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Eddy Grant

Eddy Grant (born Edmond Montague Grant, 5 March 1948) is a musician, born in Plaisance, Guyana.

When he was still 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 multiracial 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

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 minor 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. This song was later adapted for use on a commercial for Yop, a commercially available yogurt-based drink, with the altered non-political lyrics “give me Yop (me mama) when the morning come”.

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.

Discography

Studio Albums

1977 Message Man – coming soon 01/02/2013

Compilations

All The Hits – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/eddy-grant-all-the-hits/

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