Song #14: “Top Rankin'”

When I first heard reggae music, I was convinced I would never get into it because it didn’t sound like music to me. Then sometime near the end of high school, I remember watching an episode The New Music featuring Bob Marley that compelled me to go out and buy his best-of compilation, Legend, and it changed everything for me. The music lifted my spirit and blew my mind like nothing I’d ever known before. It was positive and uplifting and it made me want to get up move. It was an entirely new paradigm of music. I loved it and I still do. I didn’t know what bass was until I heard reggae music. “Rhythm guitar” meant nothing to me until I got into reggae. I eventually collected every album by Bob Marley. Survival, his most overlooked album is seems, became my favourite. I love every song on the album, but “Top Rankin'” grabbed me the most when I first heard it. It’s packed with intricate rhythms and the horns are killer. The whole album is like that.

The entire Survival is available as a YouTube playlist.

I’m going to cheat and give Bob two songs. No Woman, No Cry has more populous appeal, but the simplicity of “Jah Live” always seems to dig deeper for me.

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

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