Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ക JIMMY CLIFF, King of Kings|Waterfall|Vietnam|The Harder They Come|I Can See Clearly Now|Hakuna Matata|Many Rivers to Cross|You Can Get It If You..|

Jimmy Cliff OM (born James Chambers 1 April 1948 Somerton District St. James Jamaica) is a Jamaican ska and reggae musician. He is best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as "Sittin' in Limbo", "You Can Get It If You Really Want" "Many Rivers to Cross" from the soundtrack to 'The Harder They Come' which helped popularize reggae across the world and for his cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World" plus his cover of "I Can See Clearly Now" from the film Cool Runnings. Cliff had difficulty gaining a broad audience in fact out side of the reggae world he is probably best known for his film appearance in 'The Harder They Come'.  Even after a string of hits the singer never quite managed to break into the main stream although in the late 1960s and early 1970 she seemed poised for international stardom.

Cliff moved to Kingston in 1962. After two singles that failed to make much impression his career took off after his "Hurricane Hattie" became a hit while he was aged 14. It was produced by Leslie Kong with whom Cliff would remain until Kong's death. Cliff's later local hit singles included "King of Kings", "Dearest Beverley" and "Pride and Passion". 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 the UK. Island Records initially (and unsuccessfully) tried to sell Cliff to the rock audience but his career took off in the late 1960s.

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 the UK. Island Records initially (and unsuccessfully) tried to sell Cliff to the rock audience but his career took off in the late 1960s. His international debut album was 'Hard Road to Travel' which received excellent reviews and included "Waterfall" a Brazilian hit that won the International Song Festival.

"Waterfall" was followed in 1969 by "Wonderful World Beautiful People" and "Vietnam" in 1970 both popular throughout most of the world. Folk rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan even called "Vietnam" the best protest song he'd ever heard. Also during this period Cliff released a cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World" as a single but it was not included on his 'Wonderful World Beautiful People' album. 

In 1972, Cliff starred in the (Perry Henzell directed) classic reggae film, 'The Harder They Come', which tells the story of Ivan Martin, a young man without funds who arrives in Kingston from the country, tries to make it in the recording business and finally dies on the beach in a shoot-out with cops. The sountrack album of the film was a huge success that sold well across the world, but did not quite make of Cliff a mainstream star. It remains the most significant film to have come out of Jamaica since independence. The film made its debut at London's Notting Hill Gaumont cinema on 1 September 1972.

Hem hollolo iyo
Hakuna Matata!
Hem may'babo

When I was a cool young one
(When he was a cool young one)
I worked in the colony, paying my dues
Accepting without question the prevailing views
That a young man's life was one long grind
Diggin' holes, standin' guard till it crossed my mind

I was wrong.. All along
All that I needed.. Was to have heeded

Hakuna Matata!
What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata!
Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It's a problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

When I was a shallow youth
(When he was a shallow youth)
Cool calm reflection I was never that good
I was a pawn in the game, I saw no trees for the wood
My future stretched behind me I was over the hill
I put my best foot forward but the other stood one still

Take my word I have heard
All that I needed..Was to have heeded


Hem hollolo iyo
Hakuna Matata!
Hem may'babo

Hakuna Matata!
I hope we have conveyed
You don't have to bust a gut in the sun
It's much cooler in the shade
Some say it's just a waste of time
But they don't realize
That view is nothing but a crime
We are creatures worldly wise

In 1991 Cliff appeared at the second Rock in Rio festival in the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He continued to sell well in Jamaica and, to a lesser extent, the UK, returning to the mainstream pop charts in the U.S. And elsewhere (#1 in France) with a version of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" on the Cool Runnings film soundtrack in 1993. In 1995 Cliff released the single "Hakuna Matata" (a collaboration with Lebo M), a song from the soundtrack of the film 'The Lion King'.

Cliff has also covered The Tokens' song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Some of his albums were distributed by Craze Productions. Cliff name checked the Welsh privateer, Henry Morgan, in his song "Oh, Jamaica". "Many Rivers to Cross" was mentioned in the dialogue in the film, 'High Fidelity'. Joe Strummer recorded "Over The Border" with Cliff on the latter's album, 'Black Magic'. In 2007 Cliff performed at the opening ceremony at Cricket's World Cup. His song "Many Rivers to Cross" references the White cliffs of Dover.

Cliff's recording of "You Can Get It If You Really Want" was used as a campaign anthem by the Sandinista National Liberation Front in the 1990 election in Nicaragua. It was also adopted by the British Conservative Party during their annual conference in October 2007. It is unclear whether Cliff endorsed either political party.

The government of Jamaica honored Cliff on 20 October 2003 by awarding him The Order of Merit (OM) the nation's third-highest honouring recognition for his contributions to the film and music of Jamaica. [wikipedia]

{Just like the song 'You can get it if you really want', oh my goodness I am enjoying every moment of this compilation and quite thrilled over discovering new things every day.. I'm lovin' it...}  

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