Jimmy Cliff

Many Rivers to Cross

Song Review by

One of Jimmy Cliff's most haunting songs, "Many Rivers to Cross" was one of the most stunning moments found on the soundtrack to The Harder They Come. It's a song that virtually defies categorization; the rhythm may be lightly syncopated, but this is really a spiritual, and is accompanied by gospel-flavored backing vocalists. The sumptuous organ adds to the church feel, but the guitar which picks its way across the grooves adds a touch of rock and just a hint of blues to the congregation. Cliff gives one of the performances of his life here; his is the voice of the sufferer, a defiant shout against the weight he's forced to bear, a lost voice calling out in the wilderness, a heartaching cry of spiritual confusion. The singer was indeed actually undergoing his own spiritual awakening during this period, and soon after, Cliff converted to Islam and traveled to Africa in search of his roots.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Jimmy Cliff 1969 Trojan 2:43
Wonderful World, Beautiful People 1970 A&M 2:44
The Harder They Come [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1972 Mango 3:02
20 Reggae Classics: The Music That Inspired A Generation 1987
Various Artists
Trojan 2:41
No Image 1988 Island
Reggae Spectacular 1988
Various Artists
A&M 2:43
Reggae Attack 1990
Various Artists
Attack Records (UK) / Attack Records 2:36
Reggae Greats 1991 Mango 3:02
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Virgin
Best Reggae Album in the World...Ever!, Pt. 2 [Virgin #1] 1994
Various Artists
Virgin 2:37
Class Reunion 1974: The Greatest Hits of 1974 1994
Various Artists
Rebound Records 3:02
Jimmy Cliff, Vol. 2 1995 TriStar Music 2:40
Reggae Dance Party, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 2:46
Many Rivers to Cross 1995 Trojan 2:42
Greatest Love [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:35
This Is Reggae [Music Club] 1998
Various Artists
Music Club Records 2:38
Higher and Higher 1998 Island Jamaica 4:18
Pure Reggae 1998
Various Artists
Polygram / Island 2:59
UB40's Jukebox: 18 Original Reggae Hits 1998
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 / Varese 4:27
Reggae Classics [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:37
Mega Caraibes 1998
Various Artists
Wagram Records
Ultimate Collection 1999 Hip-O / Uptown / Universal 3:02
Millenium Collection 1999 Digimode Entertainment 4:26
Wonderful World, Beautiful People [Compilation] 1999 Castle Pie 2:41
Wow That Was the 70's 1999
Various Artists
Disky Communications 2:40
The Original Labour of Love Collection: 25 Trojan Reggae Classics 2000
Various Artists
Trojan 2:38
Wanted 2000 Recall (UK) 2:39
Super Best 2000 Dealmakers 2:40
You Can Get It If You Really Want...The Best of Jimmy Cliff 2000 Music Club Records 2:40
The Messenger: Very Best of Reggae's Orginal Soul 2000 Metro 2:41
Juke Box Heroes: A Moment of Love 2000
Various Artists
Scopus 4:26
Reggae Classics [Cleopatra] 2001
Various Artists
Cleopatra 2:39
Best of Jimmy Cliff [EMI] 2001 EMI Music Distribution 2:38
Trojan Box Set: U.K. Hits 2002
Various Artists
Trojan / Sanctuary 2:42
Reggae Pulse: The Heartbeat of Jamaica 2002
Various Artists
Trojan / Sanctuary 0:00
Essential Reggae [BMG] 2002
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:40
More Dynamite Reggae 2003
Various Artists
Deca Dance (UK) 2:43
Anthology 2003 Universal Distribution / Hip-O 2:44
Trojan Originals 2003
Various Artists
Trojan / Sanctuary 0:00
Singles 2003 BR Music 3:00
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Reggae 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 3:02
Young, Gifted and Black 2003
Various Artists
Trojan 2:43
The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Jimmy Cliff 2004 Spectrum Music 3:01
This Is Crucial Reggae 2004 Sanctuary 2:41
More Reggae Greats: Another 24 Original Classics 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:40
The Best of Jimmy Cliff [Disky] 2005 Mango 3:02
Better Days Are Coming: The A&M Years 1969-1971 2006 Hip-o Select 2:43
Reggae Masters, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Immergent 2:44
True Chillout 2007
Various Artists
Universal 3:00
100 Hits: Movies 2009
Various Artists
Demon Records / Demon 2:39
Harder Road to Travel: The Collection 2010 Island / Spectrum Music / Trojan / Universal 2:43
Icon 2013 Universal 2:43
Best Of 2017 Hip-O 2:47
Kings of Reggae [Box]
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:41
Love People, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Musiques & Solutions
Moment of Love
Various Artists
Scopus 4:26
Música Afrodisíaca
Various Artists
Vale Music
No Image
Various Artists
Disky
No Image
Various Artists
Special Markets 2:38