The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Jimmy Cliff

by: Jimmy Cliff

Although Jamaica's Jimmy Cliff has had a long and continuing career on the international scene with his thoughtful and infectious brand of reggae-pop, his best work was undoubtedly done in the late '60s and early '70s, the period covered by this collection. Everything that is absolutely essential is here, from his breakthrough hit, 1969's "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" (inspired by Cliff's appearance at the 1968 International Song Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), his powerful protest song "Viet Nam," a pair of gems ("The Harder They Come," "Many Rivers to Cross") from the Harder They Come soundtrack, his stately nyahbinghi-based hymn "Bongo Man," and the first recorded version of Cat Stevens' "Wild World," actually produced by Stevens, who then went on to voice his own hit record of the song. Although there are more complete and comprehensive anthologies of Cliff's career available (the best is probably Hip-O's two-disc Anthology), this short, concise survey of his peak years gets it exactly right, without a single slack track. ~ Steve Leggett

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