ob Marley was one of the most prolific artists of his generation. At the time of his death at age 36, in 1981, he had released 15 albums and written some of the most widely recognizable songs of all time.
Although true fans can probably sing many of Marley's songs verbatim, most probably don't know the surprising story behind one of his biggest hits.
"No Woman, No Cry" was released in 1974.
It was originally included on the studio album Natty Dread, along with other well-known tracks like “Rebel Music (3 O’clock Roadblock)” and “Revolution.”
The best-known version of the song, though, was released in 1975 on the album Live!
There's a fairly big difference between the live version and the studio one.
For one thing, the studio recording has a faster tempo, which seems to take away some of the power of the lyrics.
The live recording is significantly slowed down, with each word holding much greater weight.
"No Woman, No Cry" has been covered by a wide variety of artists.
The Fugees released their famous version on the album The Score in 1996.
Their cover features Wyclef Jean on lead vocals and has several lyrical changes.
For example, where Marley sang “in a government yard in Trenchtown,” Jean instead sang “in a government yard in Brooklyn.”
At the beginning, Jean dedicates the song to "all the refugees worldwide."
The Fugees also released an official remix on their album Bootleg Versions, which featured Marley’s son, musician Stephen Marley.
Wyclef also recorded a solo version of “No Woman, No Cry” for his Greatest Hits compilation released in 2003.
The official writer listed is someone unknown in the music industry.
Vincent Ford is named as the songwriter on both Marley’s live album and Natty Dread.
But who is this mystery man?