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The Harder They Come Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, June 26, 2001
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. You Can Get It If You Really WantJimmy Cliff 2:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Draw Your BrakesScotty 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rivers Of BabylonThe Melodians 4:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Many Rivers To Cross (Harder They Come/Soundtrack Version)Jimmy Cliff 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sweet & DandyToots & The Maytals 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Harder They ComeJimmy Cliff 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Johnny Too BadThe Slickers 3:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. 007 (Shanty Town)Desmond Dekker 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Pressure Drop (Single Version)Toots & The Maytals 3:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Sitting In LimboJimmy Cliff 4:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. You Can Get It If You Really Want (Instrumental)Jimmy Cliff 2:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Harder They Come (Short Version)Jimmy Cliff 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 26, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Island
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005LZWR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description



Jamaican filmmaker Perry Henzell made reggae an integral player in his gritty 1973 saga of a renegade Kingston singer who becomes a modern Robin Hood, casting one of the style's earliest stars, Jimmy Cliff, in the lead, and filling this soundtrack--here presented in a remastered version--with classics from Toots & the Maytals ("Pressure Drop," "Sweet and Dandy"), Desmond Dekker ("Shanty Town"), the Melodians ("Rivers of Babylon"), and the Slickers ("Johnny Too Bad"). Cliff himself gets pole position, however, getting in the first ("You Can Get It If You Really Want") and last ("The Harder They Come") words in this first-rate reggae primer, which also features Cliff's enduring "Many Rivers to Cross." --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

One of the best Reggae collections ever recorded.
Clay Alder
It describes the yearning for reggae stardom with everyone vying to make it big, sure they can get it if they really want.
I X Key
He was still so great that I bought the cd, and my children love it too.
a fan from VA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Sean M. Kelly on September 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Your search ends here, folks.
As a fan of the Jamaican forms of music for most of my life, I can assure you that in very few, if any, places, will one find a better cross-section of rocksteady, vocal trio, rude boy, and reggae music than on this classic film soundtrack.
The music of the legends- Desmond Dekker, the king of rocksteady; Toots and the Maytals, masters of Ska, rocksteady and reggae; the Melodians, one of the premier rocksteady vocal trios of all time; and Jimmy Cliff, the master himself- spearheaded the film, and the careers of the players on this disc.
Bob Marley fans will argue that Marley is the most influential reggae master of all time. This may very well be true, but this soundtrack is the master of all reggae cds. The blend of styles perfect, the muisc tight and groovy, the vocals exquisite- Jamaican music from this period at its best.
If you own one representative of Jamaican music, this would have to be it, but hopefully this soundtrack will lead you down the paths of mssrs. Dekker, Toots, the Melodians, and Cliff..and allow you the opportunity to explore and fall in love with, all that Jamaican music has to offer.
So stop reading this and get this soundtrack and buckle yourself in, because once the journey starts, you won't want to stop.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on April 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This 1973 release has probably introduced far more Americans to Reggae than any other ten Reggae discs put together. It's also one of the very best compilation albums, of any genre, I've ever heard.
Anchoring the disc are several Jimmy Cliff gems: "You Can Get it if You Really Want" (in two versions, one without the vocals on the verses), "The Harder They Come" (two different versions), the soulful, gospel-influenced "Many Rivers to Cross", and a great pop track, "Sitting In Limbo."
Also included are Scotty's slow Reggae-train rhythm of "Draw Your Brakes", The Melodians harmony laden "Rivers of Babylon", The Maytals' "Sweet and Dandy" and their incredible version of "Pressure Drop" (the only problem with which is that it isn't about 40 minutes longer), The Slickers' "Johnny Too Bad" (with those great wails that always made me think the Jordanaires were vacationing in Jamaica and had a little too much to smoke), and Desmond Dekkar's "Shanty Town" (not quite capturing the top-10 grab of "Israelites", but fitting in here just fine).
A classic from start to finish.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on October 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'm one of those relatively few people who prefer Jimmy Cliff to Bob Marley...and this CD is one of the primary reasons. I'm not a huge reggae fan, but this soundtrack is simply one of the best CDs I've ever heard. Every song is a classic. Four of Jimmy's best songs are one this one - "You Can Get It," "Many Rivers to Cross," "Sitting in Limbo," and "The Harder They Come." Even non-reggae fans are likely to recognize "Many Rivers to Cross," which I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.
In addition to Jimmy's incredible contributions, several other important reggae acts make an appearance. Scotty scores with "Draw Your Brakes," which has the memorable chorus "stop that train, I want to get off." Desmond Dekker (who had the first ever US reggae hit single with "Israelites") has a song as does the Slickers ("Johnny Too Bad," which was later covered by UB40). This CD is widely credited with popularizing reggae in the United States, and for that distinction alone, it deserves to be considered a true classic. Plus, it's just great music.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "keonikrazey" on January 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is it folks. It doesn't get any more obvious than this one. Every track on this album is a keeper, and the arrangements and production are first rate. The remastering is quite crisp and clear. This is the one reggae album that branches into a million parts, and allows you a broad introduction into a truly original and exciting genre. Give it a few months, and you'll be converted and searching for cd's from The Melodions, Desmond Dekker, and Jimmy Cliff. It's really an amazing record, and opens up a whole new assortment of musicians. In American culture, where reggae starts and ends with the somewhat overrated Bob Marley and his copy-cat sons, here is a record that gets your feet wet and gives you a better understanding of the many styles and voices that make reggae the inventive, infectious, rhythmic style it is. This is the record that lit a fire under Marley's Catch A Fire, and this is the record that brought reggae music to the mainstream, and this is the artist "Jimmy Cliff", the real underground king, the lyricist who became an instant celebrity in dancehalls and coffee shops in New York.. I could go on forever.. Check this record out..
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TimothyFarrell22 on September 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Am I including Bob Marley in my title statement? Yes. As much as I love Marley's work, I prefer this album to anything he has done. Marley is good, but is just the surface of all the great Jamacian music out there. Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Justin Hines, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Toots & the Maytals, and many others are just as talented as Marley was. In other words, there is so much more to rocksteady and reggae than just "Legend". That album is the perfect gateway drug to reggae, but this is really the first non-Marley reggae album you should pick up to get initiated into the genre (the film is a cult classic also). There isn't a single weak track on this album, which can not be said really of any of Marley's studio LPs. There is so much variety on this album, and it shows that Reggae can be some of the most soulful music ever. There is little production, and it is raw and unpolished. It paints a perfect portrait of the country, as the songs give you a feel of the atmosphere. I can honestly say that as much as I love Bob Marley (and I do very much so), I take out this album for a listen more often.
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