Born in Nine Miles, St. Ann, Jamaica, Marley started in ska and gravitated towards reggae, playing, teaching and singing for a long period in the 1970s and 1980s; Marley is perhaps best-known for work with his reggae group The Wailers, the backbone of which were two other celebrated reggae musicians, Bunny Livingstone and Peter Tosh. Much of his early work was produced with Lee Perry, although the pair split in acrimony over the assignment of recording rights.
Marley's work was largely responsible for the mainstream cultural acceptance of reggae music. He signed to Chris Blackwell's Island Records label in 1971, at the time a highly influential and innovative label. Island Records boasted a stable of both successful and diverse artists including, amongst others, such nascent luminaries of the music scene as Genesis, John Martyn and Nick Drake.