February 6, 2023
FORTY-eight years after it was recorded, No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley and The Wailers returned to international charts last year in the form of a cover by Nigerian singer Tems.
No Woman, No Cry is featured in the movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The song was released July 25 and saored to number one on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales, number 50 on Billboard’s US Digital Song Sales, and number seven on the US Afrobeats Songs charts.
Prior to Tems’ take, No Woman, No Cry made a splash across Europe in 1996. The Fugees, with Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill on lead vocals, scored big with their interpretation that was the fourth single from their multi-platinum-selling album, The Score.
Produced by Jean and Hill, it made the top 10 in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland and New Zealand. It rose to number two on the UK Singles chart.
The Fugees’ cut was certified silver in the UK (200,000 units) and gold in New Zealand (5,000 copies).
Marley’s version, which was recorded at Harry J studio in Kingston, was co-produced by Marley, Chris Blackwell and Steve Smith.
First included on Marley’s 1974 album Natty Dread, a live recording of the song from the 1975 album Live! was released as a single and later included on several compilation albums, including the greatest hits compilation Legend.
The live version of No Woman, No Cry ranked number 37 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Greatest Songs of All Time.
It peaked at number 22 on the UK singles chart and number 23 on the Dutch Top 40 in 1975. Re-released in 1981 shortly after Marley’s death in May that year, it rose to number eight on the UK Singles chart and number 30 in New Zealand.
No Woman, No Cry live has been certified gold in Brazil and Italy and platinum in the United Kingdom.
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