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****Excellent***Good**Fair*Poor : COMPACT DISCS

December 22, 1987|ROBERT HILBURN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"The Harder They Come." Mango. From the excellent Perry Henzell film about exploitation in the Jamaican music world (and beyond), this 1972 sound track is one of the most influential LPs of the modern pop age. The album reflected the seductiveness and commentary of reggae with such extraordinary spirit and range that it may have done more to build an audience for reggae in this country than any other single work. From the plaintive beauty of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross" to the rebellious celebration of the Slickers' "Johnny Too Bad" (a virtual model for much of the Clash's rock-reggae exploration), "Harder" remains a collection of enormous musical power and emotional scope. Essential. ****

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