Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

Charted: August 9, 1980

Rating: 4.498 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: reggae

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Coming in from the Cold
  2. Real Situation
  3. Bad Card
  4. We and Dem
  5. Work
  6. Zion Train
  7. Pimpers Paradise
  8. Could You Be Loved
  9. Forever Loving Jah
  10. Redemption Song


sales in U.S. only ½ million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 5 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 45
peak on U.K. album chart 6


  • Could You Be Loved (5/80) #5 UK, #56 RB
  • Redemption Song (10/80) --

Notes: The 2001 "Definitive Remaster" version of Uprising contains the band version of "Redemption Song" and the 12" mix of "Could You Be Loved."

Bob Marley & The Wailers
When “Marley collapsed while jogging in New York’s Central Park, cancer was diagnosed” (Elliott). “Less than a year after the release of Uprising, Marley would succumb to” (Planer) it, meaning that “Uprising would be the final studio album featuring Bob Marley & the Wailers to be released during Marley's lifetime” (Planer).

“Prophetically, it also contains some of the band's finest crafted material, as if they were cogent that this would be their final outing. The album's blend of religious and secular themes likewise creates a very powerful and singular quest for spirituality in a material world. Although it is argued that an album's graphic design rarely captures the essence of the work inside, the powerful rebirthing image of a rock solid Marley emerging with his arms raised in triumph could not be a more accurate visual description of the musical jubilation within” (Planer).

“Musically, the somewhat staid rhythms often synonymous with reggae have been completely turned around to include slinky and liquid syncopation. Work, Pimper's Paradise, and the lead-off track Coming in from the Cold are all significant variations on the lolloping Rasta beat. The major difference is the sonic textures that manipulate and fill those patterns. The inventive and unique guitar work of Al Anderson — the only American member of the original Wailers — once again redefines the role of the lead electric guitar outside of its standard rock & roll setting. Zion Train is awash in wah-wah-driven patterns creating an eerie, almost ethereal backdrop against Marley's lyrics, which recollect images from Peter Tosh's ‘Stop That Train’ all the way back on Marley & the Wailers' international debut Catch a Fire” (Planer).

There’s also “the album’s vibrant single Could You Be Loved” (Elliott) and, most notably, Redemption Song, which is “the final track on the original pressing of Uprising” (Planer). “The stark contrast from the decidedly electric and group-oriented album to this hauntingly beautiful solo acoustic composition is as dramatic as it is visionary” (Planer). “Never has an artist unknowingly written such a beautiful and apropos living epitaph” (Planer); “this simple folk song, reminiscent of Bob Dylan, sounds like a farewell: ‘All I ever had…these songs of freedom’” (Elliott).

Review Source(s):
  • Paul Elliott, Q Magazine (7/04). No longer online.
  • Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide

Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: Survival (1979) Bob Marley’s DMDB page Next Album: Confrontation (1983)

Last updated April 6, 2008.