On this day in music history: July 7, 1972 – &…

On this day in music history: July 7, 1972 – “The Harder They Come – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is released. Produced by Jimmy Cliff, Derrick Harriot, Leslie Kong, Byron Lee, Guilly Bright and Bunny Lee, it is recorded in Various Studios from 1967 – 1972. The album serves as the soundtrack to the cult classic film starring reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. The film co-written and directed by Perry Henzell is about a Jamaican man turned reggae singer, who turns to a life of crime after being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous record label owner. The soundtrack features original songs by Cliff as well as previously released singles by prominent reggae artists such as Desmond Dekker, Toots & The Maytals, DJ Scotty, and The Melodians. The film becomes an underground classic and the album (originally issued on Island Records’ Mango imprint in the US) helps to popularize and broaden the audience for reggae music in the US and around the world. In 2003, Universal Music Group releases a double CD Deluxe Edition of the album with one disc containing a remastered version of the original soundtrack, with the second disc consisting of numerous classic reggae singles recorded during the same era. “The Harder They Come” peaks at number one hundred forty on the Billboard Top 200.