Bob Marley: Electro Reggae Pioneer

Bob Marley was among the first Reggae musicians to incorporate a drum machine into his recordings.

The Wailers were tour openers for Sly & The Family Stone in the early 70’s. Sly’s album “There’s a Riot Going on”, (a subliminal answer to Marvin Gaye’s question “What’s Goin On?”) was the first major label release to use a drum machine.

It so happens The Wailers were kicked off the tour for being too good. Marley’s Bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett brought a “Riddim Box” back home to visionary producer Lee “Scratch” Perry and the sounds appeared on several songs from the “Natty Dread” album.

Later Marley would be criticized for using the “fruits of Babylon” to create his music. His reply: “Babylon no have no fruit” typifies the mindset necessary to forge ahead in a world of scrutiny. The atmosphere of Jamaica has always been one where artists habitually push the creative envelope. They innovate with classic material at every stage using whatever is in front of them.