Sunday, April 01, 2018

Easter Egg A: Jimmy Cliff 70

Happy Ishtar to you all and welcome to the first of two posts in as many days, each dealing with milestones for two heavyweight musical figures.
Let's lead things off with one of the people most responsible for bringing Reggae music from the island of Jamaica to the world at large.
He was born this day in 1948 and began making noise in the 1960s, as part of the Ska revolution that overtook his native country and metamorphosed into the modern iteration we call Reggae.
The legend has it that he forced his way into the industry, harassing famed proto-producer Leslie Kong so annoyingly that the man agreed to record a single with him, just to get him off his back.
That record went nowhere, but he persisted and eventually began to have hits on the island. This proceeded into a contract with (it's becoming a theme, isn't it?) Island Records at the close of the Sixties.
He had several epochal songs in the early 1970s -- Bob Dylan famously referring to the track "Vietnam" as the "single greatest protest song" he'd ever heard -- but his watershed moment would come as the featured figure in a film.
It was starring in the Kingston-gangland epic The Harder They Come in 1972 -- in which he played the lead role and wrote almost  all the music -- that broke him to superstardom and, essentially, set the art form of Reggae music on the path to the world domination it would enjoy by the decade's end.
And so we see, there can be little argument of the primo place in the musical firmament occupied by today's celebrant, Jimmy Cliff.
To honor his 70th, I have seeded to the cloud two sparkling performances from the heyday of the Reggae explosion, largely indistinguishable from official live documents yet never issued to the masses by our friends in the "industry".
Jimmy Cliff
1978+1982

i.
Park West
Chicago, IL
11.11.1978

01 Wanted Man
02 Johnny Too Bad
03 Rivers of Babylon
04 She Is a Woman
05 Lonely Streets
06 The Love I Need
07 Universal Love
08 Let's Turn the Tables
09 Stand Up and Fight Back
10 Meeting In Afrika
11 You Can Get It If You Really Want
12 Sitting In Limbo
13 The Harder They Come

Total Time: 1:01:56

Jimmy Cliff - vocals, guitar & percussion
Ronald "Ronnie" Murphy - drums
Leebert "Gibby" Morrison - bass & vocals
Leonard Smith - guitar & vocals
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson - percussion & vocals
Paul "Pablo" Smith - keyboards & vocals
Ernest Ranglin - guitar
Earl "Chinna" Smith - guitar
Reebop Kwaku Bah - congas

digital capture of an HD 24/96 webcast from 2015, rendered to 16/44
423 MB FLAC here

ii.
Bob Marley Performing Arts Center
Jamaica World Music Festival
Montego Bay, Jamaica
11.25.1982

01 Originator
02 Give the People What They Want/Let's Turn the Tables/African Chant
03 Roots Radical
04 Treat the Youths Right
05 Rock the Children
06 Music Maker
07 Many Rivers to Cross
08 Special
09 Love Is All I Have to Give
10 Peace Officer
11 The Harder They Come
12 Rub-a-Dub Partner

Total time: 1:25:42
disc break goes after Track 05

Jimmy Cliff - vocals
Bo Richards (Sly Dunbar) - drums
Raunchy McLee (Robbie Shakespeare) - bass & vocals
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson - percussion & vocals
Sleepy Woods - African drums, percussion & vocals
Ersta "Double Barrel" Dallas - keyboards & vocals
Rastoogy Brennen - guitars
Earl "Chinna" Smith - guitars
Dean Fraser - saxophones
Junior "Chico" Chin - trumpet
David Madden - trumpet
Brother Neville - trombone

Charlie Miller remaster of a sbd master tape
541 MB FLAC here
These shows sound incredible -- the former comes from a digital, HD rebroadcast and the latter is remastered by Charlie Miller, just like that colossal Aretha tape from last weekend -- and will provide the one-drop to your Easter Egg Hunt with little difficulty.
I shall return tomorrow with a tribute to another charter member of the Tune Luminary Club you won't wanna miss, but for now put this little bee in your bonnet and thank providence for the birth and continuing life of Jimmy Cliff!--J.

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