Jimmy Cliff has always occupied an odd position in reggae music, first of all because he predates it significantly, but also because for much of his career he merged his musical interests with international pop considerations to the extent that he managed to record frequently for such major labels as Warner, EMI, Universal, and Sony. Although his commercial success was spotty, it was recurrent; he first hit the charts internationally in 1969 and was still scoring occasionally in the mid-'90s. His label hopping had made it practically impossible to assemble a thorough compilation of his work until the release of Anthology. Universal's Hip-O reissue subsidiary specializes in putting together anthologies that span record labels, and the compilers had quite a task on their hands when it came to Cliff.
Rolling Stone Magazine released a list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in November 2004. It represents an eclectic mix of music spanning the past 50 years, and contains a wide variety of artists sharing the spotlight. The Rolling Stone 500 was compiled by 172 voters comprised of rock artists and well-known rock music experts, who submitted ranked lists of their favorite 50 Rock & Roll/Pop music songs. The songs were then tallied to create the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Marcia Ball's strong western Louisiana, eastern Texas roots run strongly through So Many Rivers, and she has increased the range she covers. Solid in the foundation of her piano playing and phrasing, she is rooted rock-solid to the rhythms by the drumming of Tom Fillman and the bass of both Don Bennett and Yoggie Musgrove. There is also the production work of Stephen Bruton, who also added his otherworldly guitar work to the mix. Marcia Ball's voice has only gotten finer with the passage of time, and the collaborations with Irma Thomas and Tracy Nelson have also added a lot of potency to her voice and handling of a song. She has assembled a crack group of musicians here that gives her freedom to take those chances that make So Many Rivers stand out from the crowd…
Colin Hay first emerged as songwriter/vocalist for hitmakers Men at Work before establishing himself as a solo artist. But his love for music was born in his native Scotland while working at his parents' record store and hearing the hits of the day. At home during quarantine in 2021 Hay was moved to record some of his favorites from that period. From the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" to Faces' "Ooh La La" and Dusty Springfield's "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", Hay delivers a set a lushly reimagined classics that showcase both his talent for interpreting songs and his iconic vocals.