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Song Stories

“Natural Mystic”

Bob Marley and the Wailers | 1977

Recorded in exile in London following Bob Marley's recovery from the attempt made on his life, "Natural Mystic" leads off his comeback album, Exodus, with a track that made lyrical reference to the catastrophic event. As for the song's melody, the band had been kicking around its strictly roots riff for quite some time, according to Wailers bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett. "That’s why it still stands up today, because it’s outstanding," he said. "Natural Mystic" not only set the tone for one of Marley's grestest works, but also its title phrase earned Marley, already called Nesta and Tuff Gong, yet another nickname.

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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