The Harder They Come (soundtrack)
|The Harder They Come|
|Soundtrack album by Jimmy Cliff|
|Released||July 7, 1972|
The Harder They Come is the soundtrack album to the iconic film of the same name, released in 1972 in the United Kingdom as Island Records ILPS 9202. It was issued in February 1973 in North America as Mango Records SMAS-7400. It peaked at #140 on the Billboard 200.
The heart of the soundtrack comes from performances by the film's star, reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. Only the title track "The Harder They Come" was recorded by Cliff specifically for the soundtrack, with three earlier songs by Cliff added. The remainder of the album is a compilation of singles released in Jamaica from the period of 1967 through 1972, assembled by the The Harder They Come director and co-writer, Perry Henzell, from songs by favored reggae singers. In addition to Cliff, these artists include The Melodians, The Slickers, DJ Scotty, and seminal early reggae stars Desmond Dekker and Toots and the Maytals.
The soundtrack album played a major part in popularizing reggae in the United States and the world beyond, the film itself preventing the genre from remaining an isolated phenomenon in Jamaica. In 2003, the album was ranked number 119 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album also appears on greatest albums lists from Time and Blender, and was named the 97th best album of the 1970s by Pitchfork Media.
On August 5, 2003, Universal Music Group issued a Deluxe Edition of the album, with the original remastered and reissued on one disc. A bonus disc continued the idea of the original soundtrack itself, compiling additional singles from the early days of reggae, entitled Reggae Hit the Town: Crucial Reggae 1968-1972.
Track listing 
Side one 
- "You Can Get It If You Really Want" (Jimmy Cliff) – 2:40 performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "Draw Your Brakes" (Derrick Harriott, Texas Dixon, Keith Rowe) – 2:57 performed by Scotty
- "Rivers of Babylon" (Brent Dowe, James McNaughton) – 4:16 performed by The Melodians
- "Many Rivers to Cross" (Cliff) – 3:02 performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "Sweet and Dandy" (Frederick Hibbert) – 3:01 performed by The Maytals
- "The Harder They Come" (Cliff) – 3:41 performed by Jimmy Cliff
Side two 
- "Johnny Too Bad" (Trevor Wilson, Winston Bailey, Hylton Beckford, Derrick Crooks) – 3:04 performed by The Slickers
- "007 (Shanty Town)" (Desmond Dekker) – 2:43 performed by Desmond Dekker
- "Pressure Drop" (Hibbert) – 3:44 performed by The Maytals
- "Sitting in Limbo" (Jimmy Cliff, Guillermo Bright-Plummer) – 4:57 performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "You Can Get It If You Really Want" – 2:43 (Cliff) performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "The Harder They Come" (Cliff) – 3:07 performed by Jimmy Cliff
2003 reissue bonus disc 
- "Israelites" (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) - 2:37 performed by Desmond Dekker and The Aces
- "My Conversation" (Keith Smith, Edward Lee) - 2:41 performed by The Uniques
- "Do the Reggay" (Hibbert) - 3:18 performed by The Maytals
- "Viet Nam" (Cliff) - 4:53 performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "I Can See Clearly Now" (Johnny Nash) - 2:42 performed by Johnny Nash
- "Reggae Hit the Town" (Leonard Dillon) - 2:24 performed by The Ethiopians
- "Double Barrel" (Winston Riley) - 2:50 performed by Dave and Ansel Collins
- "It Mek" (Desmond Dacres, Leslie Kong) - 2:32 performed by Desmond Dekker and The Aces
- "Sweet Sensation" (Renford Cogle) - 3:42 performed by The Melodians
- "Let Your Yeah Be Yeah (Cliff) - 3:05 performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "Cherry Oh Baby" (Eric Donaldson) - 3:02 performed by Eric Donaldson
- "Monkey Spanner" (Winston Riley, Ansel Collins) - 2:45 performed by Dave and Ansel Collins
- "54-46 (That's My Number)" (Hibbert) - 2:58 performed by The Maytals
- "It's My Delight" (Brent Dowe, Trevor McNaughton) - 3:14 performed by The Melodians
- "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" (Cliff) - 3:15 performed by Jimmy Cliff
- "Pomp and Pride" (Hibbert) - 4:28 performed by The Maytals
- "Guava Jelly" (Bob Marley) - 3:15 performed by Johnny Nash
- "The Bigger They Come the Harder They Fall" (Cliff) - 3:12 performed by Jimmy Cliff
Reissue personnel 
- Dana Smart - supervisor
- Pat Lawrence - executive producer
- Vartan - reissue art director
- John Bryant - cover illustrator
- Gavin Larsen - digital mastering
- Allmusic review
- Robert Christgau review
- The Harder They Come. UMG 440 089 495-2, 2003, liner notes, p. 26.
- Katz, David. UMG liner notes, p. 12.
- Henzell, Perry. UMG liner notes, p. 3.
- Miller, Jim, ed. The Rolling Stone Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. New York: Random House, 1980, p. 447.
- Acclaimed Music