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Music / Kaya (Bob Marley Album)

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We'll share the shelter of my single bed.

Kaya is a 1978 album by Bob Marley, the tenth in his catalogue. It was a surprising New Sound Album in the sense that most of the songs are devoid of Bob's usual Protest Song material (the last three are political, however). The Lighter and Softer approach is not only heard in the lyrics, which are mostly about love, but the sound is also more laidback. "Is This Love" was the first and only song for which Marley made an official Music Video, which shows him dancing and playing with a group of young children in the streets of London. This song, "Satisfy My Soul" and "Sun Is Shining" all became hits.



Side One

  1. "Easy Skanking" (2:58)
  2. "Kaya" (3:15)
  3. "Is This Love" (3:52)
  4. "Sun Is Shining" (4:58)
  5. "Satisfy My Soul" (4:31)

Side Two

  1. "She's Gone" (2:25)
  2. "Misty Morning" (3:32)
  3. "Crisis" (3:54)
  4. "Running Away" (4:15)
  5. "Time Will Tell" (3:25)

The CD reissue adds "Smile Jamaica" as a bonus track.

For the Japanese pop singer, see Kaya.

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  • Alliterative Title: "Sun Is Shining", "Satisfy My Soul" and "Misty Morning"
  • Break Up Song: "She's Gone", in which Marley since about his woman who has left him. In "Misty Morning" he also sings: "I know you're out there somewhere having fun."
  • Continuity Nod: It was probably unintentional, but in "Sun Is Shining" Marley sings about the glory of the sun, while the first lines of "Crisis" are:
    They say the sun shines for all
    But in some people's world, it never shine at all
    • There is definitely something like this going on because "Misty Morning" notes the lack of sun, "Kaya" notes falling rain. Worth noting though that both "Sun Is Shining" and "Kaya" were originally recorded in 1970 or 1971.
      • There's a lyrical and musical relationship in the last three songs, "Crisis", "Running Away" and "Time Will Tell". They are essentially all saying that those who do bad deeds deserve to be punished, but in the meantime you can just relax, praise jah and make love.
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  • Crapsack World: "Time Will Tell"
    Think you're in heaven, but ya living in hell
  • Cut Song: "Mix Up Mix Up", which ended up on Confrontation, was a jam from the Kaya period that was heavily edited down.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The black-and-white cover.
  • Distinct Double Album: 'Exodus' and 'Kaya' were recorded in the same sessions though released a year apart, with Exodus receiving the majority of protest songs and Kaya the majority of love songs. In addition, Kaya's production values were generally moe stripped down and laidback in comparison to the horn-heavy mixes of Exodus (although not exclusively - an Exodus track like "Turn Your Lights Down Low" has exactly the same production style as Kaya).
  • Face on the Cover: A close-up of Bob's smiling face.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The end of "Satisfy My Soul" fades out, then suddenly fades back in again with a Last Note Nightmare tone.
    • This is actually a recording mistake, the tone that plays well after the song has faded out is actually an indicator by the tape player to tell the user that the side of the tape is finished and they should flip it to hear Side B or rewind it (indeed, "Satisfy My Soul" is the last song on the "Side A" part of the album).
  • Fugitive Arc: "Running Away"
    You're running and running and running away
    But you can't run away from yourself
  • God-Is-Love Songs:
    • "Is This Love?"
    We'll share the same room, yeah, for Jah provide the bread
    • "Crisis"
    But no matter what the crisis is
    Oh no, oh no, no, no, what the crisis is
    Doin' it, doin' it, doin' your thing!
    Give Jah all the thanks and praises!
    Givin' it, givin' it, givin' it, givin' it
    Give Jah all the thanks and praises!
    • "Time Will Tell"
    Jah would never give the power to a baldhead
  • Heavy Meta: "Misty Morning"
    One of my good friend said, in a reggae riddim
    Don't jump in the water, if you can't swim
  • Humans Are Bastards: "Crisis"
    So - so - so much have been said, so little (been done) been done
    They still killin' - killin' the people
