Bob Marley, The Legend, Live in Santa Barbara: Watch the Complete 1979 Concert

In the fall of 1979 Bob Marley and his band, the Wailers, went on tour to promote their album, Survival. It turned out to be the second-to-last tour for the reggae star, who had been diagnosed two years earlier with cancer. But in late 1979 Marley appeared to be in excellent form. Lucky for us, a camera crew was there to record one of his shows.

The film above was shot at the Santa Barbara County Bowl in California on November 25, 1979, just 16 months before Marley’s untimely death at the age of 36. It was released on DVD in 2003 as Bob Marley: The Legend Live. The Wailers were in their second incarnation in 1979, and had become little more than a backup band after the departure in 1974 of core members Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

The lineup in the film includes Marley on rhythm guitar and vocals, brothers Aston and Carlton Barrett on bass and drums, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, Devon Evans and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion, Glen DaCosta on saxophone, Dave Madden on trumpet and the “I Threes” (Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Marley’s wife Rita) on backing vocals.

The film is essentially a record of the complete Santa Barbara concert, but the order of the songs has been re-arranged. Here’s the set list as it appears in the film:

  1. Positive Vibration
  2. Wake Up and Live
  3. I Shot the Sheriff
  4. Ambush in the Night
  5. Concrete Jungle
  6. Running Away
  7. Crazy Baldhead
  8. Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)
  9. The Heathen
  10. Ride Natty Ride
  11. Africa Unite
  12. One Drop
  13. Exodus
  14. So Much Things to Say
  15. Zimbabwe
  16. Jamming
  17. Is This Love
  18. Kinky Reggae
  19. Stir It Up
  20. Get Up, Stand Up

Bob Marley: The Legend Live is not the last film ever made of a Marley concert, as some have claimed, but it is an excellent record from the late period of the man who put reggae on the global music map.

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