France Album Sales: Bob Marley

Reis do Pop e do Reggae

PART II: Rastaman breakthrough 1974-1977

Natty Dread (1974) Era

For the very first time, the naming of the group wasn’t The Wailers anymore but rather Bob Marley & The Wailers instead, showing the increasing role of the rastaman legend. The role of the group in the music industry as well as the public demand increased too with Natty Dread album.

The album wasn’t an immediate hit, but when the song No Woman, No Cry was issued as a single it started to grow notably. In UK the album went #43, on the back of the #22 peak position of the single. In the US, not only the album went #92 despite unfavorable sales measurement at the time, both previous albums also made their debut lower down charts. In France, the short Top 20 album chart wasn’t allowing the artist to chart but his profile was clearly improving from 1975 too.

1975 was also the year of Live! release which solidified the group status. This remains one of the most iconic live album ever. It peaked at #38 upon release in UK.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. No Woman, No Cry – 72,488,000
  2. Lively Up Yourself – 8,167,000
  3. Natty Dread – 3,337,000

Rastaman Vibration (1976) Era

Although this album remains the only post-1973 Bob Marley output with no classic song, the group enjoyed then an unexpected success with it in the US. Single Roots, Rock, Reggae went #51 in US Hot 100 and remains to this day their only chart entry ever in the Singles chart. This success led Rastaman Vibration to #8 in the Album Chart which is still the group only US Top 10 album ever. In UK it peaked at #15.

In France, even if charts – a Top 15 only in 1976 – gave Bob Marley no chance to appear, his popularity was again growing with large radios now playing his songs.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Roots, Rock, Reggae – 5,278,000
  2. War – 3,336,000
  3. Positive Vibration – 2,722,000

Exodus (1977) Era

Now a London resident due to the assassination attempt he suffered in his native Jamaica, Bob Marley came stronger than ever with Exodus album in 1977.

Three Little Birds, Jamming, One Love, Exodus, Waiting In Vain, Natural Mystic, the album is full of reggae anthems. This enabled the album to peak at #8 in UK and chart for more than a year inside the Top 75, it was also #20 in the US.

In France once again, the album never appeared on charts nor it was certified. It did sold rather well, going past 100,000 units within’ 1977 alone. It was only the beginning of the story for this record as we will see.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Three Little Birds – 89,710,000
  2. One Love – 40,825,000
  3. Jamming – 37,558,000

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