Jimmy Cliff & Richard Thompson Review

Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff is live in the Sound Opinions studio. Plus, guitar great Richard Thompson goes "Electric."

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Another Grammy night has come and gone, and again it was all about the performances. The award show had its second biggest ratings night since 1993, and one of the biggest newsmakers was someone who wasn't even eligible for an award: Justin Timberlake. Other big winners were Mumford & Sons and Frank Ocean. Jim and Greg talk about some of the Grammy's bizarre voting and eligibility rules and compare these winners to those who took home the prize for Village Voice Jazz & Pop Poll.


Jimmy Cliff

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Cliff walked away with his second "Best Reggae Album" Grammy last week. Rebirth is Cliff's 30th reggae record in a career that spans the history of the genre. Talking to Jim and Greg, he traces the evolution of reggae from party music celebrating Jamaican independence, to a more introspective music about roots, spirituality, and identity. While he may not be as famous as countryman Bob Marley, Cliff was instrumental in breaking reggae in the U.S. As the starring actor and songwriter for the cult film The Harder They Come, he introduced Americans to Rastafarian culture, dancehall music, and his own hits "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "The Harder They Come." Cliff might be a reggae founding father, but he's no purist. He talks approvingly of punk's adoption of reggae sounds and even returns the compliment: Rebirth features a cover of The Clash's "Guns of Brixton," a song originally inspired by The Harder They Come.

reviewElectric (Deluxe Edition)Electric available on iTunes

Richard Thompson Electric

To put it simply: our hosts think Richard Thompson is the most revered guitarist working today. And the fact that he's been doing it and doing it well for over 4 decades is nothing short of a miracle. So yes, that means his latest album, Electric, is a Buy It. Need we say more? (We didn't think so, but just in case, see the footnotes to find Jim and Greg's full reviews.)



“I Can't Control Myself”The Troggs

It's always sad to hear of a musician passing, but Jim admits that no death has hit him harder in recent years than that of Reg Presley. The Troggs lead singer was no great talent and no great looker, but he was full of attitude. And The Troggs have an entire catalog of great songs….not just "Wild Thing." So in his honor, Jim adds "I Can't Control Myself" to the Desert Island Jukebox this week.

Featured Songs

  1. Justin Timberlake,“Suit & Tie,”2013 Grammys Telecast Performance, 2013
  2. Frank Ocean,“Forrest Gump,”2013 Grammys Telecast Performance, 2013
  3. Jimmy Cliff, You Can Get It If You Really Want, The Harder They Come, Island, 1972
  4. Lord Flea and His Calypsonians, Donkey Bray, single, Capitol, 1957
  5. Jimmy Cliff, Fundamental Reggay, single, EMI, 1973
  6. Derrick Morgan, Shake a Leg, single, Blue Beat, 1961
  7. Jimmy Cliff, Reggae Music, Rebirth, Universal/Sunpower/Hip-O, 2012
  8. Jimmy Cliff, The Harder They Come, The Harder They Come, Island, 1972
  9. Lord Creator, Independent Jamaica, single, Island, 1962
  10. Hopeton Lewis, Take It Easy, single, Merritone, 1966
  11. Burning Spear, Marcus Garvey, Marcus Garvey, Island, 1975
  12. Jimmy Cliff, Vietnam, Jimmy Cliff, Trojan, 1969
  13. Jimmy Cliff, Many Rivers to Cross, The Harder They Come, Island, 1972
  14. Jimmy Cliff, Sitting in Limbo, The Harder They Come, Island, 1972
  15. Jimmy Cliff, World Upside Down, Rebirth, Universal/Sunpower/Hip-O, 2012
  16. The Clash, Guns of Brixton, London Calling, CBS, 1979
  17. Jimmy Cliff, Guns of Brixton, Rebirth, Universal/Sunpower/Hip-O, 2012
  18. Jimmy Cliff, Trapped, single, Island, 1972
  19. Richard Thompson, Stuck on the Treadmill, Electric, New West Records, 2013
  20. Richard Thompson, Stony Ground, Electric, New West Records, 2013
  21. Richard Thompson, Good Things Happen to Bad People, Electric, New West Records, 2013
  22. Richard Thompson, Saving the Good Stuff for You, Electric, New West Records, 2013
  23. The Troggs, I Can't Control Myself, single, Fontana, 1966
  24. Kurt Vile, Wakin' on a Pretty Day, Wakin' on a Pretty Daze, Matador, 2013
  25. The Replacements, Answering Machine, Let It Be, Twin/Tone Records, 1984
  26. The Jackson 5, I Want You Back, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, Motown, 1969
  27. Jefferson Airplane, Comin' Back to Me, Surrealistic Pillow, RCA Victor, 1967


grammy.com Grammy Awards huffingtonpost.com“Suit and Tie”video chicagotribune.com Greg's Grammy's wrap-up grammy.org Grammy rules villagevoice.com Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll jimmycliff.com Jimmy Cliff's website jamaicaobserver.com Jimmy Cliff's Grammy win universalmusicenterprises.com Rebirth youtube.com The Harder They Come youtube.com“You Can Get It If You Really Want” youtube.com“The Harder They Come” youtube.com“Guns of Brixton” richardthompson-music.com Richard Thompson's website wbez.org Jim's Thompson Review chicagotribune.com Greg's Thompson Review wbez.org Jim's obituary of Reg Presley guardian.co.uk The Guardian's obituary of Reg Presley guardian.co.uk“I Cant Control Myself”