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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean


Published March 24, 2006

Jimmy Cliff

Eclipsed by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as a reggae legend (primarily due to wildly inconsistent, often mediocre material), the re-release of 1969’s Jimmy Cliff  (released as Wonderful World, Beautiful People in the U.S. a year later) reminds us of Cliff’s legacy. Trojan Records has remastered the original 11 songs, adding an additional 14 bonus tracks to this seminal recording. Most people know Cliff for his role in the classic The Harder They Come, but two cuts here predate the film. Jimmy Cliff was his most consistent recording, giving reggae music legitimacy on the record charts while removing its early novelty status. “Time Will Tell,” “Many Rivers To Cross,” “Hard Road To Travel” and “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” are classic reggae, and “Vietnam” is arguably one of the best antiwar songs ever. Surprisingly, the bonus tracks weigh equally.