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The story behind the song "Is This Love" by the magnificent Bob Marley

"We'll be together under the roof right above our heads. We'll share the shelter of my single bed..."

How the delightfully romantic tune "Is This Love" was born.

"Is This Love" - a world-famous reggae love song that became one of the biggest hits of all time Bob Marley и "The Wailers". It saw the light of day in 1978 year, as part of their tenth studio album "Kaya.". Already after the performer's death it was included in a posthumous collection "Legend." - one of the most successful reggae albums in history. Upon release, "Is This Love" entered the UK Top 10 and subsequently served as an inspiration to many artists including Scott Matthews, Adam Lambert, Rihanna and others. A live performance of this beautiful lyric can be found on the album "Babylon by Bus" 1978.

Inspiration

Reggae icon Bob Marley with his wife Rita and children
Reggae icon Bob Marley with his wife Rita and children

The true story "Is This Love" remains unknown. However, there is a version that the song was dedicated to Marley's wife, Ritato whom the singer became engaged in 1966. The couple remained close until Bob's death in 1981. But it's not all that simple: for example, the singer had an affair with Cindy Breakspearwhich won the 1976 competition "Miss World.".

Cindy Breakspear
Cindy Breakspear

Breakspeare gave birth to Marley's son Damian in July 1978. And in general, the biography of the Jamaican Rastafarian has enough women to doubt the veracity of the version concerning the true source of inspiration of "Is This Love".

The track has a rousing melody that quickly made it a hit in the late 1970s! In the lyrics, Marley bares his soul, emphasising that he wants to take care of his beloved and is ready to treat her right. And happiness is not in money, but in love: you can share a single bed without a warm blanket, but you will be warm and cosy. When the album "Kaya." came out, many reviewers noted that the singer had become rather soft and sentimental in his lyrics. Nevertheless, Bob was feeling great at the time, and this song reflected his mood in the best possible way!

That's a beautifully profound message

Redemption Song: the story of Bob Marley's timeless anthem
Bob Marley

Given the lyric, a better name for "Is This Love" you couldn't make up. In the song, Marley speaks eloquently about his feelings for the woman he is in love with. The singer states that he wants to treat her right, share his humble home with her, spend time with her, provide for her. He is willing, and more importantly, able to make her happy! In the chorus, Marley wonders: "Is it love?" The answer is obvious. He is clearly in love, but he seems hesitant. He is afraid to confess his bright feelings to his beloved and be rejected.

"We'll be together under the roof right above our heads,
We'll share the shelter of my single bed."

This composition really shows how much Marley's art transcends genres. I wonder how this song would sound without percussion and with only acoustic guitar? It would probably make a great soft rock tune. Music for "Is This Love?" is so good that it could be re-arranged in many different directions and it would still be a great song for all time!

Music video

Captivating music video shows 7-year-old future supermodel Naomi Campbell! It was her first role.

The clip was uploaded to YouTube in March 2017 and, as of 2021, has gained more 64 million views.

Successful covers and interpretations

So many artists were inspired by the lyrics "Is This Love?". Some recorded their own versions, while others improvised on stage during large-scale events. Let's take a look at the most successful and interesting versions.
In the early '80s, the band "Pat Travers." introduced her cover of Marley's romantic anthem, which was included on their album "Crash and Burn".

Version Scott Matthews is on the album "Elsewhere." 2009 as a bonus track.

British singer Corinne Bailey Rae included her version of "Is This Love?" on her 2011 EP "Love.". The song was released as a single and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance.

As for live improvisations, one of the best was presented by Rihanna: Barbadian performer gave audiences a gift during her tour "Good Girl Gone Bad."

American singer Adam Lambert performed an acoustic version "Is This Love?" on his world tour "We Are Glamily".

Influence on pop culture

The celebration of Bob Marley's 75 continues with a CD of Songs of Freedom, vinyl
Bob Marley at one of his concerts

Over the years, the romantic song has gained great popularity in the film industry! The composition has graced such films as "In the Name of the Father" (1993), "Six Days, Seven Nights" (1998), "Lake Placid: Lake of Fear" (1999), "50 First Kisses" (2004). and others.

In his book. "Marley and I." writer and journalist John Grogan claims that he and his wife came up with the name for their dog while listening to this very song! Although in the film based on the book, the story of how the name came about will be slightly altered (with the equally famous "One Love.").

Song "Lay Your Hands on Me" groups "Bon Jovi." begins with the words "If you're ready, I'm both able and willing, / Help me, lay my cards on the table". This is very reminiscent of the lyric "Is This Love?": "I have both the ability and the desire, / So I'll lay all my cards on the table for you!"

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