I was introduced to Bob Marley through the 'Legend' compilation of his top 40 hits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_(Bob_Marley_%26_The_Wailers_album) - and though it contains some brilliant tracks, it somehow seemed twee and irritating as it was played approximately 47 times on the coach on a school wind band trip to Austria (you had to be there, I suppose).
Many years later, though, I'd come across the truly wonderful 'Roots of Reggae Vol. 3' compilation
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roots-Reggae-Vol-3-Various/dp/B00000ARCI - which will no doubt be the subject of a future post - which showed that early reggae was, well, just sublime - fun and uplifting in the way that nearly all my favourite music of the late 80s and 90s wasn't.
So when I moved into a new flat and discovered that someone had left a whole box set of Bob Marley and the Wailers, I fell upon it with some anticipation. I wasn't disappointed, though I only recently learnt that my favourite album, Confrontation, was released posthumously with a bunch of overdubbing and remixing (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confrontation_(Bob_Marley_%26_The_Wailers_album).
It's a classic album in its entirety - uplifting, inspired, political, and about liberation.
Two tracks set the tone (and should link to a whole album youtube playlist - with the added bonus that they feature the colourful, wacky, and oddly symbolic cover art of Bob with big dreads in rasta colours slaying a purple dragon)...
'Jump Nyabinghi'. Google Nyabinghi and you're straight into the fascinating world of Rastafarianism - it's a drum, a goddess, a ceremony, a spriritually posessed woman, black victory, and death to the white oppressor, all in one. Anyway, it's a great song:
Biblical/rastafrian references abound, and in another favourite, 'Chant Down Bablyon', the theme is again the destruction of 'Babylon'.
All the lyrics are worth a read - http://www.angelfire.com/fm/reggae/confro.htm - or better still, a listen.