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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come (1972)





1. You Can Get It If You Really Want
2. Draw Your Breaks - Scotty
3. Rivers Of Babylon - The Melodians
4. Many Rivers To Cross
5. Sweet And Dandy - The Maytals
6. The Harder They Come
7. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
8. 007 (Shanty Town) - Desmond Dekker
10. Sitting In Limbo
11. You Can Get It If You Really Want
12. The Harder They Come

Artistdirect.com
In 1973, when the movie The Harder They Come was released, reggae was not on the radar screen of American pop culture. The soundtrack went a ways toward changing that situation. It is a collection of consistently excellent early reggae songs by artists who went on to thrive with reggae's increased popularity and others for whom this is the most well-known vehicle. Jimmy Cliff is both the star of the movie and the headliner on the soundtrack. He contributes three excellent songs: the hymnal "Many Rivers to Cross," "You Can Get It If You Really Want," and "The Harder They Come" (the latter two are repeated at the end of the album, but you probably wanted to hear them again anyway). Interestingly, the better production values of his songs actually seems to detract from them when compared to the rougher, but less sanitized, mixes of the other tracks. All the songs on this collection are excellent, but some truly stand out. Toots & the Maytals deliver two high-energy songs with "Sweet and Dandy" and "Pressure Drop" (covered by the Clash among others). Scotty develops a mellow, loping groove on "Stop That Train" (not the same as the Wailers' song by the same name) and the Slickers prove on "Johnny Too Bad" that you don't have to spout profanity or graphic violence to convey danger. The Harder They Come is strongly recommended both for the casual listener interested in getting a sense of reggae music and the more serious enthusiast. Collections don't come much better than this.

3 comments:

detroitkingpin said...

I've been looking for this!! Thanks my brotha, but where is the link?

Self-Science said...

Sorry man, I must have got lost at some point while I was checking the links. I do not have a link for this yet. I will have to re-up.

detroitkingpin said...

Thanks alot, much appreciated! Any chance of re-uping Hollywood Shuffle as well?

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