By Richard Johnson (Observer senior reporter)
He has been dead for nearly four decades, but the music of reggae icon Bob Marley shows no sign of dying. The musical legacy of the man born Robert Nesta Marley of modest means in Nine Miles, St Ann continues to be a force on global music charts.
Marley, who died in 1981, continues to chart and a quick glance at the iTunesreggae charts for both singles and albums gives an indication of the depth and breadth of the man and his music.
The top 10 of the singles chart is riddled with the Marley’s music with six spots credited to the man. One song, Three Little Birds, holds on to two positions, numbers two and nine. Other Marley anthems proving to be favourites of the global reggae market are I Shot The Sheriff at number four, Is This Love at number five,One Love/ People Get Ready at number seven and Could You Be Loved which follows at number eight.
In fact, Marley has a total of 16 tracks in the top 100 of this chart.
However, the chart’s topper is the ditty It Wasn’t Me released by diamond-selling reggae act Shaggy in the year 2000. Shaggy also holds on to the number six slot with Angel which features Bajan-born singer Rayvon. One Day by American hassidic Jew Matisyahu at number three and Inner Circle’s Bad Boys in the 10th spot rounds out the top 10.
The iTunes Top 100 Reggae Singles chart also sees a sprinkling of contemporary acts.
Female deejay Spice created a stir last week with the publicity surrounding the release of her single Black Hypocrisy. That track currently stands at number 33. Other deejays whose work appears on the chart include Busy Signal at number 41 with Stay So; Popcaan’s Silence at 60 and Family at 76; while incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel is at number 68 with Fever. Teejay, one of the new finds out of Montego Bay, charts with his single Up Top Boys at number 80.
The young ‘reggae revivalists’ Lila Ike and Mortimer are also on this chart. Carefulby Mortimer is at 77, while Lila Ike’s Second Chance holds the 81st position.
On the albums chart again Marley is one of three Jamaicans making a showing.
His album Legend, the Remastered and Deluxe versions hold on to the top two slots. The collaborative work 44/876 by Shaggy and British rocker Sting is at number five, while Never Ending the recent release by reggae crooner, Beres Hammond, is at number six. The rest of this chart is occupied by reggae artistes from the United States and the wider Caribbean.