Jimmy Cliff wrote this in 1969. After years of poorly paid tours of Europe, he remembered crossing the English Channel to Dover in a despondent mood, wondering what more he had to do to gain acceptance. When Jamaican filmmaker Percy Henzell heard this song, he offered Cliff the lead in his film The Harder They Come. Cliff's acting and soundtrack to the film made him one of the first international reggae superstars.
Though Jimmy Cliff's version never hit the singles charts, a cover by UK reggae group UB40 reached #16 in the UK in 1983 and one by Cher reached #37 in the UK in 1993.
In 2008 this song reached the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time ever when a performance by Annie Lennox on Idol Gives Back propelled this song into the chart. It was Lennox's first entry in the Hot 100 for nearly 13 years.
Bitsa from MaineWho were the band (backup musicians and vocals) on Jimmy Cliff's original (popular) version? Muscle Shoals by any chance?
Robb From Ohio from KentHeather Nova does an amazing cover of this song.
Calvin from UsaThis song was covered by Oleta Adams, Lenny Kravitz, UB40, John Lenon, Harry Nilsson,Percy Sledge, Marcia Hines, Joe Cocker, Eric Burdon & Animals, Cher, Annie Lennox, Bruce Springsteen, Little Milton, Linda Ronstadt, Toni Childs, Sia, Desmond Dekker, Tessanne Chin.
Greg from EarthToni Childs does a hauntingly beautiful cover for the movie 'Lost Angels'. It was the first time I had heard the song. Pre Shazam I spent years tracking it down. I literally sat there and cried with my many cover versions, videos and mp3's . Jimmy certainly nailed that despondence everyone feels when assessing ones life from a low point.
Lil Lady from Nowhereville, NyAlso check out the great cover by Joe Cocker.
Stu from Suffern, NyLinda Ronstadt did a beautiful cover of this on her Prisoner In Disguise album released 1975.
Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" was just a minor hit when it was released in 1968, but a 2002 remix made the song a global smash, taking it to #1 in a number of countries, including Australia and the UK.