Truly one of the great innovators in 20th Century popular music, [lastfm]Jimmy Cliff[/lastfm] is a legend to anyone who has listened to and learned about reggae music. But to a younger generation, who may only know [lastfm]Bob Marley[/lastfm], Cliff is a walking history lesson just waiting to be discovered. Fortunately the man, now in his 60s, is as vibrant as ever and making outrageously-good new music.
In 1972 [lastfm]Jimmy Cliff[/lastfm] starred in a film called The Harder They Come, about a musician from Jamaica trying to make it in the music business, who ultimately turns to a life of crime to make ends meet. The film, and the soundtrack which was largely penned by Cliff, introduced much of the world to reggae music and kicked off a fascination with Jamaican music that primed the world for the arrival of new stars like [lastfm]Peter Tosh[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Bob Marley[/lastfm].
Cliff has remained a force in reggae music ever since, and in 2010 was recognized for his contributions with induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Around that same time, Cliff met musician/producer Tim Armstrong of the punk group [lastfm]Rancid[/lastfm] and began a fruitful musical collaboration that led to the creation of The Sacred Fire. One of their very first collaborative efforts was a cover of “Guns Of Brixton,” the classic punk anthem by [lastfm]The Clash[/lastfm]. That tune, plus brand-new reggae tracks that sound like vintage 1960s tracks, make up the core of the Sacred Fire track list.
This one’s not on the EP, but if you want to hear how Cliff’s legendary voice sounds these days, this is the video for you. “Many Rivers To Cross” is the song, performed live on November 16th at the Dub Club in Los Angeles.
The track listing for The Sacred Fire EP is as follows:
1. Guns of Brixton
2. World Upside Down**
3. Ruby Soho
4. Ship Is Sailing
5. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
6. Brixton Version
**Vinyl only bonus track
Grab your copy of The Sacred Fire today on multi-colored vinyl at Jimmy Cliff’s web store and in digital form at iTunes