Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley

Front Cover
Macmillan, May 2, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 556 pages
5 Reviews

The classic biography of reggae legend Bob Marley, updated and revised for the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death

Bob Marley left an indelible mark on modern music, both as a reggae pioneer and as an enduring cultural icon. Catch a Fire, now a classic of rock biography, delves into the life of the leader of a musical, spiritual, and political explosion that continues today.

Under the supervision of the author's widow and with the collaboration of a Marley expert, this fourth edition contains a wealth of new material on the Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician , including many revisions made by the author before his untimely death. An appendix to the new edition chronicles Marley's legacy in recent years, as well as the ongoing controversy over the possibility that Marley's remains might be exhumed from Nine Mile, Jamaica, and reburied in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where hundreds of Rastafarians live. The new edition also contains an expanded discography and is factually updated throughout.

"Probably the finest biography ever written about a popular musician." —San Francisco Chronicle

"As close as rock journalism comes to transcendent literature."

"White has a deep appreciation for reggae's immediacy, hypnotic power, and contradictions . . . An exhaustively researched labor of love." —Chicago Sun-Times


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Best biography of this great man around

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Catch A Fire Book Review By Jeremiah Taylor
The Definitive Edition of Catch A Fire: The Life of Bob Marley, written by the Reggae enthusiast Timothy White, delves deep into the roots, of the
roots of Bob Marley, Reggae, and even Rastafarianism. The story travels through Robert “Nesta” Marley’s life from beginning to end, going into great detail on known events and influences in his life in order in this specially revised and updated 25th anniversary edition novel. Nesta’s upbringing is much different than many may think or know, and the author shows through this book how Bob transcended the ideas of millions into a new music that blessed generations after him with irie vibes and a sense of hope.
The author was clearly inspired to write this book through an extreme interest in the roots of Reggae, Rastafarianism, and Bob Marley. Timothy’s interest in these subjects led him to partake in vast and extensive research on the topics that led to inspiration and and the need to create this book. Mr. White often refers to evidence of Bob Marley’s influence in other countries and around the world through little stories of how his music and ways influenced whole movements and communities. These stories of influence are vitally important to his claim which is that through his music he put together the ideas and ways of life of millions into a new sound and feel yet unheard by the world. The book’s argument is very effective because it is supported by all the facts presented by the author throughout the story, especially when he speaks of what influenced Bob, and how Bob influenced others with his influence. In this story resides a movement of large proportions that has been manifesting in Jamaica and worldwide since the life of Bob Marley. Compared to other Bob Marley articles or biographies this book blows away the competition through its deep details and evidence that supports the claims it presents, along with an in depth analysis of influences and inspirations constantly.
Overall, The biography and insight found in Catch A Fire about Bob Marley will enlighten one to see the greatness and glory that came through the life of Bob to the world. From beginning to end author Timothy White progresses through the story of the life of Bob Marley with extreme attention to detail and explanations of all of his roots and influences. This book would be found very intriguing for anyone interested in music, Jamaica, Reggae, Bob Marley, or anything of the sort. This book personally helped me to see how Reggae rose in the music scene and how Bob Marley was crucial to its true development and spread worldwide.


An Introduction
Kingdom Come
Misty Morning
Bad Card
Pass It On
Small Axe
Who Feels It Knows It
People Get Ready
Redemption Song
A Hereafterword
Duppy Conqueror
Rasta Dont Work Fe Nuh CIA
Judge Not Before You Judge Yourself
Permissions Acknowledgments
Lee PerryProduced U K Albums

Natural Mystic
Stir It Up
Rat Race
Coming In from the Cold
Who the Cap Fit
Soul Rebels Bob Marley the Wallers TBL 126 1970
The Soul Rebels album in a different running order minus
Soul Revolution I II TRLD 406 1988

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

One of the most prominent music journalists of the twentieth century, Timothy White wrote extensively on Marley, reggae, and Caribbean music and culture for Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and other leading publications. His close contact with Marley and his family and inner circle of friends led to White being granted access to private papers, photographs, and memorabilia. White died in 2002.

Bibliographic information