No matter the genre, a good song is a good song.
Perhaps this tenet best explains the ubiquitous popularity of Bob Marley‘s anthology Legend. Every college student, every music fan, every person with ears owns a copy and has experienced a period of obsession when they play the album on endless repeat, regardless of whether they have any particular interest in Reggae.
For many, this tends to happen during high school when some cooler friend hands them a cassette that they wear through in their beat up old car. (Okay, by “most” I mean me.)
Eventually though, you reach college and meet that guy. You know, the guy with the Bob Marley poster. The guy who replaced all his bulbs with black lights, the guy with Woolite graffiti all over his walls because it glows and looks cool under the black lights man.
Then you meet the other guy. The frat-bro who only has five albums, one of which is Legend of course, which he plays when he wants to chill and relax and be socially conscious and a cool-bro.
Then you meet the rasta. The guy with designer dreads who seems to own only one set of clothes and doesn’t really know anything about Jamaica and Rasta except that it’s righteous man, and that you smoke out all the time, and love love love.
Eventually, you meet enough of these guys that you write off Legend forever and even the sight of the album makes you a little bit queasy.
But then one day many years later, you’re lying in bed in Manhattan, the window is open, a pleasant breeze, birds are chirping (along with the taxis honking and the sirens blaring) and Pandora decides to play “Three Little Birds” and for a few minutes there, it’s a perfect day. Three little birds, singing a melody pure and true, “Don’t worry ’bout a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right” and all you can think is love love love.
P.S., I was the awkward guy with a mustache, backwards Dodgers cap, glasses, and an endless compendium of Rush t-shirts.