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Goodbye Yesterday

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Album Review

With an uncanny and catchy blend of reggae and pop, Jimmy Cliff (vocals) was able to not only successfully cross musical genres, but also become (perhaps best) known as the star of the cinematic adaptation of The Harder They Come (1973). This nine-cut anthology gathers a host of 45s and otherwise hard-to-find material. Although initially compiled in the mid-'70s, Goodbye Yesterday (2004) has remained elusive prior to being issued by Universal Music's limited-edition online boutique, Hip-O Select. The majority of the inclusions are from Cliff's collaborations with Leslie Kong, after first being roundly dismissed by both Duke Reid and Coxsone Dodd. The mid-tempo "Waiting in Line" is one of two selections originally produced by Cat Stevens, the other being the optimistic and funky "Trapped," recalling Stevens' robust arrangements circa "Matthew and Son." Equally as soulful is the single version of "Waterfall," sporting an arguably dated R&B feel, complete with strings and brass accents. The congenial groove however would garner Cliff a spot representing Jamaica at the International Song Festival in Brazil. The set opens with the cheerful and practically bubblegum pop of "Goodbye Yesterday," a number that would not have sounded too far removed from the Ron Dante-led Archies. Another interesting dichotomy in styles exists between the politically informed songs "Synthetic World" and "I'm No Immigrant" when contrasting the sincerely pious "Bongo Man" or the humbling "Keep Your Eyes on the Sparrow." Although the unmistakable motif of freedom is prominent in each, the latter clocks in at over eight minutes and is presented as an extended musical sermon.

Customer Reviews


One of the best albums, to get EVER.


Born: April 1, 1948 in St. James, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

It's one of the music industry's great ironies that today, outside of reggae circles, Jimmy Cliff is perhaps better known for his film appearances than his music. Even after a string of hits, the singer never quite managed to break into the mainstream, although he seemed poised for international stardom during the late '60s/early '70s. The singer was born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, on April 1, 1948, with the less prosaic name James Chambers. His talent was evident from childhood, and he began his...
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Goodbye Yesterday, Jimmy Cliff
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