January 12, 2023
JIMMY Cliff says the songs on Refugees, his latest album, are based on global issues. The 13-track set was released last August via Sunpower Productions NY Ltd and Universal Music Group Recordings (UMG).
In December, Refugees was ranked number 22 on Spin Magazine’s 22 Best Albums of 2022.
“I feel fantastic about this accolade. 22 is the day my son Aken was born, and it is always great to be recognised for what we are or what we do in our life,” Cliff shared in an interview with the Jamaica Observer. “Refugees wasn’t a concept album. I chose songs from what I have written and are actually based on what is going on in the world and in my life today.”
Cliff collaborated with Wyclef Jean, Dwight Richards and his daughter Lilty Cliff on Refugees which also features drummer Kirk Bennett, and keyboardists Othniel Lewis and Steven “Lenky” Marsden.
Cliff’s first album in 10 years, Refugees contains the title song with Wyclef, Racism featuring Lilty Cliff, We Want Justice featuring Dwight Richards and Here I Am.
Most of the tracks were recorded at Sunpower Productions studio in Kingston.
Spin is an American publication founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. Now owned by Next Management Partners, it has been an online magazine since 2012 when owners stopped issuing a print edition.
Other albums on its 22 Best Albums of 2022 list include SOS by SZA (number 12), Entering Heaven Alone by Jack White (number seven), Queen of Sheba by Angelique Kidjo and Ibrahim Maalouf (number six), and The Tipping Point by Tears for Fears (number four).
The number one title on the list is And, in The Darkness, Hearts Glow by Weyes Blood.
Cliff, real name James Chambers, emerged on the music scene in the early 1960s. His career exploded during the late 1960s and four years later, he starred as Ivan in the movie, The Harder They Come.
Among his classic songs are Wonderful World, Beautiful People, Many Rivers to Cross, a cover of I Can See Clearly Now, Rebel in Me, You Can Get it if You Really Want, The Harder They Come, and Reggae Night.
A two-time Grammy winner (he won the Best Reggae Album Grammy for Cliff Hanger in 1986 and for Rebirth in 2013), Cliff was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
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