Daniel Caesar Puts His Unique, Soulful Spin On Bob Marley’s ‘Waiting In Vain’ For ‘One Love’

The soundtrack for the Kingsley Ben-Adir Bob Marley biopic Bob Marley: One Love is due for release the same day the film comes to theaters on Valentine’s Day, but today, we received another glimpse at the EP, which will feature contemporary artists’ covers of the Jamaican icon’s classics. Last week, Kacey Musgraves released a cover of the Wailers’ 1977 staple “Three Little Birds,” and today, Daniel Caesar offered a unique, soulful take on an underrated catalog classic, “Waiting In Vain.”

While the original version appears on Exodus alongside “Three Little Birds” and maintains the bright, midtempo roots approach of the rest of the songs on the album, Caesar’s version slows things down, taking a more mournful angle to the song’s plaintive messaging. With Daniel Caesar’s signature emphasis on bass-driven rhythm and pretty but sad synths, the cover strikes a suitable balance between the frustration and hope of carrying a torch for someone who may not feel the same.

Caesar’s far from the first artist to cover the Wailers classic; in 1993, jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour recorded a version with British reggae artist Maxi Priest, while in 1995, Annie Lennox also issued a haunting contemporary take (wearing Mickey Mouse ears in the video, no less) that featured in a number of early 2000s movies. (As I write this, I have been informed by my girlfriend that there is also an OPM — Original Pinoy Music — version by a band called MYMP — Make Your Momma Proud — and so I am including it here.)

Check out Caesar’s version of “Waiting In Vain” below.