Viewing this definitive, albeit hagiograhic, film on Bob Marley has reignited my interest in his music which I first came across, of course, via Clapton (two years earlier Jimmy Cliff and Johnny Nash gave me my first taste of reggae). It was when Sting came on the scene that my interest waned: about this time even Jagger’s silly effort with Peter Tosh didn’t annoy me as much as Sting did (and still does).
I think that Live! rates as one of the best live records ever released. Two things of interest in the film struck me. First, the explanation of the musical and sociological influences that constitutes reggae (gospel, soul, funk, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, calypso) makes better sense to me now. Second, there is the role of the fascinating Chris Blackwell — the last of a breed that included his mentor Ahmet Ertegun.
The Guardian has the most intelligent review of the film. As a postscript to the film here is an article, also from The Guardian (“I teach a course at New York University called Marley and Post-Colonial Music” — cringe), marking what would have been BM’s 70th birthday.