Release Date

June 3, 1977

“One Love” is a ska song by Bob Marley’s original group The Wailers from their 1965 debut studio album The Wailing Wailers. It was rerecorded as part of the 1970 medley “All in One”, which contained reggae reworkings of their early ska songs. This was released as a single and is also included on the compilation African Herbsman under the name “All in One”.

The famous version of “One Love” that appears on their 1977 album Exodus was recorded in 1977 for Island Records under the title of “One Love/People Get Ready”. This version credits Curtis Mayfield (as Island wanted to avoid copyright problems), and it gives co-authorship credits to both Marley and Mayfield as it contains an interpolation of The Impressions’ song “People Get Ready” written by Curtis Mayfield. As the main artist, Bob Marley and his group were credited as Bob Marley and the Wailers. It was not released as a single until April 16, 1984, to promote the forthcoming greatest hits album Legend. However, the single became one of his biggest hits and has been included on many of Marley and the Wailers subsequent compilation albums. The original recording of the song does not credit Mayfield’s song and is simply titled “One Love” – this is because copyright law was not enforced for Jamaican recordings at this time. The original song was published in the key of B♭ major, but it has since been transposed so it is in the key of C major.