The music video for Jimmy Cliff’s I Can See Clearly Now Reggae song has more than 100 million views on YouTube. The song was originally recorded by Reggae and Pop American singer, Johnny Nash in 1972. In 1993, Jimmy Cliff recorded the cover for the soundtrack of Disney movie, Cool Runnings, which chronicles the story of the first Jamaican bobsled team to make it to the Winter Olympics.
Read: 15 Things We Learned From Jimmy Cliff’s Recent Interview with The Guardian
Best Performing Reggae Song in Digital
I Can See Clearly Now is among the most played Jamaican songs in the digital space. It currently sits at 147 million plays on Spotify. It is also Cliff’s highest charting single in the US and his third highest in the UK. The original version of the song by Nash topped the Billboard charts in 1972 while Cliff’s cover reached the number 18 spot on Billboard’s hot 100 charts and steadied in that spot for 25 weeks. In the UK, Cliff’s I Can See Clearly Now version stood at the number 23 spot on the Singles Charts.
Cliff Almost Didn’t Record
In an interview with Dancehall Magazine, the Grammy-award winning singer said he almost didn’t record the track because the production company wanted him to record a cover of Desmond Dekker’s You Can Get It If You Really Want. However, a suggestion was made to record I Can See Clearly Now instead. Cliff also admitted that he never told Nash that he was recording the cover as it would have been handled by the publishing company.
He noted that years after, in conversation, Nash joked that both singers recorded the song in 1972. Nash and Cliff shared a long friendship which strengthened during the years that Cliff lived in London. Nash, who was hailing for a number of years, died in October 2020. His other successful songs include Wonderful World, Beautiful People and Come Into My Life.
Listen: Original Version of I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash (1972)
In the meantime, Cliff’s greatest hits include Wonderful World, Wonderful People, Harder They Come, and Wild World.
Photo – Official Facebook Page for Jimmy Cliff