The Harder They Come [Deluxe Edition]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Some liberal interpretation of what can constitute the bonus material of a deluxe edition went into this two-CD edition of The Harder They Come, which in its original release was both a classic reggae album and a classic soundtrack. The additional material on the second disc is not outtakes from the soundtrack or some such intimately related work, but 18 high-grade vintage reggae tracks from the late '60s and early '70s. Admittedly some of the newly added songs are by artists who also contributed to the soundtrack, those being Jimmy Cliff, the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, and the Melodians. Then, however, there are a bunch of tunes by artists not involved in the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Some liberal interpretation of what can constitute the bonus material of a deluxe edition went into this two-CD edition of The Harder They Come, which in its original release was both a classic reggae album and a classic soundtrack. The additional material on the second disc is not outtakes from the soundtrack or some such intimately related work, but 18 high-grade vintage reggae tracks from the late '60s and early '70s. Admittedly some of the newly added songs are by artists who also contributed to the soundtrack, those being Jimmy Cliff, the Maytals, Desmond Dekker, and the Melodians. Then, however, there are a bunch of tunes by artists not involved in the soundtrack at all, like the Uniques, Dave & Ansel Collins, Johnny Nash, and Eric Donaldson. But -- and this is a big but -- the excellence of the additional cuts, along with how they fit well with the music on the original The Harder They Come soundtrack, makes such inconsistencies moot. The original The Harder They Come, comprising all of disc one, remains one of the great reggae albums, crossing over to a non-Jamaican audience more than almost any other reggae release of the era, perhaps because there was so much soul both literally and figuratively in the melodies and vocals. The 18 songs on disc two include some core reggae classics, among them some of the biggest reggae-pop crossovers of 1968-1972, including Dekker's "Israelites," Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" yes, Nash was American, but this was recorded in Jamaica, Dave & Ansel Collins' zany instrumental "Double Barrel," and Cliff's "Wonderful World, Beautiful People." These are spiced with somewhat lesser-known delights like the Maytals' "Do the Reggay," Cliff's "Viet Nam" [sic], and Donaldson's "Cherry Oh Baby," famously covered by the Rolling Stones on their Black and Blue album. The additional disc, though strictly speaking not directly related to the soundtrack, does what the bonus material on deluxe editions should do and doesn't always successfully pull off: it makes a classic album better. And for those who want at least a little extra content tied to the film itself, the liner notes include essays by director Perry Henzell, Island Records chief Chris Blackwell, the Clash's Paul Simonon, and reggae author David Katz.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/2003
  • Label: Hip-O Records
  • UPC: 044006949529
  • Catalog Number: 069495
  • Sales rank: 311,632

