Bob Marley released his eighth studio album, Rastaman Vibration, in 1976. The album gave him his first top ten placement on the Billboard 200, and produced his only single to crack the Billboard Hot 100, in ‘Roots, Rock, Reggae.’
Commercial success aside, this is an odd album, split between steely-eyed calls for revolution in the face of injustice and forgettable love songs. Playful synthesizers butt up against hard-edged electric guitars, giving Rastaman Vibration a split personality both lyrically and musically.
In late ’92, Sinead O’Connor performed her most controversial act, performing an a capella version of Bob Marley’s ‘War’ on Saturday Night Live, tying the lyrics to sex abuse in the Catholic Church, and finishing by tearing up a picture of the Pope.
That didn’t go over very well.
SNL was caught by surprise, as O’Connor has shown another picture (of a refugee child) during rehearsals. The network fielded hundreds of complaints and O’Connor became a target for politicians, religious figures and celebrities alike.