The mystery of The Harder They Come
Since I bought it during high school, I’ve listened to the soundtrack of The Harder They Come hundreds of times, if not more. I’ve been listening to it more than usual lately, in part because it’s also an unofficial soundtrack to Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings, which I’m currently re-reading, and in part because Eli or someone left a CD of it in Jane’s car. Anyway, one of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the record is that two of the outstanding Jimmy Cliff songs on it, “You Can Get It If You Really Want It” and the title track, repeat at the end. They’re not remixes or alternate version; just the same recordings. Today, nearly 40 years after my introduction to the album, I ask a question I never thought to ask before: Why? I have some theories but have been unable to discover why Island Records did that. Are there any reggae or Chris Blackwell or soundtrack enthusiasts who can help me?