Monday, June 26, 2006

Boston Globe Reviews Exodus (June 26, 2006)

...Taking a deep left turn now, we head into the territory of "The Book
of Exodus," Vivien Goldman's exegesis of the 1977 Bob Marley album.
Bass lines boom, Bibles are brandished, and apocalyptic clouds of
marijuana-smoke cover the land. Marley and his Wailers recorded
"Exodus" in London after a botched attempt on his life caused him to
quit his native Jamaica, and Goldman explores with great care the
personal and political context in which the music was made.

She also plunges into the perennial meaning of "Exodus" itself,
talking to rabbis in London, Islamic professors in New York City, and
Rastafarian wise men in Kingston, Jamaica. She talks to the family of
Ernest Gold, who wrote the theme to Otto Preminger's movie "Exodus,"
the piano motif of which was incorporated by Marley into the title
track of his album. She does her homework, in short, and the result is
a stimulating and atmospheric hybrid of a book, in which the spirit of
Marley only four years from death but doing the dance "that seemed as
if he was juggling a soccer ball with his knees"is strong.

- James Parker

Friday, May 19, 2006

Publisher's Weekly on Exodus (May 2006)

In this dense but well-written work, veteran journalist Goldman
examines the cultural, political and violent roots of Bob Marley's
classic record Exodus.
Goldman is undeniably as intrepid and insightful as music journalists
come and this effort clearly required every ounce of her talent. In setting the
stage for what would become Marley's masterpiece, she reached beyond the Exodus
sessions themselves into the early history of Marley and the Wailers, into the
hornet's nest of Jamaican politics and the island's international history and
African history, as well as the mystical, often contradictory, tenets of
It is all necessary background for what made Marley both the searing
performer he was and the iconic figure he would become?a fame that would nearly
kill him. Just days before a planned free concert in 1976, Marley, his wife,
Rita, and Don Taylor were wounded by gunmen, forcing Marley to flee to
London, where Exodus was recorded.
This is no pop music hagiography but a brimming, tightly
constructed examination not just of Marley's life and music but of
human nature itself and the struggle for freedom. The more casual fans
of Marley may not follow; those who do will see deeper into the man
and his music thanever before.