Wild Belle's Natalie Bergman: Five Essential Bob Marley Songs

Wild Belle's Natalie and Elliot Bergman (courtesy of Sony Music, PR)

Image Caption: Wild Belle's Natalie and Elliot Bergman (courtesy of Sony Music, PR)
by Kara Manning | 09/22/2022 | 9:58am

Back in December, Chicago siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle played a dream gig: they DJ'd a party for Island Records founder Chris Blackwell on his Jamaican estate. For a duo that counts Bob Marley as a vital influence, the privilege of playing for Blackwell, who signed the reggae legend to his label, wasn't lost on the Bergmans. Reggae, Afrobeat and dancehall is at the heart of Wild Belle's songwriting.

Wild Belle's sophomore album Dreamland, released in April, was named after a Bunny Wailer song from 1970, notably sung by Della Humphrey. Although Dreamland might have been recorded in the Bergmans' hometown of snowy Chicago (with a Venice, California, woodshedding sojourn tossed in), its sound and spirit is firmly planted in the sunny climes of Jamaica.

Wild Belle's keen appreciation of reggae music of the '60s and '70s, especially the releases of Bob Marley and the Wailers, is reflected in Natalie Bergman's thoughtful, esoteric choices for her Five Essential Bob Marley Songs for our FUV Essentials week honoring this great artist.

Wild Belle's Natalie Bergman: Five Essential Bob Marley Songs:

"Send Me That Love," 1971, Keep On Moving: Trilogy compilation and Jamaican Summer Collection
This is my favorite deep cut. It truly cuts me deep. Bob Marley’s wailing and crying haunts you. Produced by Lee Perry, you really get that signature raunchy “Scratch” sound. This song makes me cry every time I hear it.

"Thank You Lord," single
Many mornings I wake up singing this song: “Thank you Lord for what you’ve done for me. Thank you Lord for what you’re doing now. Thank you Lord for every little thing. Thank you Lord for you make me sing.” I wouldn’t be the musician that I am without God, and without Bob Marley.

"Caution," 1971, Songs of Freedom compilation, Jamaica Joint Jump, and Best of the Wailers
"Caution" is one of my all time favorites. It’s such a rebellious song. It’s like watching a thriller. Marley always finds a way of inviting you along for the ride, whether it’s slow lovers rock or fast rebel music, he always takes you there.

"Hammer," approx. 1968, Jamaica Joint Jump and Songs of Freedom compilations
I love all of the early Marley recordings. I had the Jamaica Joint Jump album and I listened to it every day for years. Some people don’t know that much about those early soul songs. He has so many hidden gems.

"How Many Times (Do You Remember)," Jamaican Storm compilation (1982)
This is a classic doo-wop ballad. This was like the Sam Cooke era of music—sweet love songs crying “baby come back to me."

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