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Music / Confrontation

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We free the people with music, sweet music.

Confrontation released in 1983, is the thirteenth and final album by Bob Marley.

The last project he worked on before his death, it was ultimately released posthumously just two years after he passed away. Many songs were built up from demos, with vocals from his backing choir, the I-Threes, added afterwards. As a result the music lacks his general vision and is generally seen as his least interesting album. Still it did generate the international hit "Buffalo Soldier".



Side One

  1. "Chant Down Babylon" (2:36)
  2. "Buffalo Soldier" (4:17)
  3. "Jump Nyabinghi" (3:44)
  4. "Mix Up, Mix Up" (5:02)
  5. "Give Thanks & Praises" (3:16)

Side Two

  1. "Blackman Redemption" (3:33)
  2. "Trench Town" (3:12)
  3. "Stiff Necked Fools" (3:25)
  4. "I Know" (3:21)
  5. "Rastaman Live Up!" (5:26)

Buffalo Tropes

  • Alliterative Title: "Trench Town" and "Mix Up, Mix Up"
  • As the Good Book Says...:
    • "Stiff Necked Fools" references to characters from the Bible.
    • "Jump Nyabinghi"
    Huh, it remind I of the days in Jericho,
    When we troddin' down Jericho walls
    These are the days when we'll trod t'rough Babylon, (na-na, na-na)
    Gonna trod until Babylon falls.
    • "Give Thanks & Praises"
    Noah had three sons, Ham, Shem and Japhet (Ham, Shem and Japhet)
    And in Ham is known to be the Prophet
    • "Rastaman Live Up!"
    David slew Goliath with a sling and a stone
    Samson slew the Philistines with a donkey jawbone
    • "Blackman Redemption"
    Coming from the root of King David
    Through to the line of Solomon
    His Imperial Majesty is the Power of Authority
    Spread out, spread out
    (...) And they fallen in confusion, well-a just a step from Babel Tower
  • Crapsack World: "Chant Down Babylon" and "Trench Town" sing of music as a way to fight our every day troubles.
  • "Days of the Week" Song: "Mix Up, Mix Up"
    They're so much stumbling blocks right in-a our way
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
    There's so much wanting, so much gaining, so much have done
  • Design Student's Orgasm: Bob Marley seen fighting a dragon, representing Babylon note .
  • Advertisement:
  • The Dragonslayer: Bob is depicted this way on the cover.
  • Dread Lock Warrior and Dread Lock Rasta:
    Buffalo soldier, dreadlock rasta!
    • "Rastaman Live Up!"
    Grow your dreadlock
    Don't be afraid of the wolfpack!
    Rastaman live up!
  • Face on the Cover: Marley as a knight.
  • God-Is-Love Songs: "Give Thanks & Praises"
    Give thanks and praises to the Most-I (Jah!)
    Give thanks and praises so high (so high)
    He will not deceive us my brethren
    He will only lead us again (again)
  • Grand Finale : Bob specified in his will that his family release the 1975 recording "I Know" as a single immediately after his death in 1981, which they did. However, due to his family's huge debt, it was far from the last single they released (and ironically, it was actually the 1984 release of a cover song, "One Love [People Get Ready]" that finally got him worldwide recognition). "I Know" appeared on Confrontation two years later.
  • Humans Are Bastards: "Chant Down Babylon"
    Men see their dreams and aspiration-a
    Crumble in front of their face
    And all of their wicked intention to destroy the human race
  • I Just Want to Be Free: "Trench Town"
    Up a cane river to wash my dread
    Upon a rock I rest my head
    There I vision through the seas of oppression, oh-oo-wo!
    Don't make my life a prison
  • Location Song: "Trenchtown", which describes the poverty and misery of the slums, but also how people keep their spirits high with music. In that regard it's a Spiritual Successor to the 1971 Wailers single "Trenchtown Rock", which was recorded solo for Marley's Live album Live.
  • Made a Slave: "Buffalo Soldier"
    And he was taken from Africa, brought to America
    Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
  • Non-Appearing Title: The album title doesn't appear in the lyrics.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Jump Nyabinghi"
    We got the herb! (got it!)
    We got the herb! (got it!)
    We got the herb! (got it!)
  • One-Word Title: "Confrontation".
  • Pep-Talk Song:
    • "Jump Nyabinghi"
    Love to see when ya groove with the riddim,
    'Cause I love to when you're dancing from within!
    It gives great joy to see such sweet togetherness,
    'Cause everyone's doin' and they're doing their best.
    • "I Know"
    Many a time I sit and wonder why
    This race so - so very hard to run,
    Then I say to my soul: take courage,
    Battle to be won,
    Like a ship that's tossed and driven,
    Battered by the angry sea, yea-eah!
    Say the tide of time was raging
    Don't let the fury fall on me, no, no!
    • "Rastaman Live Up!"
    Rastaman live up, rastaman don't give up!
  • Posthumous Collaboration: Some songs were demos, which have been cleaned up a bit by adding overdubs and the I-Threes background singing to it. Marley had intended the title "Confrontation" for his next album, had he lived, and it thematically followed "Survival" and "Uprising" as a trilogy.
  • The Power of Rock:
    • "Chant Down Babylon"
    And how I know - and how I know
    A reggae music, make we chant down Babylon
    With music, make we chant down Babylon
    This music, make we chant down Babylon
    • "Mix Up, Mix Up"
    Hey, Mr. Music, why don't you wanna play?
    Don't you know today is a bright holiday, yeah! Holiday!
    Some people waiting for the message that you bring
    They listening to every word that you'll sing
    • "Trench Town"
    We free the people with music, sweet music
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Buffalo Soldier" refers to the black U.S. cavalry regiments, known as "buffalo soldiers", who fought in the Indian Wars after 1866.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Stiff Necked Fools"
    Stiff-necked fools, you think you are cool
    To deny me for simplicity.
    Yes, you have gone for so long
    With your love for vanity now.
    Yes, you have got the wrong interpretation
    Mixed up with vain imagination.
  • Record Producer: Bob Marley, Rita Marley and Errol Brown
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Stiff Necked Fools" reuses some of the lyrics from an at-the-time unreleased Bob Marley & The Wailers song from 1969, "Wisdom", which was also recorded in 1981 by Peter Tosh on his album "Wanted Dread And Alive" under the title "Fools Die". "Wisdom" was released by Trojan Records after Marley's death and is regarded as one of his best early songs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cool Runnings: The film title is inspired by the song "Cool Runnings" by ex-Wailer Bunny Wailer, which in turn was taken from a phrase from "Blackman Redemption"
    Youth and youth agree to
    Cool runnings, can you dig it?
    Cool runnings: yeah, one more time! A beg-ya!
    Cool runnings, can you stop it?
    Cool runnings: spread out, spread out, spread out, spread out!
    • The Fugees refer to "Buffalo Soldier" in the lyrics of their song "Ready Or Not" from their album The Score (1996).
    • South Park: In "Medicinal Fried Chicken", after Randy gets free marihuana on a doctor's prescription he walks out while singing "Buffalo Soldier".