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Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life

Stephen MarleyAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Price: $11.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2011 $9.49  
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Biography

If you think you don't know the music of Stephen Marley, you do-you just don't realize it. A member of the celebrated Marley sibling group The Melody Makers since the age of seven, the Grammy winning producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has also been the driving creative force behind the music of his brothers. Stephen's production, performance and writing credits ... Read more in Amazon's Stephen Marley Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic
  • ASIN: B004L36M5Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Made In Africa
2. False Friends
3. Break Us Apart
4. Can't Keep I Down
5. No Cigarette Smoking (In My Room)
6. Freedom Time
7. Jah Army
8. Old Slaves
9. Pale Moonlight (How Many Times)
10. She Knows Now
11. The Chapel
12. Tight Ship
13. Working Ways
14. Now I Know

Editorial Reviews

About the Artist

An acclaimed singer, songwriter, musician and producer, Stephen Marley is a five-star general in Jah Army's ongoing offensive to uphold the integrity of reggae music. Stephen has won seven Grammy Awards for his work on various Marley family projects, including two Best Reggae Album Grammy nods for his self-produced solo efforts "Mind Control", which debuted atop Billboard's Reggae Album Chart, and "Mind Control Acoustic", a record-setting tally for a Jamaican artist. The second son born to Bob and Rita Marley, younger brother to Sharon, Cedella and Ziggy and mentor to brothers Julian, Ky-mani and Damian, Stephen's acceptance of the responsibilities inherent within his exalted familial legacy is evidenced by the consistent excellence that distinguishes his various musical endeavors. Stephen's third self produced album "Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life" (Ghetto Youths/Universal Republic), which will be released on May 24th, was conceived as a celebration and preservation conduit for roots rock reggae, insuring that the music's regal template is maintained throughout the 21st century. Stephen achieves that objective with 14 soulful, often times soul-bearing tracks that never sacrifice rhythmic purity in deliverance of their powerful messages: "Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life" provides encouragement for the struggling masses ("Working Ways"), depicts the harrowing residual effects of slavery ("Old Slaves"), evokes the sorrow of rejection ("She Knows Now"), and conveys the disappointment of "False Friends", the gravity of these themes offset by exquisite melodies and the subtle shadings of their musical accompaniment, as coordinated by Stephen's production expertise. Conceived as a two part project, "The Root of Life" will be followed by the release of "Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life", due in Autumn 2011, which features an array of styles that have emanated from reggae's core. "Reggae music has influenced hip-hop and so many other kinds of music," Stephen reasons, "so `The Fruit of Life' will be a more open, eclectic kind of record. There will be songs for the club; dancehall reggae will be there, love songs in there, but it will remain conscious good music that you can always take something positive from."

