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The Allmusic journalist Jo-Ann Greene noted that "Eddy Grant stands among an elite group of artists as one who has not just merely moved successfully across the musical spectrum, but has actually been at the forefront of genres and even created one of his own. From pop star to reggae radical, musical entrepreneur to the inventor of ringbang, the artist has cut a swath through the world of music and made it his own".
Life and career[edit source | edit]Edit
When he was a young boy, his parents emigrated to London, UK, where he settled. He lived in Kentish Town and went to school at the Acland Burghley Secondary Modern at Tufnell Park. He had his first number one hit in 1968, when he was the lead guitarist and main songwriter of the group The Equals, with his self-penned song "Baby, Come Back". The tune also later topped the UK Singles Chart again when covered by Pato Banton. Notably, he openly used his songwriting for political purposes, especially against the then-current apartheid regime of South Africa. The Clash recorded a version of "Police On My Back" for their Sandinista! set.
Musical achievements[edit source | edit]Edit
- In 1982, his solo recording of "I Don't Wanna Dance" spent three weeks at Number one in the UK Singles Chart. He scored a Top Ten album in the same year, with Killer on the Rampage.
- "Electric Avenue" was both a UK and US number 2 in 1983, selling over a million copies. A later remix also made the UK Top Ten, in 2001.
- In 1984, Grant had a hit single in the US with his original song written to accompany the Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner film, Romancing the Stone. Despite being commissioned by the film's producers, all but the guitar solo (which played when Douglas and Turner were in a small house in the jungle) would be cut from the film during its final edit. The song, which was Grant's latest Hot 100 hit, did not appear on its soundtrack. Grant released the song as a single with the original video that featured scenes from the film. Later the video was re-edited without the Romancing the Stone clips.
- His later single, "Gimme Hope Jo'anna", during the apartheid regime ("Jo'anna" stands for Johannesburg, South Africa) was a song about apartheid in that country, and was subsequently banned in South Africa.
- Other songs, such as "War Party" were also political protest songs. "The only decoration is the one upon the grave". "Living On The Front Line" was another. "They got me living on top of my existence, oh appreciating my resistance".
- Defined a Caribbean music meta-genre and philosophy called ringbang, which he first described in 1994.
Ice Records[edit source | edit]Edit
Grant set up his own recording company, Ice Records and the Coach House studio, but more recently has returned to the West Indies from London, choosing Barbados as a more realistic venue for a recording company, rather than his country of origin. He has also produced Sting, Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello.
Discography[edit source | edit]Edit
Studio albums[edit source | edit]Edit
|1979||Walking on Sunshine||-||-||-|
|1980||Love in Exile / My Turn To Love You
|1981||Can't Get Enough
|1982||Killer on the Rampage
|1984||Going for Broke
|1988||File Under Rock
|1992||Paintings of the Soul
|2001||Hearts and Diamonds
Live albums[edit source | edit]Edit
- Live at Notting Hill (1981, Ice Records)
Compilation albums[edit source | edit]Edit
- All The Hits (1984, K-tel) UK #23
- Walking on Sunshine (The Best of Eddy Grant) (1989, Parlophone Records) UK #20
- Greatest Hits (1997, EMI)
- Hits From the Frontline (1999, MCI)
- Hit Collection (1999, Wagram Records)
- The Greatest Hits (2001, London Records) UK #3, NZ #3
- Greatest Hits Collection (2001, Ice/Sequel-Castle) UK #94
- The Very Best of Eddy Grant - Road To Reparation (2008, Greenheart Music) UK #14
Singles[edit source | edit]Edit
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|1979||"Living on the Front Line"||11||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Walking on Sunshine|
|"Walking on Sunshine"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||86|
|1980||"Do You Feel My Love"||8||12||16||8||3||—||—||—||Can't Get Enough|
|1981||"Can't Get Enough of You"||13||22||19||—||26||—||—||—|
|"I Love You, Yes I Love You"||37||58||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1982||"I Don't Wanna Dance"||1||7||1||2||1||53||—||—||
||Killer on the Rampage|
|"Till I Can't Take Love No More"||42||26||—||—||—||—||—||—||Going for Broke|
|1984||"Romancing the Stone"||52||42||—||—||28||26||12||—|
|"Boys in the Street"||78||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1988||"Gimme Hope Jo'anna"||7||4||—||1||3||—||—||—||File Under Rock|
|"Harmless Piece of Fun"||90||—||—||76||—||—||—||—|
|"Put a Hold on It"||79||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1989||"Walking on Sunshine" (re-issue)||63||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||The Best of Eddy Grant|
|2001||"Electric Avenue" (remix)||5||68||11||31||—||—||16||—||The Greatest Hits|
|"Walking on Sunshine" (remix)||57||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
Other charted songs[edit source | edit]Edit
|1984||"Living on the Front Line"||47||Non-album song|