BLACK MUSIC AUGUST 1974: Vol. 1 / Issue 9
JIMMY CLIFF – `House Of Exile` (Trojan TRLS 85).
Brother / I Want To Know / You Can`t Be Wrong And Get Right / House Of Exile / Foolish Pride / No 1 Rip Off Man / Long Time No See / I`ve Been Dead 400 Yaers / Look What You`ve Done To My Life Devil Woman / Music Maker / My Love Is Solid As A Rock / Money Won`t Save You: –
“I helped you to build your empire / but you turned out a dirty old liar / and quite soon it will start catch a fire / and I`ll watch while the flames burn higher . . . .” So goes the chorus from “No 1 Rip Off Man”. It is Cliffs testimony to the fact that there was, and is still, a lot of bad feeling between him and his previous record company. It is just about his best song here, he spits it out venomously and unquestionably hits home. The more you listen to this LP the better the songs get. The lyrics and music of “I Want To Know” and “I`ve Been Dead 400 Years” synchronise very well but do not completely exonerate Cliff from the charge of failing to equate content and structure on the LP overall. If we accept Cliff as a pop musician using reggae, rather than a reggae musician, then his music makes more sense.
BLACK MUSIC AUGUST 1974