2020 Album Draft- Round 10- Pick 1- Introgroove selects- Bob Marley And The Wailers: Live At The Roxy.

Deciding what albums to choose has become increasingly difficult over the past few rounds, and now it’s down to one. With apologies to solo McCartney and Lennon, Van the Man, Miles, Coltrane, Croz, Elton, U2, Sinatra, David Freaking Bowie, and many others – heck, I even considered the first Van Halen album as a tribute to the late, great Eddie – I’ve decided on a Bob for my second pick in a row. This time it’s the Marley varietal. The deciding factor? I’m going to an island. I’ll want some reggae.

Bob Marley was long gone before I actually heard him sing. I vaguely remember hearing Clapton’s version of I Shot the Sheriff when it was current, but don’t recall hearing Marley’s name or even the word “reggae” until the early 80’s. I grew up in a small midwestern town, and other than university towns the genre didn’t make inroads there until the mid/late 80’s. I’d read his name in Rolling Stone various times throughout that decade before finally buying Legend around 1986. I loved it instantly and began collecting Marley albums. If I had one shred of hip cred in high school (which is definitely a stretch), it’s a result of introducing reggae to some of my small burg high school mates. I even got Could You Be Loved played at a school dance. Big time, folks. It’s funny looking back at my mulleted self – I only knew about Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and UB40. So hip.

Marley released albums that are more legendary than Live at the Roxy. In fact, this album – simulcast live on L.A.’s KMET on May 26, 1976 and heavily bootlegged as a result – wasn’t officially released until 2003. But I like live reggae the most, and this show is legendary. It was a VIP event, and as Robert Hilburn noted in his LA Times review of the show, it was attended by John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, Robbie Robertson, Bernie Taupin, John Bonham, Linda Ronstadt, Harry Nilsson, Carole King, Art Garfunkel, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and others. To have been a fly in the club, floating around from table to table on clouds of ganja smoke… (Side note: the famous backstage photos of the brief Marley/George Harrison summit were taken at the Roxy the previous year.)

If you like Marley then you probably know most if not all of this music. The recording itself sounds like it was done from my living room. You can sense the intimacy of the performance, delivered in its entirety on this release. The highlight for me is the second disc which contains the encore: a 24 minute medley of Get Up, Stand Up/No More Trouble/War. Relevant as ever, though I must admit I look forward to a day when I can return to listening to these songs without thinking too much about the message.

Disc 1:

  1. Intro
  2. Trenchtown Rock
  3. Burnin’ and Lootin’
  4. Them Belly Full (but We Hungry)
  5. Rebel Music (3 o’clock Road Block)
  6. I Shot the Sheriff
  7. Want More
  8. No Woman, No Cry
  9. Lively Up Yourself
  10. Roots, Rock, Reggae
  11. Rat Race

Disc 2:

  1. Positive Vibration
  2. Get Up, Stand Up/No More Trouble/War



  1. Stephen I didn’t know who was picking today but when I saw Marley…I thought it was you. Marley is the man…he was an integral part to the seventies by making it maybe the most diverse decade in music. Great pick…I’m glad Marley has been picked…he deserves it.

  2. I’m thinking this is actually THE perfect desert island music, and all the better that it’s live. Great choice. To be a fly on the Roxy wall that night indeed. What an audience. I enjoyed that 24 minutes, and just pulled up another track to listen. Kudos to you for introducing your schoolmates to reggae.

    You are right about how difficult this final draft choice is, btw.

    • I figure if I’ve rambled on for a few paragraphs without many factoids then it was probably the right choice. Two weeks ago this probably wasn’t in the final five for my round 10 pick. It just kind of dawned on me the other day that it makes the most sense.

  3. Good to see Marley taken. If I could only go back in time- his last concert was at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. I don’t know what I was doing that day but I wish I had for some reason gone to that..

  4. Good choice. An old bf of mine had an album with Roots, Rock, Raggae on it and it may have been this album. What I like about raggae is its sedative effect, and smokeables aren’t even needed along with it. You’re right, what better music for an island than this Jamaican gem, Stephen.

  5. A fine and fair choice, I was expecting someone to represent Marley here though the pick of a live one is a surprise! But I know little about him (really “buffalo Soldier”, “One Love” and “No woman, no Cry” are the only ones that instantly come to mind… I know he wrote “I shot Sherriff ” too but think ‘Clapton’ when I hear that , not Bob M) so maybe he was at his best on stage not in the studio.
    And like you, I wanted to get some U2 and Elton in the ten, but think they won’t (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road already being taken as it were) …but who knows what a ‘compilation’ round might hold in store!

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