ARTIST: Motion Picture Soundtrack
TITLE: The Harder They Come
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #140
SINGLES: Most all of these were singles in Jamaica
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Many Rivers to Cross, The Harder They Come, Pressure Drop
LINEUP: Songs by Jimmy Cliff, Scotty, The Melodians, The Maytals, The Slickers and Desmond Dekker
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Soundtrack to an iconic film makes reggae a known commodity in the US.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is one instance where the soundtrack is more well-known than the film. Jimmy Cliff starred in the movie, and also put together this soundtrack album of his material and other singles from Jamaica.
The movie was limited in its success outside of Jamaica because of the Jamaican accents of the actors (however it was HUGE in Jamaica for that same reason – not many films at all featured their distinctive patois), but the soundtrack had a life of its own here. Cliff chose wisely and the tracks are accessible to even the most novice of reggae listeners.
The title track, featuring Cliff’s clear tenor, is the clear standout with the old standard “Pressure Drop” a close second. But now many have latched on to “Many Rivers to Cross” as a track as well – especially those singing at karaoke and on talent shows.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The only song written especially for the movie is the title track.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A: You start your reggae exploration here, you get an idea about reggae, rocksteady and dub.