November 9, 2022
The Harder They Come 50th Anniversary Edition (soundtrack album) will be released on vinyl on December 9 by UMe, according to the Yahoo! Entertainment website.
According to the website, “In addition to a 2LP gatefold-wrapped jacket with lamented gloss coating, the package boasts the liner notes from the 40th Anniversary Edition in addition to brand new words courtesy of Jimmy [Cliff] personally and revered reggae historian Dana Smart.”
Jimmy Cliff, who played Ivan, was star of the groundbreaking movie which was co-written by Perry Henzell (who also directed) and Trevor Rhone. Carl Bradshaw as Jose, Winston Stona as detective Ray Jones and Janet Bartley as Elsa were other main characters.
The soundtrack, built mainly around songs by Jimmy Cliff, was also a monumental success and helped introduce Jamaican pop culture to a global audience. Cliff’s contributions included the title track, Many Rivers to Cross, You Can it if You Really Want, Wonderful World, Beautiful People, and Sitting in Limbo.
Pressure Drop by The Maytals, 007 (Shantytown) by Desmond Dekker and The Aces, By The Rivers of Babylon by The Melodians, and Johnny Too Bad by The Slickers are also part of a formidable record that Rolling Stone Magazine included on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Most of the soundtrack’s songs were produced by Leslie Kong for his Beverley’s Records. He died in August 1971, 10 months before The Harder They Come opened in Kingston at Carib Theatre.
To commemorate The Harder They Come’s golden anniversary, the Henzell family staged an exhibition of visual art and poetry, inspired by the movie, at Perry Henzell’s former home at West King’s House Road in Kingston.
Henzell and Rhone died in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Most of the cast, including Bartley and Stona, has also passed away.
Stona, who had other movie roles in Cool Runnings and The Lunatic, died in August.
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