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Jimmy Cliff is the most important Jamaica reggae artist along with Bob Marley. Though, nowadays, Cliff is recognised as one of the champions of world music. The article below gives more details about Jimmy's great career.


Jimmy Cliff, real name James Chambers (born April 1, 1948, in St Catherine's, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae musician, best known among mainstream audiences for songs like "Many Rivers to Cross" from The Harder They Come, a film soundtrack which helped break reggae into markets across the world.

Cliff's career took off after his "Hurricane Hattie" became a hit; it was produced by Leslie Kong, with whom Cliff would remain until Kong's death. Later hit singles included "King of Kings" and "Pride and Passion", which never sold well outside Jamaica. In 1964, Cliff was chosen as one of the Jamaican representatives at the World's Fair, and Cliff soon signed to Island Records and moved to Britain. His international debut was Hard Road to Travel, which received excellent reviews and included "Waterfall", a Brazilian hit that won the International Song Festival.

"Waterfall" was followed by "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" and "Vietnam", both popular throughout most of the world. Folk rock singer/songwriter Bob Dylan even called "Vietnam" the best protest song he'd ever heard. Wonderful World included a cover of "Wild World" (Cat Stevens), which was a success in 1970.

Leslie Kong died of a heart attack in 1971. The soundtrack to The Harder They Come (a reggae film that also starred Cliff) was a huge success that sold well across the world, but did not break Cliff into the mainstream. After a series of albums, Cliff took a break and travelled to Africa, exploring his newfound Muslim spirituality. He quickly returned to music, touring for several years before he recorded with Kool & the Gang for Power & the Glory (1983). (In the early 1980s, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band added Cliff's little-known "Trapped" to their live set.) The follow-up, Cliff Hanger (1985) won a Grammy, though it was his last major success in the US until 1993. He continued to sell well in Jamaica and, to a lesser extent, the UK, returning to the mainstream pop charts in the US and elsewhere with a version of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" on the Cool Runnings film soundtrack in 1993.

In 2002, Cliff released his new album, Fantastic Plastic People in Europe, after first providing free downloads using Delacove's People Music Media p2p software. This album featured collaborations with Joe Strummer, Annie Lennox, and Sting as well as new songs that were very reminiscent of Cliff's original hits. In 2004 Cliff completely reworked the songs, dropping the traditional reggae in favour of an electronica sound, for inclusion in Black Magic.

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JIMMY CLIFF CDs available from

Jimmy Cliff - 'Higher And Higher'  

Higher and Higher
Jimmy Cliff
The Singles
Jimmy Cliff

Follow My Mind
Jimmy Cliff


Reggae Greats
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff - 'Wonderful World Beautiful People'

Wonderful World Beautiful People
Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff Albums

Hard Road to Travel (1968)
Jimmy Cliff (1969)
Another Cycle (1971)
Unlimited (1973)
Struggling Man (1974)
House of Exile (1974)
Brave Warrior (1975)
Follow My Mind (1975)
Give Thanx (1978)
I Am The Living (1980)
Give the People What They Want (1981)
Special (1982)
The Power and the Glory (1983)
Cliff Hanger (1985)
Hanging Fire (1988)
Images (1989)
Save Our Planet Earth (1990)
Higher and Higher (1998)
Humanitarian (1999)
Black Magic (2004)

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