The Harder They Come (song)

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"The Harder They Come"
The Harder They Come by Jimmy Cliff 1972 front cover German Spain single.jpg
Artwork for German vinyl single
Single by Jimmy Cliff
from the album The Harder They Come
B-side "Many Rivers to Cross" (release 1)
"Trapped" (release 2)
Released 1972
Format 7-inch single
Genre Reggae
Length 3:05
Label Island
Songwriter(s) Jimmy Cliff
Producer(s) Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff singles chronology
"Sitting in Limbo"
(1972)
"The Harder They Come"
(1972)
"Struggling Man"
(1972)

"Sitting in Limbo"
(1972)
"The Harder They Come"
(1972)
"Struggling Man"
(1972)

"The Harder They Come" is a reggae song by the Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff. It was first recorded for the soundtrack of the 1972 movie of the same name, in which it is supposed to have been written by the film's main character, Ivanhoe Martin.

"The Harder They Come" has been covered by many artists and was ranked number 350 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[1]

Joe Jackson version[edit]

"The Harder They Come"
Joe Jackson Band The Harder They Come cover.jpg
Single by Joe Jackson Band
B-side "Out of Style", "Tilt"
Released June 1980
Format 7-inch single, 12-inch single
Genre Reggae, rock
Length 3:50
Label A&M
Songwriter(s) Jimmy Cliff
Producer(s) Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson Band singles chronology
"Kinda Kute"
(1980)
"The Harder They Come"
(1980)
"Mad at You"
(1980)

"Kinda Kute"
(1980)
"The Harder They Come"
(1980)
"Mad at You"
(1980)

Joe Jackson recorded "The Harder They Come" with his band and released it as a single in 1980. It did not chart in the UK.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Harder They Come"Jimmy Cliff3:50
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
2."Out of Style"Joe Jackson2:55
3."Tilt"Jackson2:41

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
position
Dutch GfK chart[2] 34
Dutch Top 40[3] 35
Swedish Singles Chart[4] 18

Rockers Revenge version[edit]

"The Harder They Come"
Rockers Revenge The Harder They Come single cover.jpg
Single by Rockers Revenge featuring Donnie Calvin
Released 1983
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Genre Electro
Length 3:37
Label London
Songwriter(s) Jimmy Cliff
Producer(s) Arthur Baker

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
US Billboard Club Play Singles[5] 13
Irish Singles Chart[6] 30
UK Singles Chart[7] 30

Madness version[edit]

"The Harder They Come"
Madnessthehardertheycome.jpg
Single by Madness
from the album Madstock!
Released 1992
Format CD
Recorded 1992
Genre Pop, Ska
Length 3:27
Label Go Discs
Songwriter(s) Jimmy Cliff
Producer(s) Clive Langer, Alan Winstanley
Madness singles chronology
"My Girl"
(1992)
"The Harder They Come"
(1992)
"Night Boat to Cairo"
(1993)

"My Girl"
(1992)
"The Harder They Come"
(1992)
"Night Boat to Cairo"
(1993)

"The Harder They Come" was released as a single by the band Madness in 1992 after a successful reunion concert held at London's Finsbury Park. The single was recorded live at the event along with its B-sides. Although in 1992 Madness had success with reissues of "It Must Be Love" and "My Girl", their version of "The Harder They Come" failed to make the top 40 in the UK Singles Chart; it peaked at #44.[8]

Track listing[edit]

CD Single No. 1
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Harder They Come"Jimmy Cliff3:27
2."Land of Hope and Glory" (Live)Chris Foreman, Lee Thompson3:33
3."Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)" (Live)Mike Barson, Carl Smyth3:23
4."Take It or Leave It" (Live)Barson, Thompson3:51
CD Single No. 2
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."The Harder They Come"Cliff3:27
2."Embarrassment" (Live)Barson, Thompson3:12
3."Grey Day" (Live)Barson4:53
4."Baggy Trousers" (Live)Graham McPherson, Foreman2:42

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Total
weeks
UK Singles Chart[9] 44 3

Other cover versions[edit]

"The Harder They Come" has also been covered by:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  2. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Joe Jackson Band - The Harder They Come (in Dutch)". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40, week 34, 1980 (in Dutch)". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  4. ^ "swedishcharts.com - Joe Jackson Band - The Harder They Come". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  5. ^ "allmusic ((( Rockers Revenge > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Retrieved 6 June 2009 (2009-06-06). Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Chart Stats - Rocker's Revenge Featuring Donnie Calvin - The Harder They Come". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Chart Stats - Madness - The Harder They Come". Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  9. ^ Madness at Official Charts Company Retrieved 21 June 2013

External links[edit]