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

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

How the delightful romantic melody "Is This Love" was born

"Is This Love" is a world famous reggae love song that has become one of the biggest hits Bob Marley and "The Wailers". She saw the light in 1978 year, as part of their tenth studio album Kaya. After the death of the performer, she entered the posthumous collection "Legend" One of the most successful reggae albums of all time. Upon its release, "Is This Love" entered the UK Top 10 and subsequently served as an inspiration for many artists including Scott Matthews, Adam Lambert, Rihanna and others. A live performance of these beautiful lyrics 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

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

Cindy Breakspear
Cindy Breakspear

Breakspear 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 reliability of the version regarding the true source of inspiration for "Is This Love".

The track has an incendiary melody, which is why it quickly became a hit in the late 1970s! In the text, Marley reveals his soul, emphasizing 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 for two, but you will be warm and comfortable. When the album Kaya came out, many reviewers noted that the performer became rather bland and sentimental in his lyrics. Nevertheless, Bob felt great at that time, and this song perfectly reflected his mood!

Great deep message

Redemption Song: The Story of Bob Marley's Eternal Hymn
Bob Marley

Given the lyrics, better titles for "Is This Love" could not be imagined. In the song, Marley eloquently talks about his feelings for the woman he is in love with. The singer declares that he wants to treat her right, share his modest shelter with her, spend time, provide for her. He is ready, and most importantly, able to make her happy! In the chorus, Marley asks: "This is Love?" The answer is obvious. He is clearly in love, but seems to hesitate. He is afraid to confess to his beloved in his bright feelings and be rejected.

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

This composition really shows how Marley's art transcends genres. I wonder how this song would sound without percussion and only with acoustic guitar? Most likely, it would have made a great soft rock melody. Music for "Is This Love?" so good that it can be rearranged in so many different directions and it will still be a great song for all time!

Music video

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

The clip was uploaded to YouTube in March 2017 and as of 2021 has scored 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 events. Consider the most successful and interesting versions.
In the early 80s the group "Pat Travers" presented her cover of Marley's romantic anthem, which was included in their album "Crash and Burn".

Version Scott Matthews entered the album Elsewhere 2009 as a bonus track.

British singer Corinne Bailey Ray included her own version of "Is This Love?" in the 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 the audience a gift during her tour Good Girl Gone Bad.

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

Influence on pop culture

Bob Marley's 75th Celebration Continues with Freedom Songs CD, Vinyl
Bob Marley at one of the concerts

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

In his book "Marley and Me" writer and journalist John Grogan claims that he and his wife came up with the name for their dog while listening to this particular song! Although in the film of the same name, based on the book, the history of the origin of the name will be slightly redone (at the moment of insight, the no less famous One Love).

Song Lay Your Hands on Me groups "Bon Jovi" begins with the words "If you are ready, then I can and I want, / Help me, put my cards on the table." This is very reminiscent of the lyrics of "Is This Love?": "I have both the opportunity and the desire, / So I'll show you all the cards!"

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