Jimmy Cliff

You Can Get It If You Really Want...The Best of Jimmy Cliff

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"You Can Get It If You Really Want"? Not if you're a Jimmy Cliff fan looking for a compilation that actually delivers what it claims. Take this best-of compilation. While it does include two of his hits -- "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" and "Vietnam" -- it omits his Top Ten British smash "Wild World," his biggest American selling single, "I Can See Clearly Now," as well his International Song Festival winner and Brazilian chart-topper "Waterfall." So much for truth in advertising. What the set actually offers is a large chunk of Cliff's Wonderful World, Beautiful People album plumped out with singles from the same period, making the title all the more deceiving. Still, it isn't all Music Club's fault, as Cliff's canon is spread over a number of labels, making licensing a complicated proposition. And even if you don't get everything you really want, at least you do get a set filled with top-notch tracks. Beyond the title track, the equally masterful "Many Rivers to Cross," and the aforementioned hits, there's also cultural classics like "Sufferin' in the Land," "Better Days Are Coming," and the nyabinghi-flavored "Bongo Man a Come," as well as such life-affirming numbers as the bouncy "Give a Little, Take a Little," the rocking soul of "Pack Up, Hang Ups," and the reggae-licious cover "Use What I Got." So, even though this isn't a true best-of, it certainly is a stellar slice of the Cliff canon.

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