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From the Promoter
“I got one more shot at the goal/Straight from my soul/I’m in control,” sings reggae legend Jimmy Cliff on “One More,” the lead track from REBIRTH, the new Universal Music Enterprises album from the Grammy-winning musician, actor, singer, songwriter, producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, produced by punk icon Tim Armstrong, of Rancid and Operation Ivy fame.
The release, his first studio album in seven years, is the next step in their collaboration on last year’s Sacred Fire EP, an effort Rolling Stone called Cliff’s “best music in decades… [his] tenor still soars.” With the groundbreaking 1972 film The Harder They Come celebrating its 40th anniversary, Cliff—who starred in the movie and contributed the title cut, “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Many Rivers to Cross” and “Sitting in Limbo” to the soundtrack—is still going strong in a career that has spanned almost 50 years and includes his native Jamaica’s highest honor, the Order of Merit. In REBIRTH’s autobiographical “Reggae Music,” Cliff recounts going to see famed Jamaican producer Leslie Kong in 1962 to convince him to work with him, releasing Cliff’s first hit, “Hurricane Hattie,” when he was just 14.
While REBIRTH is named after what Cliff perceives as his own artistic revival, the reggae pioneer has never really been away, working with a who’s-who of other rock legends over the years, including the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello and Annie Lennox, his songs covered by the likes of Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Cher, New Order and Fiona Apple. His patented sweet tenor is the most recognizable vocal in reggae along with his only fellow Jamaican Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bob Marley. Last year, he made a triumphant appearance at the Bonnaroo festival that put him back on the pop music map.
Never a stranger to politics, Jimmy continues as a voice of power and conscience, especially on songs like the opener, “World Upside Down,” a song written by the late reggae pioneer Joe Higgs back in the ‘70s with lyrics updated by Cliff. “I made it for the world today,” he added.
See Jimmy Cliff live at Phoenix Concert Theatre on Saturday, August 18th.