From World Afropedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Studio album by Bob Marley & The Wailers
ReleasedOctober 2, 1979
RecordedJanuary – February 1978, Tuff Gong Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica
Length38:02 (Original)
44:25 (2001 Remasters)
LabelIsland/Tuff Gong
ProducerBob Marley & The Wailers, Alex Sadkin
Bob Marley & The Wailers chronology
Babylon by Bus

Survival is a roots reggae album by Bob Marley & The Wailers released in 1979. Survival is an album with an outwardly militant theme. Some speculate that this was due in part to criticism Marley received for the laid-back, ganja-soaked atmosphere of his previous release, "Kaya", which seemed to sidetrack the urgency of his message. In the song "Africa Unite", Marley proclaims Pan-African solidarity. The song "Zimbabwe" is a hymn dedicated to later-independent Rhodesia. The song was performed at Zimbabwe's Independence Celebration in 1980, just after the official declaration of Zimbabwe's independence. "Zimbabwe" is seen as an unofficial national song.

Survival was originally to be called Black Survival to underscore the urgency of African unity, but the name was shortened to prevent misinterpretations of the album's theme. Marley originally planned to release Survival as the first part of a trilogy, followed by Uprising in 1980 and Confrontation in 1983.

In South Africa the album was partly censored by the then apartheid government.[1]

Track listing

All tracks written by Bob Marley, except where noted.

Original album release (1979)

Side one

  1. "So Much Trouble in the World" – 4:00
  2. "Zimbabwe" – 3:49
  3. "Top Rankin'" – 3:09
  4. "Babylon System" – 4:21
  5. "Survival" – 3:54

Side two

  1. "Africa Unite" – 2:55
  2. "One Drop" – 3:52
  3. "Ride Natty Ride" – 3:53
  4. "Ambush in The Night" – 3:14
  5. "Wake Up And Live" (Bob Marley/Anthony Davis) – 4:58


Flags on album cover

The record album front cover (shown top right) depicts 48 flags of 47 African countries and one flag of a Pacific island nation. Presumably the flags were in use when the album was designed, in preparation for publishing in 1979, though many became obsolete.

Below are listed the 7 rows, top to bottom, then the 7 flags in each row—left to right.

  1. Kenya, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Chad, Egypt, Ghana.
  2. Senegal, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea.
  3. The Gambia, Somalia, Upper Volta, République Démocratique du Congo (Zaire), Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Swaziland.
  4. Madagascar, Togo, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe (ZAPU), Seychelles, Zambia.
  5. Lesotho, Uganda, Algeria, Mali, Sudan, Botswana, Morocco.
  6. République du Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Zimbabwe (ZANU-PF), Mauritius, Mauritania, Gabon.
  7. Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Papua-New Guinea, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, Djibouti, Rwanda.

See note about the 2 Zimbabwe flags in source #1 below. No flags are shown for these 7 countries in or off the coast of Africa: Cape Verde, Comoros, Eritrea (was not an independent country in that time), Libya, Namibia, South Africa, and Western Sahara.

Flag sources

  1. Flags of the World (Web site) . The 2 Zimbabwe flags (row 4, column 5; and row 6, column 4) are Z.A.P.U. political party flags. They are at (Web site) .
  2. Flag Identifier by Ivan Sarajcic (Web site) .
  3. Siobhan Ryan, editor, Flags: The visual guide to more than 300 flags from around the world (Eyewitness Handbooks, DK Publishing, New York, NY, USA, 1997) ISBN 978-0-7894-4224-6.
  4. Robert Famighetti, editor, The World Almanac 1994 (Funk and Wagnalls, Mahwah, NJ, USA) ISBN 978-0-88687-745-3; pages 481–484.