month of 70’s GPM: i can see clearly now (johnny nash)

reggae, meet wreke. wreke, meet reggae.

love at first sight.

in 1972, plenty of americans had no earthly idea what reggae music was. pity, too, because this was a great time to hear bob marley and the wailers (before they split and then marley formed bob marley & the wailers. no, i don’t make this up.)  but american johnny nash was well aware of it, as he spent a ton of time in jamaica and knew marley, tosh, and others. in fact, several songs on the album from which i can see clearly now comes from are written by marley, including stir it up, which was first a hit for nash and NOT for marley.

but not i can see clearly now.

in an era where a lot of the pop was downer city, johnny nash’s bright, uptempo single simply shined. other 1972 hits were completely sad or very restrained — everything from alone again, naturally (a playful ditty about offing yourself) to the re-release of nights in white satin (okay, you got me on what this one’s about… but it’s very somber and takes itself waaaaay too seriously.) how couldn’t it shine with this sort of company?

it still shines, i think; and on days when i’m feeling especially sour, i listen to it in hopes that things will look up soon. (of course, that gets me nowhere during periods like this past fall, but it’s pretty to think it will work.)

anyway, it would be a few years before any sort of reggae would capture any bit of the american ear. (no, i don’t count clapton’s version of i shot the sheriff, which i loathe.) i know it seemed like love at first sight when i heard bob marley’s kind of music. i loved it so much, i asked for it to be played while i was in labor with BC. i thought listening to the wailers would keep me from needing pain meds. (seriously. delusional.)

but that music and i had met before. via johnny nash.

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One Response to “month of 70’s GPM: i can see clearly now (johnny nash)”

  1. This was another fave of the momma!

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