France Album Sales: Bob Marley

PART III: Post-death analysis 1981-1983

In May 11 1981, Bob Marley died at the age of 36 following his melanoma related cancer. He learned from his illness in 1977 but kept recording and touring until his condition deteriorated too much after his September 1980 US shows.

A legend in live already, the figure of Marley took an other dimension following this event. He moved from a musical legend to a human being legend for an entire generation among the likes of Che Guevera, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

The absence of charts in France for several months in 1981 prevent from seeing exactly the result of his passing on his catalog. From that point yet the artist received several audits of his catalog. In 1981 itself, both his biggest albums Kaya and Uprising went Platinum, representing 400,000 units. In 1982 the 1974 classic Natty Dread went Gold. In 1983, it was the turn of Exodus to go Platinum. It was still quite rare for foreign albums to reach such numbers so doing it within’ six years despite never charting was rather incredible.

By 1983, sales of pre-death albums were as below:

1973 Catch A Fire – 80,000
1973 Burnin’ – 70,000
1974 Natty Dread – 110,000
1976 Rastaman Vibration – 160,000
1977 Exodus – 410,000
1978 Kaya – 510,000
1979 Survival – 305,000
1980 Uprising – 605,000

1975 Live! – 170,000
1978 Babylon By Bus – 275,000

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