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 You Can Get It If You Really Want (2:41)
  2. 2 Draw Your Brakes - Scotty (2:58)
  3. 3 Rivers of Babylon (4:18)
  4. 4 Many Rivers to Cross (3:02)
  5. 5 Sweet and Dandy (3:00)
  6. 6 The Harder They Come (3:41)
  7. 7 Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers (3:04)
  8. 8 007 (Shanty Town) - Desmond Dekker (2:42)
  9. 9 Pressure Drop (3:47)
  10. 10 Sitting in Limbo (4:55)
  11. 11 You Can Get It If You Really Want (2:45)
  12. 12 The Harder They Come (3:08)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Israelites - The Aces (2:37)
  2. 2 My Conversation - The Uniques (2:40)
  3. 3 Do the Reggay (3:18)
  4. 4 Viet Nam (4:52)
  5. 5 I Can See Clearly Now (2:42)
  6. 6 Reggae Hit the Town (2:23)
  7. 7 Double Barrel - Ansel Collins (2:49)
  8. 8 It Mek - The Aces (2:31)
  9. 9 Sweet Sensation (3:42)
  10. 10 Let Your Yeah Be Yeah (3:04)
  11. 11 Cherry Oh Baby (3:01)
  12. 12 Monkey Spanner - Ansel Collins (2:45)
  13. 13 54-36 (That's My Number) (2:58)
  14. 14 It's My Delight (3:13)
  15. 15 Wonderful World, Beautiful People (3:15)
  16. 16 Pomp and Pride (4:27)
  17. 17 Guava Jelly (3:15)
  18. 18 The Bigger They Come the Harder They Fall (3:11)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jimmy Cliff Primary Artist, Vocals
Desmond Dekker Track Performer
Toots & the Maytals Track Performer
The Melodians Track Performer
Scotty Track Performer
The Maytals Track Performer
Winston Grennan Drums
Technical Credits
Jimmy Cliff Composer, Producer
Desmond Dekker Composer
Bob Marley Composer
Byron Lee Producer
Brenton Dowe Composer
Ansel Collins Composer
Eric Donaldson Composer
John Bryant Cover Illustration
Chris Blackwell Liner Notes
Gully Bright Composer, Producer
Tommy Cowan Producer
David Katz Liner Notes
Leonard Dillon Composer
Larry Fallon Producer
Toots Hibbert Composer
Leslie Kong Composer, Producer
Warrick Lyn Producer
Johnny Nash Composer, Producer
Harold B. Robinson Producer
Keith Rowe Composer
Derek Scott Composer
Paul Simonon Liner Notes
The Slickers Composer
Trevor McNaughton Composer
Perry Henzell Producer, Liner Notes
Winston Riley Composer, Producer
Vartan Art Direction
K. Smith Composer
Erick Labson Mastering
Derrick Harriott Composer, Producer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Winston "Shadow" Bailey Composer
Desmond Dacres Composer
Hylton Beckford Composer
Renford Cogle Composer
Derric Crooks Composer
Trevor Wilson Composer
Pat Lawrence Executive Producer
Ryan Null Photo Coordination
Michele Horie Artwork
Edward Lee Composer
S. McNaughton Composer
Fredrick Hibbert Composer
Frederick Hibbert Composer
D. Scott Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Reggae "Sgt. Pepper"? Perhaps!

    When Perry Hanzell released his movie "The Harder They Come" in 1972, it became one of those unexpected, watershed films that struck a nerve in those who saw it. Here was a movie that not only captured the hard-luck living of Jamaicans just as they achieved their independence but it also featured a pulsating soundtrack that fully encapsuled that time. It encapsuled it very much the way "Sgt. Pepper" did with The Summer Of Love. The soundtrack album of that movie, now available in Universal's Deluxe Edition, makes it clear that this was certainly the case and like "Sgt. Pepper", there isn't a bad song on the record.

    The movie and the soundtrack made a major star out of Jimmy Cliff as his character sturggled to make a living as a singer in the urban jungle of Kingston only to be trapped by bad luck and hard circumstance and to eventually end up on the run as a murderer. Cliff's songs, particularly the title track, tell that story well even after all these years. So do the tunes by Toots and The Maytals ("Pressure Drop") and Desmond Dekker ("007 Shanty Town"). My favorite song is "Johnny Too Bad", written and performed by The Slickers, in which their message of the dangers of criminal life were amplified when one of the members of that group killed another and ended up in prison.

    Since this is a Universal Deluxe Edition, there is also a second disc featuring a wealth of other great reggae tunes. Some of them are by Cliff, such as the profoundly sad "Vietnam". Some of them are by Dekker, like his wonderful signature song, "The Israelites". Some of them are by Toots, including his brilliant "54-46 (That's My Number)". Yet, there are also some excellent choice tunes here, such as Eric Donaldson's "Cherry Oh Baby", later covered by UB-40 and The Rolling Stones. There is even an alternate take of the title song listed as "The Bigger They Come, The Harder They Fall".

    Many words have been used to describe the influence and impact that this album had on American culture at the time. However, it's important to keep in mind that this came out the same time that Bob Marley was becoming a Third World superstar, releasing "Catch A Fire", another sensational album from Universal Deluxe Edition. As soulful, catchy and swinging as this album is, it's easy to forget what an impression this beautiful and timeless soundtrack has become. Fortunately, this deluxe edition reminds us about that, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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