15 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jimmy Cliff’s anthemic compositions “The Harder They Come” and “Many Rivers to Cross” are among reggae’s most recognizable tunes, and his portrayal of populist gangster Ivanhoe Martin in the film The Harder They Come gave reggae its greatest bad-man archetype. Cliff’s 2012 release Rebirth is a collaboration between the rough-throated singer/producer and Tim Armstrong, frontman for Bay Area punk revivalists Rancid. Armstrong’s ear is unusually attuned to classic reggae's rhythms and textures, and he provides Cliff with a warm, organic sound that evokes the bubbling atmosphere of Kingston in the late ‘60s, an era when Cliff’s tales of hardscrabble sufferers were played end-to-end with soulful rocksteady by the likes of The Wailers and The Sensations and stomping rude-boy tunes by Prince Buster and Honeyboy Martin. That’s not to say Rebirth is completely revivalist. Indeed, some of its strongest moments come when Cliff puts his unique spin on rock numbers like The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton" or Rancid’s own “Ruby Soho," which in Cliff’s hands becomes a bracing ska workout. 

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jimmy Cliff’s anthemic compositions “The Harder They Come” and “Many Rivers to Cross” are among reggae’s most recognizable tunes, and his portrayal of populist gangster Ivanhoe Martin in the film The Harder They Come gave reggae its greatest bad-man archetype. Cliff’s 2012 release Rebirth is a collaboration between the rough-throated singer/producer and Tim Armstrong, frontman for Bay Area punk revivalists Rancid. Armstrong’s ear is unusually attuned to classic reggae's rhythms and textures, and he provides Cliff with a warm, organic sound that evokes the bubbling atmosphere of Kingston in the late ‘60s, an era when Cliff’s tales of hardscrabble sufferers were played end-to-end with soulful rocksteady by the likes of The Wailers and The Sensations and stomping rude-boy tunes by Prince Buster and Honeyboy Martin. That’s not to say Rebirth is completely revivalist. Indeed, some of its strongest moments come when Cliff puts his unique spin on rock numbers like The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton" or Rancid’s own “Ruby Soho," which in Cliff’s hands becomes a bracing ska workout. 

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
119 Ratings

119 Ratings

✭PKZ✭ ,

The best Jimmy Cliff album in years.

If you like really old Jimmy Cliff, get this. If you like any Jimmy Cliff, get this. If you love reggae, get this. If you want a great album to play at your party, get this. This album is in the top 10 best albums of the year as far as I'm concerned.

Renee Os ,

Just BUY IT!!!

Basicallay speechless, as soon as i turned on this gem I was transported back to Jimmys hey day, it rivals his best work. Jimmy does what he does best on this album, he spins some really great roots style reggae and then gives a taste of other, he cover some really great tunes, reinvents 'Vietnam" for our current illegal war in Afghanistan, and then ends with his first hit in Rock Steady. Jimmy remains my favorite artist and this album only strengthen that. Unlike many other artist whose voice fade with age, here Jimmy croons as if he were 20 somthing, what can I say he still has it. I hope this is yet another album of many to come by Mr Chambers!

Rudeboy48 ,

Rebirth

This album is defiantly appropriately named. The rebirth. There is only a handful of artists doing reggae music in the old rocksteady first wave ska style. It is interesting to see how artists like Tim Armstrong and the Aggrollites who were heavily influenced by pioneers in the genre such as Jimmy Cliiff, to in turn influence him to go back to his roots. I hope he continues to make music like this in the future. For me it was like when the new star wars movies came out. The return of a legend. Only this time it was not disappointing.

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