Jimmy Cliff

You Can Get It If You Really Want

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Song Review by Jo-Ann Greene

The song may have been written by Jimmy Cliff, but it was Desmond Dekker that would take it high into the charts both in Jamaica and Britain (where it climbed to number two). That was at the insistence of producer Leslie Kong, a decision Dekker initially fought. Two years later, Cliff would cut his own version for use on the soundtrack to the movie The Harder They Come. If the two sound similar, that's because Cliff utilized the original tape, right down to the backing singers, only Dekker's vocals are stripped off. Although Dekker's is the better known, Cliff's is just as good, and while both men gave magnificent performances, the former's is more emotive, the latter's more personable. Take your pick.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Harder They Come [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1972 Mango 2:43
Best of Jimmy Cliff [Island] 1988 Island
Wanted 2000 Recall (UK) 2:41
Super Best 2000 Dealmakers 2:41