01. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Legend
I’ve long argued that Bob Marley’s Legend compilation should be included in every hotel room — y’know, like that book about god and stuff? Whereas one teaches virtues, morals, and faith, the other is just a plain ol’ book. Jokes aside, Legend continues to influence any soul looking for the sun when the skies fail them. It’s an aural relaxer, like six shots of rum, a mixed cocktail of Busiprone and Xanax, or a warm bath aboard a cold beer. “Shocker”: Since its 1984 release, the album remains one of the longest running successes on the Billboard charts — 992 non-consecutive weeks, to be exact — having only been surpassed by Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Of course, the late Jamaican legend’s contributions to this world far outweigh any album, song, book, or film, but Legend still feels like the appropriate go-to artifact anytime someone mutters, “Marley…” Blame it on the iconic album cover, which seemingly captures everything about the man in one snapshot, or the string of must-have hits that comfort the soul over its 51 minutes, but Legend is tangible evidence that spirits do exist in music. And to think, reggae musicians have been trying to catch up and work around it for years. No need to, bro. –Michael Roffman