Bob Marley + Ramones = Bobby Ramone!

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Submitted by Kara Jayne on Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:27

Bob Marley + Ramones = Bobby Ramone!

Posted 22 Mar 2021
joey ramone, bob marley
L: Joey Ramone (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns/Getty Images). R: Bob Marley (Photo by Gary Merrin/Keystone/Getty Images).

Punk and reggae share a rebellious spirit going back to the '70s, and in the incidence of Bob Marley and the Ramones, there was shared influence of doo-wop and early R&B too. A new Marley/Ramones mash-up makes that apparent in a joyous and irresistible way – we present Bobby Ramone!  

This is genius. Whoever it was that realised that a bunch of classic Bob Marley & The Wailers tunes could work perfectly with Ramones instrumentation; well, they've got some kind of special musical brain!

This goes beyond the normal mash-up, which can be very clever, but for the most part, is just for laughs. This provides plenty of laughs if you know the material but most of it works as great music too.

Lifting music from the first four Ramones albums (plus the orchestrated "Baby I Love You" from their Phil Spector-produced fifth album End of the Century) and rearranging it to suit Marley's vocal melodies not only works, but it highlights a musical connection between the Ramones and Bob Marley that has never been obvious. While punk and reggae have had a clear kinship based on a shared rebellious streak going back to the early Clash covers of Junior Murvin's  "Police & Thieves" and Toots & The Maytels' "Pressure Drop", Bobby Ramone highlights a shared musical influence - doo-wop and early Rock'n'roll/R&B - that was subliminal in much of Marley's music as well as the early Ramones.   

 Who is behind this we don't know yet, but it's been released in France as an album Rocket To Kingston (a play on the title of the classic third Ramones album Rocket to Russia) on vinyl and digital download. Alas, they haven't figured out a way to mash the song titles right (eg "Today One Love, Tomorrow The World" is Marley's "One Love" but has nothing to do with the Ramones' "Today Your Love Tomorrow The World"), but the cover image is a perfect as most of the music. We'll let you know if we find out more about who's behind this, but in the meantime, enjoy five selections of Bobby Marley's punky reggae perfection! 

"Today One Love, Tomorrow The World" ("One Love") 

"Stirring In My Room" ("Stir It Up") 

"Glad To See You Cry" ("No Woman No Cry") 

"Three Little Surfin' Birds" ("Three Little Birds) 

"Kaya Bop" ("Kaya") 

Listen to Ramones on Spotify:

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