Stephen embarked on his strategic scheme to safeguard Jamaican music's standards after reading several articles criticizing current dancehall reggae hits that are preoccupied with sex and materialism and devoid of the revolutionary, empowering sentiments that were intrinsic to reggae's development in the late `60s. "The accusations in those articles don't speak for I and I and `nuff more artists' music, but when you check what's breaking through from Jamaica, it's some two-chord, jump up party thing," Stephen explained during a recent visit to New York City's Quad Studios. "There's nothing wrong with that in its appropriate time and place but to preserve the music's integrity you must have a balance. Reggae's consciousness was built on a message, a Black movement, Rastafari, and that is not being pushed today. Me know me have power with my voice and my instrument so, with that vibe, me pick up me guitar, strummed a reggae rhythm, and just started singing; from song to song, that is the spirit within this album." Stephen and his band members rehearsed for two weeks prior to recording "The Root of Life" and the result is an organic, richly textured sound, anchored in reggae's scorching drum and bass backbeat, punctuated by steady guitar strums and fluid keyboard riffs, then embellished with flourishes of saxophone, flute and harmonica. "With "Mind Control" I kinda put songs together but "The Root of Life" is a body of work," Stephen clarifies. "The band came and I gave them the talk: why we need to do it, how it need to come across; we never recorded like that before and I like what we came up with all of us there together; these are the real soldiers in Jah Army." Fittingly, the first single from this remarkable effort is "Jah Army", featuring Damian Marley and Buju Banton spitting formidable, career-defining verses over a thunderous one-drop rhythm intensified by soul shaking dub reverbs. "Jah Army" is the rallying call for troops engaged in this designated undertaking, the significance of which is further underscored on the unity anthems "Break Us Apart", cautioning against those who "take you from the root and teach you their own truth" and "Tight Ship", which urges all concerned parties to focus on their survival. "This is where I speak to the soldiers in Jah Army, saying whether it's in the music or your life, get it together man, the Gideon is on," declares The General. Stephen Marley realized his musical mission at an early age. Born on April 20, 1972, by the time he was old enough to walk, he was dancing and singing onstage at Bob Marley and the Wailers concerts. Bob regularly took Stephen and his siblings into the recording studio so they could learn the rudiments of production and better understand the motivating forces within his work. "My father used to tell us music is like a prayer and you don't put just anything in a prayer, you say important things, pray for people who are suffering," Stephen recalled. "He'd say don't take it for a joke and if you're not really serious don't do it." Stephen, Ziggy, Sharon and Cedella made their professional debut as The Melody Makers in 1979 with the release of the single "Children Playing in the Streets", written by their father. The spotlight shone on eight-year old Stephen's precocious talents the following year when he sang lead on "Sugar Pie"; The Melody Makers' generated much excitement when they performed the song at Jamaica's Reggae Sunsplash in July 1981, staged that year in commemoration of their father's profound musical legacy, just two months after his passing. The group went on to tour the world and earned numerous awards; Stephen assisted in the production of each of The Melody Makers albums since he was a teenager including the Best Reggae Album Grammy winners "Conscious Party" (1989), "One Bright Day" (1990) and "Fallen Is Babylon" (1997). Since his early 20s Stephen has helmed the production for several Marley family members' albums, most notably, those by his youngest brother Damian, including "Half Way Tree" and "Welcome To Jamrock", each bestowed with a Best Reggae Album Grammy. Alongside Damian, Stephen coproduced "Distant Relatives", Damian and Nas's critically lauded collaborative effort, released in 2010. While working on the final mixes of "Distant Relatives", Stephen went into an adjoining studio and laid down a few ideas that became the bedrock of "The Root of Life". Just as "Distant Relatives" closed the cultural gap between hip-hop and dancehall reggae, Stephen sought to bridge the continental divide between Africa and the rest of the world. To fulfill that goal he recruited Nigerian-American rapper Wale who contributes a compelling verse to "Root of Life's" opening track "Made In Africa" and the cast of the Broadway hit "Fela", who provide the song's epic background vocals. The beauty of "Made In Africa" is as breathtaking as the Motherland's natural splendor yet its mood is as somber as the repeatedly cruel exploitation of her resources and her people. "Me start read about Napolean coming from this divide and conquer the place, depriving people of the greatest riches a man can have, it's not material, it is your heritage," Stephen reasoned. "Go to Europe and see how much thing dem take out of Africa; it was the richest place `pon earth, civilization start there. That is why the song is called "Made in Africa" because we're all made in Africa." Africa was of great significance in Bob Marley's music, as the ancestral home of Rastafari and even reggae itself. Stephen pays homage to his father's musical teachings by reinterpreting three songs recorded by the original Wailers (Bob, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh) in the late 60s: the melodic liberation anthem "Freedom Time"; the doo-wop flavored love lament "Pale Moonlight" and a hymn to Rastafarian Lord and Savior Haile Selassie I, "The Chapel" (featuring Ziggy Marley), its meditation enhanced by traditional Rastafarian Nyabinghi drumming. "The messages here need to be heard again and we always hope that people can feel the connection and transition of our father's spirit in us when we sing these songs," observes Stephen, whose skillful application of his band's magisterial one-drop grooves provides these decades-old songs with a rejuvenated appeal. The Root's second single "No Cigarette Smoking" is a luscious duet, in reggae's lovers-rock tradition, with Mélanie Fiona's sultry crooning complementing Stephen's raspier tone. Seemingly a contrast to the album's more militant observations, the song is a denouncement of cigarettes and alcohol stemming from the tenets of Stephen's Rastafarian way of life, which he initially wrote 15 years ago. Stephen's spirit is as irrepressible as the rollicking reggae-blues rhythm, punctuated by a wailing harmonica on "Can't Keep I Down". His triumphant exclamation of "I'll always be around", (evoking Bob's prescient lyric "they can't get me outta the race" from "Bad Card"), no doubt alludes to the timeless allure of the songs he has presented here.

The Root of Life concludes with "Now I Know", a contemplative song about moving on, ("nothing is permanent in life, all except for change"), whether by choice or by imposed circumstances, with Stephen's evocative phrasing the aural equivalent of a tearful heart. Stephen describes the song's acoustic jazz seasoning, delivered through moodily plunked piano chords, and weeping guitar strands as "transitional, to take you out of The Root a little bit and tastefully into The Fruit". "The Fruit" is what blossoms into different colors and shades," Stephen offers in reference to the second installment in the "Revelation of Life" series, "but `The Root' has to stand predominant."

