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Studio album by Bob Marley & the Wailers
Released3 June 1977
RecordedHarry J. Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, 1976 and Island Studios, London, January–April 1977
GenreRoots reggae
Tuff Gong (reissue)
ProducerBob Marley & the Wailers
Bob Marley & the Wailers chronology
Rastaman Vibration

Exodus is the ninth studio album released by Jamaican Reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers. On 3 December 1976 an assassination attempt was made on Bob Marley’s life in which his chest was grazed and his arm was struck, he survived.[1] Following the attempt Marley left Jamaica and was exiled to London where Exodus was recorded.[2] It was on 3 June 1977 that Exodus was released on Island Records. Exodus is widely considered to be the album that propelled Marley to international stardom.[3] In 2007 Exodus was remastered and re-released for its 30th anniversary. The re-release sparked new interest in the album which many argue is one of Marley’s best works. Exodus has more tracks on Marley’s greatest hits album, Legend which is the highest selling reggae album of all time, than any of his other records.[1]


Jamaica in December 1976 was going through elections. There was a substantial amount of political discourse on the island. A candidate by the name of Michael Manley used the campaign slogan “We know where we’re going.” In response Marley wrote “Exodus”, which is the title track of the album. The Rastafarian collective believe the song was an appropriate reply to Manley’s proclamation. Marley’s lyrics say, “Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you’re living? We know where we’re going, we know where we’re from, we’re leaving Babylon into our father’s land.” The song became a No. 1 hit in Jamaica as well as England and Germany.[4]

On 3 December 1976, an attempt was made on Marley’s life. It was this attempt that drove him out of Jamaica, In addition to Marley's assassination attempt,"his wife Rita — one of the I Threes, whose singing on Exodus is first-rate"[5] was also shot and survived. During this time Marley saw that the Rastafarian's were "struggling to be free" and needed direction in life. Many of the songs produced in the "Exodus" album are just that. He sincerely wanted to bring his people out of oppression and by producing the "Exodus" album he moved many Rastafarian people towards their dream of overcoming oppression.


"Jamming", "Waiting in Vain" and "One Love/People Get Ready" were all major international hits. Exodus peaked at #20 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart, and #15 on the Black Albums chart as well as remaining in the UK charts for 56 consecutive weeks where it peaked at #8.

As described by Rolling Stones Magazine Exodus is an album with "the magnificent rhythm section of Aston Barrett, bass, and Carlton Barrett, drums, and the spidery lead guitar of Julian "Junior" Marvin — and the flatness of the material Bob Marley has given them to work with"[6] With this mixed review presented in 1977, it has managed to take on several awards and accolades.

Exodus has been recognized by music critics as one of the greatest albums of all time. In 1999, Time magazine named Exodus the best album of the 20th century.[7] In 2001, the TV network VH1 named it the 26th greatest album of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 169 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[8]

Track listing

All tracks written by Bob Marley, except where noted.

Original album release (1977)

Side one

  1. "Natural Mystic"- 3:31
  2. "So Much Things to Say" - 3:08
  3. "Guiltiness" – 3:20
  4. "The Heathen" – 2:32
  5. "Exodus" – 7:38

Side two

  1. "Jamming" – 3:32
  2. "Waiting in Vain" – 4:15
  3. "Turn Your Lights Down Low" – 3:40
  4. "Three Little Birds" - 3:01
  5. "One Love/People Get Ready" – 2:50



  1. 1.0 1.1 Taylor, Angus. "Bob Marley Exodus 77 Documentary". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  2. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  3. "BBC 30th Aniversary".
  4. Bradshaw, Jon (14 August 1977). "The Reggae Way to Salvation". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  5. By Greil Marcus (14 July 1977). "Exodus | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  6. By Greil Marcus (14 July 1977). "Exodus | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  7. "The Best Of The Century". Time. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  8. Rolling Stone Exodus The RS 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 1 November 2003.

Further reading

  • Goldman, Vivien (2006) The Book of Exodus: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century Three Rivers Press ISBN 1-4000-5286-6