Iron Lion Zion

"Iron Lion Zion" is a song written and recorded in April 1973[1][2] or 1974[2] by Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Marley. It was first released posthumously on 7 September 1992 on the Songs of Freedom box set, reaching number 5 in the UK Singles Chart. Additionally the single also peaked within the Top 10 in Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. On the Eurochart Hot 100, "Iron Lion Zion" peaked at number 8. Outside Europe, it reached number 2 in New Zealand, number 71 in Australia and number 11 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. A remixed version was released as a single and later included in 1995 on Natural Mystic: The Legend Lives On.

"Iron Lion Zion"
Iron lion zion.jpg
Single by Bob Marley
from the album Songs of Freedom
B-side"Smile Jamaica"
Released7 September 1992
RecordedApril 1973
GenreReggae
Length3:21
LabelTuff Gong
Songwriter(s)Bob Marley
Producer(s)
  • Errol Brown
  • Ingmar Kiang
  • Bob Marley
  • The Wailers
  • Trevor Wyatt
Bob Marley singles chronology
"Buffalo Soldier"
(1983)
"Iron Lion Zion"
(1992)

LyricsEdit

The song's lyrics are directly related to Rastafarian beliefs. Zion is "the promised land", in the song referring to Ethiopia. The lion refers to the Lion of Judah, which appeared on the old royal Ethiopian flag, and represents Haile Selassie, the former Ethiopian emperor whom Rastafarians regard as their Messiah.

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "Rockers' reggae with pop swing and dance sizzle, this propulsive, previously unreleased jewel from the new "Songs of Freedom" boxed set features a wonderfully exultant vocal from Marley, plus the terrific horn of Courtney Pine. A smash in the U.K., it deserves to explode here. And don't miss the 12-inch Kiang club mix."[3] Music & Media noted that it was "one of those previously unreleased tracks in the 4-CD Marley box. Of course it's a little bit reworked in the studios with additional musicians such as the jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine and female vocal trio I Trees, featuring Marley's widow Rita. Bound to be a classic like the posthumously released Buffalo Soldier in 1983."[4] Alan Jones from Music Week called it a "Marley masterpiece", adding it as "a hugely commercial, lightly dubbed and joyous reminder of his talent".[5] Eric Snider from the Tampa Bay Times described it as a "infectious" track.[6]

Track listingsEdit

7" single
  1. "Iron Lion Zion" – 3:21
  2. "Smile Jamaica" (by Bob Marley & the Wailers) – 3:13
CD maxi
  1. "Iron Lion Zion" (7" mix) – 3:21
  2. "Smile Jamaica" (by Bob Marley & the Wailers) – 3:12
  3. "Three Little Birds" (alternative mix) (by Bob Marley & the Wailers) – 2:55
  4. "Iron Lion Zion" (12" mix) – 7:02

Charts and certificationsEdit

Cover versions and usesEdit

  • Santana's cover of the song was included in 2014 on the album Corazón.
  • The song is played as a post-victory song for the soccer team Real Salt Lake.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Steffens, Roger; Jodie Pierson, Leroy (2005). Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography. Rounder Books. p. 70. ISBN 1-57940-120-1.
  2. ^ a b Kazo (2008). Bob Marley and the Wailers "Compared discography" (PDF) (11 ed.). p. 65.
  3. ^ Flick, Larry (31 October 1992). "Single Reviews > Pop" (PDF). Billboard. p. 95.
  4. ^ "New Releases > Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 3 October 1992. p. 18.
  5. ^ Jones, Alan (5 September 1992). "Mainstream > Singles > Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 10. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  6. ^ Snider, Eric (12 October 2005). "Marley set traces a legend". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  7. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 51/52. 19 December 1992. p. 44. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 43. 24 October 1992. p. 20. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Iron Lion Zion". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Iron Lion Zion – Bob Marley" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  19. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  23. ^ "Top 60 Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 19 September 1992. p. 20. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Bob Marley – Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1992" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  26. ^ "1992 Year-End Sales Charts: Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 51/52. 19 December 1992. p. 17. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  27. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  28. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1992" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  29. ^ "1993 Year-End Sales Charts: Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10 no. 51/52. 18 December 1993. p. 15. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  30. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Bob Marley – Iron Lion Zion". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 14 November 2019.