Product Description

2011 album from singer, songwriter, musician and producer Stephen Markley, the second son of Reggae legend Bob Marley. Stephen has been blazing his own trail in the music world, combining Reggae, Hip Hop and R&B styles to create his own unique sound. The album features appearances from Melanie Fiona and Damian Marley.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant believe no one has reviewed this? May 23, 2011
Format:Audio CD
This is a great album. Stephen is the real talent in the Marley family. It is sad that most people rave over Nicki Minaj and Drake . Unreal not even one review. Shows how the dumbing down of the American music scene has been so successful. Lady Gaga has 51 reviews. Let me talk about the album. My favorite tracks Love Made In Africa, No Cigarette Smoking (In My Room), Old Slaves,She Knows Now ,and Now I Know. It is also refreshing to hear live instruments used on the album.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars easy listening July 1, 2011
By lilbear
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
musically this is a beautiful cd. stephen really has a handle on classic reggae music. i often feel like i am listening to that old school reggae that i enjoy so much. my problem with this cd is that it is lacking any real lyrical impact. it is mostly just a bunch of "she left me again" songs and virtually no "natural mystic" messages. that is the other reason why i love to listen to reggae music- for the message. stephen just doesn't seem to be able to deliver on this level. the lyrics on ziggy's new release are so much more powerful. it is a shame that the two don't work together anymore because stephen's strengths fill in for ziggy's weaknesses, and visa versa.
with that said, if you are a fan of classic reggae music, it is definitely an enjoyable listen, and you will find a few gems scattered about.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic May 25, 2011
Format:Audio CD
This is an amazing CD. Stephen always deliver, he is the musical genius behind his brothers. If you enjoyed "mind control" you will love this CD. My favorite is Pale moonlight, no cigarette smoking, she knows now, false friends and jah army. This is REAL music!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob's voice renewed August 15, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
He is our new favorite reggae artist. This album is so Reggae, takes me back to when Bob was writing and producing his songs of love and truths.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not 5 star but Damn Close....! July 14, 2011
By BOATS99
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Reggae and it's nice to hear some solid Reggae taking root's from Bob's son Stephen sounds a lot like Senior more so then the other boys. I am not a big rap fan but what is on this CD i will give a passing grade glad that this has a lot of yesteryear sound to it which i enjoy so much one of the nice surprises in music in 2011 for me.... Big thumbs up !
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...Just Wow!! May 27, 2011
By David
Format:Audio CD
As a believer in the Most High with a Hebraic understanding....It has really liberated me and allows me to get to know the roots of other people's viewpoints. Rastafarianism in this case. That being said, this is a very spirit filled album with some lyrics and solid music that will bless your socks off!!

I rarely see anything that appeals to me anymore in the 'mainstream' of music. When i go to the music store, Lady Gaga's face is plastered all over the place and, while i don't mind her music, there's just so much more out there to discover that just demolishes the pop stuff.

I saw this on the shelf, and didn't really know much about Stephen Marley. But it interested me because of the title and artwork of the album. So i went home and checked out the samples on iTunes and immediately purchased it.

The production is very slick on this one. Very classic sounding. The opening track gets to the point of the concept. The roots of life and their faith stemming from Africa. It also has a very visual appeal, almost like a movie sountrack, but at the same time....If you have an open mind about people, their faith, and life, it is liberating to be a part of the whole thing. From a spiritual perspective, it's beautiful. As the album goes on, you can sense the classic feel and it's very relaxing.

Overall, highly recommended if you're a reggae lover or a truth seeker, or just someone who loves music in general. i'm interested in checking out 'Mind Control' now. All glory to the Most High Yahuah!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album! May 24, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I agree that this is music of substance and should not be overlooked. GREAT album, I'm listening to Tight Ship as I write this review and it just makes you sit back and think about the blessing of life!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is awesome! June 9, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a must have cd for reggae lovers. The more I listen to Stephen the more I feel like he is the most talented Marley since his dad.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love these Marley brothers!!!
Great!!!
Published 28 days ago by D. B.One
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment
Eye-opening music; love the message that he gives out. All of the songs are positive and relating to every day life. Can't wait for Part 2 to come out this summer.
Published 3 months ago by Tiffany A. Kincaid
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome C.D.
My husband loves it. That's who I bought the c.d. for. He listens to it all the time. Its great!
Published 4 months ago by MytinaD
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Marley: "Revalation, Part 1" - Great music in a still great...
It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise to find available great contemporary music in Vinyl format. More music distributors should take note.
Published 4 months ago by Derick Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars roots nd reggae
some tracks sounds like his dad did.....good cd. music mixes up nicely...stephen marley has put a new spin on traditional reggae while keeping it rootsy
Published 6 months ago by Robert Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Marley...
Awsome album,real mellow true to the marley name. Music is the best,and then the lyrics hit ya! Forever loving Jah!
Published 6 months ago by J. Dvorak
5.0 out of 5 stars Rejoice in the Mighty Marleys...
Bring 'em all on. They've all got something to say, say it well and make me smile. May they continue to multiply and create. Reggae roots are forever.
Published 10 months ago by HR Hibbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Roots
Very nice, great roots kicks, I wouldn't rank it as one of his best but worth purchasing. Roots Rock Reggae
Published 11 months ago by michael Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen is excellent!!!
This is a wonderful follow up to his first official album..."Mind Control". I HIGHLY recommend this album to any Marley fan. Read more
Published 12 months ago by C. Davi
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as Mind Control
This is a good album if your looking to pad your reggae collection or just here some new jams. I have always like the Marley bros no matter what any of them did. Read more
Published 13 months ago by DJ
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