Albums Ranked Worst to Best for proof.
Like a select few artists before him – Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and the Beatles, particularly – Marley both transcended and set a musical template that influenced his generation as well as those to come. His earliest records with the Wailers (the trio he formed in the early '60s with fellow future genre legends Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) toyed with the familiar ska sounds found in their hometown of Kingston, Jamaica.
But by the end of the decade, they had sharpened their style with original songs, the best of them penned by Marley, that would evolve into an even purer form of reggae in the '70s and find audiences outside of their island country.
For most of the '70s, Marley and the Wailers made records that fed into and supported their growing popularity. They occasionally got remixed to tune into more Western ears, and they occasionally struggled with their newfound fame (Tosh and Wailer were gone by mid decade, as Marley's name and face headlined album covers).
Marley made spiritual records. He made political records. He made records about getting high. And he made records that embraced life, which made his death such a significant loss at the dawn of the '80s.
Our list of Bob Marley Albums Ranked Worst to Best includes all of the studio projects released by the group, including a couple of early efforts before they found their groove and one posthumous record, plus one career-boosting live LP that captures Marley on the cusp of his legend.