Our top 10 Ziggy Marley songs list looks at the catalog of a Jamaican musician who has proved that talent is almost genetically inheritable. Born in 1968, Ziggy Marley is the son of legendary reggae pioneer Bob Marley and former I-Threes member Rita Marley. Without a doubt, Ziggy Marley had more than enough inspiration to become a singer. In some way, his music career feels like a continuation of a family generation of reggae artists. Ziggy Marley hesitated not in showcasing what he had to offer in the music scene, having him perform alongside his classmates as The Seven Do Bees.
Everyone needs a supportive parent, and Bob Marley was nothing less than a pillar to Ziggy Marley’s musical career. Bob Marley appeared on stage with the then ten-year-old Ziggy Marley and his brother Stephen Marley during one of his biggest concerts. A year later, Ziggy Marley joined hands with his brother Stephen Marley and two sisters Cedella Marley and Sharon Marley to form The Melody Makers, a family reggae band. The debut release for the band was “Children Playing in the Streets,” a song Bob Marley had penned for them earlier.
Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers made a fortune with their debut single. However, it was more than just making money for the young family band. The band gave royalties obtained from the song to the United Nations as an aid for the International Year of the Child. Soon the band started making appearances alongside their dad on stage. However, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers faced one of their toughest moments in life after their father and inspiration Bob Marley succumbed to illness in 1981. Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley made an emotional performance during their dad’s funeral.
Soon after the burial, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers hit the studio to release the single “What A Plot.” Ziggy linked up with The Wailers, whom he performed with in place of the late Bob Marley. These are the elements that made Ziggy Marley who he became and is currently. With The Melody Makers, Ziggy Marley achieved some success, including Grammy Awards, before the group disbanded later in 2002.
A solo career would start almost imminently for Ziggy Marley, having him release his debut album Dragonfly in 2003. The album saw Ziggy Marley collaborate with John Frusciante and Flea, both members of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. A sophomore solo album, Love is My Religion (2006), gifted him a Grammy Award for the Best Reggae Album in 2007. His brother Stephen Marley had his moment of glory after bagging the same award the following year, thanks to his debut album Mind Control (2007).
Ziggy Marley went on to release his third studio album Family Time (2009). The album won him a Grammy Award for the Best Musical Album for Children. Family Time (2009) featured several family members and close friends, including Cedella Marley, Rita Marley, Toots Hibbert, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Jack Jackson. A fourth studio album, Wild and Free (2011), would soon follow. Again, Ziggy Marley’s love for children saw him release the song “I Love You Too,” which would have him receive a Daytime Emmy Award. He also penned a children’s book under the same title.
More successful days followed Ziggy Marley having him receive a Grammy Award for the Best Reggae Album with his fifth solo album Fly Rasta (2014). He would soon release an eponymous album in 2016 whose success was not as much as other releases. Ziggy Marley rejuvenated his musical career with Rebellion Rises (2018), a relevant album to many people’s social and political surroundings. His most recent work is the album More Family Time (2020), featuring reputable guest artists such as Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Busta Rhymes, Tom Morello, Alanis Morissette, and Lisa Loeb.
#10- Wild and Free
Ushering us to the top 10 Ziggy Marley songs is the hit “Wild and Free.” The song is featured on Ziggy Marley’s fourth solo studio album, which topped the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart in 2011. “Wild and Free” was penned to support California’s Proposition 19. The song primarily supported the need to have the use of recreational marijuana legitimized. However, the psychological and psychoactive effects of the drug led to the failure of the proposed legislation. Actor Woody Harrelson was featured on the song owing to his support for the legalization of hemp and marijuana.
#9 – Roads Less Traveled
“Roads Less Traveled” is also a great song from the album Wild and Free (2011). The song finds Ziggy Marley singing about how he chose a different path compared to Bob Marley, his father, and the family. He revealed in an interview that the song alludes to how he has taken his music industry as a personal journey. The song motivates its listeners not to worry about having a different perspective about life from those close to you.
#8 – Drive
When The Cars released the ballad “Drive,” they possibly didn’t know this would become one of their greatest songs. “Drive” climbed the charts to a peak position of number three on the Billboard Hot 100, which is by far, The Cars’ best performance on this chart. Ziggy Marley took on this song thanks to the heartfelt songwriting by Ric Ocasek of The Cars. The song alludes to an emotionally troubled soul. While Ziggy Marley’s version didn’t perform great on the charts like the original version, it remains worth mentioning in the top 10 Ziggy Marley songs.
#7 – Dragonfly
“Dragonfly” is the album-titled hit of Ziggy Marley’s debut album released in 2003. The upbeat reggae song finds Ziggy Marley highlighting how the human race has been the most destructive beings to the ecosystem. Ziggy Marley uses his music to pass on the message of the need to act better and wise when interacting with the environment. The song points to avoiding a self-centered perspective and considering how our actions impact other creatures in the environment.
#6 – Forward to Love
Number six on our top 10 Ziggy Marley songs is the hit “Forward to Love.” The song is featured on the album Wild and Free (2011). While most of the songs in the album were based on the themes of revolution and change, “Forward to Love” went on a slightly different path. The song is inspired by Ziggy Marley’s wife, Orly. Ziggy Marley revealed that he featured the song “Forward to Love” in the album owing to our need for personal revolution and change before chasing social revolutions.
#5 – Beach in Hawaii
Played over forty million times on Spotify is the song “Beach in Hawaii,” from Ziggy Marley’s album Love is My Religion (2006). The song takes Ziggy Marley back to his family tradition of visiting the beach of Hawaii and his love for the island state. “Beach in Hawaii” was a massive song having it designated as the best state song for Hawaii. In addition, you ought to love the song’s delivery, from the catchy instrumental tune to Ziggy Marley’s awe-inspiring and powerful vocals that resemble Bob Marley’s.
#4 – Personal Revolution
We ought to celebrate the impact Ziggy Marley made with his songs, especially “Personal Revolution.” While many of his songs are more of an observational eye to the social and political structure, Ziggy Marley’s “Personal Revolution” takes on a more personal path. With the song, this avid reggae artist channeled his belief in individual change, which should always precede any social, cultural, and political change for success to be realized. In other words, Ziggy Marley believed that change starts from within.
#3 – See Dem Fake Leaders
“See Dem Fake Leaders” is a song from Ziggy Marley’s seventh solo studio album Rebellion Rises (2018). The song finds Ziggy Marley replicating the legacy with “Get Up, Stand Up” by his father, Bob Marley. In the song, he expresses his hope for a peaceful world full of prosperity, especially for the less privileged. Ziggy is quick to point a finger of blame at the fake leaders without fear.
#2 – Love is My Religion
While Ziggy Marley might have taken a different path in life, as showcased in “Road Less Traveled,” he barely went far from the spiritual message his father gave. The song allows Ziggy Marley to appear as the most noticeable of Bob Marley’s offspring. Amazingly, the song’s title (also the title of his album) was coined after he responded to a lady who questioned his religion of choice. The album went on to win a Grammy Award for the Best Reggae Album.
#1 – True to Myself
Number one on our top 10 Ziggy Marley songs list is the song “True to Myself.” The song is featured on his debut album, Dragonfly (2003). Ziggy Marley calls upon everyone to be true to oneself since you are the only one who can make you happy. In addition, the song showcases how little choices can impact your life. In a nutshell, the song sends a message to its listeners, reminding them that happiness comes from within and it is a choice we all have to make.
Feature Photo; Jay West, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Ziggy Marley Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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