Bob Marley & the Wailers – “Buffalo Soldier” b/w “Buffalo Dub” (IS 108) (1983)


(Columbus, Ohio) – Holding court at Larry’s Bar on High Street, OSU campus hipster Zack Tascione has labelled the playing and enjoyment of Bob Marley’s music by members of OSU’s fraternities and sororities “ironic.”

“All those frat dicks getting wasted, acting like assholes and basically obnoxiously partying to music conceived as both balm and inspiration to Kingston, JA’s ghetto ‘sufferahs’ is the very definition of ‘situational irony’,” the former employee of Johnny Go’s House o’ Music announced. “And I’d say, yeah, with all that date raping going on, ‘No Woman, No Cry’ specifically is a good example of ‘dramatic irony’.”

Nodding in assent, Tascione’s hipster friends concurred with his ironic assessment of the situation on 15th Street’s Greek Row as well as its mocking tone. “It might bother me less,” said Carrie Wells, manager at Singin’ Dog Records, “if they at least listened to anything other than fucking Legend.” All those present agreed that the Wailers recordings with Lee “Scratch” Perry were better than the later “over-commercialized” Island material.

“Except the un-dubbed ‘Unreleased Original Jamaican Versions’ of Catch a Fire as issued on the 2001 2-CD Deluxe Edition,” pointed out Bobby Durensis, a work colleague of Wells’.

Members of the party conceded that it might be “cosmically ironic” for Marley himself that his image finds such favor with those whose families were more likely to oppress people of color. However, the “irony of fate” was better expressed by the sharp contrast between the grim humiliations of Rush Week and the dignified human ideals expressed by Marley’s music, as if the very gods themselves were being poignantly contrary.

Based on his keen ‘big picture’ observations of the ironic relationship between Marley and the fraternity system, there seems little doubt that Tascione, who has paid up to $75 for original JA Upsetter 7″ pressings (“Music from Jamdown is best experienced seven inches at a time”), is able to appreciate the music of the reggae superstar on a far, far deeper level than his Greek system counterparts. Nonetheless, as of press time, and after several Manhattans and much banter, he and his group could find no examples of verbal irony therein.

Woy yo yo

Editor’s Note: much has been made between the above song and the theme to Banana Splits; differences are minimal. I picked this up mainly for the trippy dub, which I’m not sure has been re-issued. 

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 10:06 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. bob marley – the “uncle tom” of reggae ha ha! i personally like some of his “over commercialised” stuff and would rather listen to that than the earlier roots recordings, but then again a: i’m not a reggae purist, and b: i’m an english whitey from a middle-class background…

  2. I’m a reformed snob. Having previously dismissed the mid/late 70s material, I’ve come around and enjoy most of it as much or more than the Upsetter singles.

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