    And they - and they havin' (havin' their fun) - havin'-a - havin'-a lots of fun -
    Killin' the people, oo-yoo! - (havin' fun) havin' their fun!
    They just want to be the leader
    In the 'ouse of the risin' sun.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: "She's Gone"
    She had left me a note hanging on my door
    She say she couldn't take it, she couldn't take any more.
    The pressure around me - just couldn't see;
    She felt like a prisoner who needs to be free.
    Fools have tried, yeah - wisemen have failed:
    Oh, listen to me, honey: life could never be another jail.
  • Lighter and Softer: Several songs are about relaxing ("Sun Is Shining"), often with marijuana present ("Easy Skanking", "Kaya", "Time Will Tell") and/or Silly Love Songs ("Is This Love", "Satisfy My Soul"). This caused quite some criticism from fans who liked Bob as a protest singer and felt he had "gone downmarket". Marley's next studio album, however, Survival (1979) would be his most politically militant record ever.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Time Will Tell" has a very relaxing atmosphere, but has this as a refrain:
    Think you're in heaven, but ya living in hell
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Sun Is Shining", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Ode to Intoxication and Smoking Is Cool:
    • "Easy Skanking"
    Excuse me while I light my spliff
    Good God, I gotta take a lift
    From reality I just can't drift
    That's why I am staying with this riff
    (...) Herb for my wine
    • "Kaya"
    Got to have kaya now
    For the rain is falling
    I'm so high, I even touch the sky above the falling rain
  • One-Word Title: "Kaya" and "Crisis".
  • Questioning Title?: "Is This Love?"
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Crisis"
    But no matter what the crisis is, no matter what the crisis is
    Doin' it, doin' it, doin' your thing
    Give Jah all the thanks and praises
  • The Power of Love:
    • "Is This Love"
    I wanna love you and treat you right
    I wanna love you every day and every night
    We'll be together with a roof right over our heads
    We'll share the shelter of my single bed
    • "Satisfy My Soul"
    When I meet you around the corner
    Oh, I said: "Baby, never let me be a loner."
    And then you hold me tight, you make me feel all right
    Yes, when you hold me tight, you made me feel all right
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "Satisfy My Soul [Don't Rock My Boat], "Kaya" and "Sun Is Shining" are re-recorded versions of songs Marley already released on an earlier album "Soul Revolution Part II". In fact, Bob's bassist since the late 60s, Aston 'Family Man' Barrett even said he felt Kaya was a remake of "Soul Revolution" (The group had also recorded a version of "Keep On Moving" during this period (released posthumously) and had previously remade "Duppy Conqueror" and "Put It On" for Burnin' as well as remaking "Stand Alone" as "There You Are" for Marcia Velez several years before).
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Crisis" references the song "House Of The Rising Sun", best known in the hit version of The Animals:
    Killin' the people, oo-yoo! - (havin' fun) havin' their fun!
    They just want to be the leader
    In the 'ouse of the risin' sun.
    • Lyrics from "Is This Love" have been referenced in Bon Jovi's song "Lay Your Hands On Me" note  and "Stay The Night" note  by James Blunt.
    • "Sun Is Shining" was remixed into a dance song in 1999 by a group called Funkstar De Luxe, which became a Top 5 hit worldwide and a much bigger chart hit than the original ever was.
  • Take That!: "Running Away" is a take that at people who accused Bob of "Running Away" from Jamaica after his attempted assassination in 1976. There are hints at his belief that the government were out to get him and that's why he wasn't going back. This is often forgotten with the laidback mood of the song, in which lines like "You must have done something you don't want nobody to know about" could be interpreted as some kind of kinky fetish lyric.
  • Title Track: "Kaya"
    I got to have kaya now
  • Young Future Famous People: In a music video released to promote "Is This Love" one of the children singing and dancing with Bob is a seven year old Naomi Campbell. Yes, the later famous supermodel!