Eddy Grant


Eddy Grant

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Eddy Grant


Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Edmond Montague Grant
Born = birth date and age|1948|3|5
Plaisance, Guyana
Origin =
Genre = Reggae, Gospel, rock
Occupation = Musician
Instrument(s) = Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion
Years_active = 1968 – present
Label = Ice Records, Ensign Records, East West Records, Blue Wave Records

Edmond Montague Grant (born 5 March 1948 in Plaisance, Guyana [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:3nfixql5ldae~T1 All Music Guide biography] ] ) is a British reggae musician.

Childhood

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.

Career

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 song "Baby Come Back". [ [http://www.everyhit.com/searchsec.php "Baby Come Back" on www.everyhit.com detailing its UK chart performance] ] The tune also later topped the UK Singles Chart again when it was covered by Pato Banton. Another Equals' hits included "Viva Bobby Joe". In 1971, Grant went home to Guyana following a collapsed lung and heart infection which put him out of action at the beginning of that year.cite book
first= John
last= Tobler
year= 1992
title= NME Rock 'N' Roll Years
edition= 1st
publisher= Reed International Books Ltd
location= London
pages= p. 224
id= CN 5585
] He promptly left The Equals to pursue his solo career.

Also a shrewd businessman, in 1972 he set up the first black-owned recording studio in Europe, Coach House, and began recording his own music on his Ice Records. [http://caribbean.halloffame.tripod.com/Eddy_Grant.html Caribbean Hall of Fame] ] As a result, he is thought to be the only major recording artist who owns the rights to all his songs. In 1979, Grant scored a hit "Living on the Frontline" under a distribution deal with Columbia Records, which bought the masters to all of his recordings with the Equals and set up a record pressing plant.

In 1981, Grant relocated to Barbados and built the Blue Wave studio complex. Around this time, Grant moved Ice Records distribution in Europe to RCA and recorded the album, "Killer on the Rampage". The relationship with RCA proved particularly fruitful as the album would spawn his hits "I Don't Wanna Dance" and "Electric Avenue". Both of these tracks made the UK Top five, with "I Don't Wanna Dance" going to number one in the UK chart in September / October 1982.

In 1991, Grant was the host of the first annual Caribbean Music Awards at the Harlem’s Apollo Theater in New York.

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!" triple album.

Later, Grant shifted his focus to Ice Records, and began reissuing recordings by calypso and soca artists, such as the Mighty Sparrow, Roaring Lion, Lord Melody and others. Grant has been married for over 20 years and has four children. He currently splits his time between his studio, label and the Pepperpot Nightclub.

Eddy and his wife (Glenys) had a young daughter called Rachel who now works for the UK Film Council as the Head of the Communications Team. Rachel has not inherited her father's musical ability and has never released a record, however she is a keen cyclist and hopes to feature in Team GB's cycling team in 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2008 Grant undertook his first UK tour for more than twenty years, playing London's Bush Hall, Brighton Concorde 2, Cambridge Junction, Norwich Waterfront, and the Manchester Academy 2. He also performed at the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute in London's Hyde Park, and at Glastonbury, Oxegen and T in the Park.

He still makes use of any opportunity to voice political concerns. However, during an appearance on British radio on 20 June 2008, he would not be drawn on the subject of the plight of the Zimbabwean people, citing a distrust of the way the situation has been reported in the press.

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 hit single in 1983, selling over a million copies. [http://www.80smusiclyrics.com/artists/eddygrant.htm 80smusiclyrics.com mini-biography] ] Plus, a later remix of the song was a UK Top Ten hit again in 2001.

*In 1984, Grant had a minor hit single in the U.S. 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 would be cut from the film during its final edit. The song did not appear on its soundtrack. Grant released the song as a single with the original video that featured scenes from the film until it was re-edited without the "Romancing the Stone" clips.

*His later single, "Gimme Hope Jo'anna", during the apartheid regime ("Joanna" stood for Johannesburg, South Africa) was a song about apartheid in that country, and was subsequently banned by it. Lyrics include:

::"Well Joanna she runs a country, she runs in Durban and the Transvaal."

::"She makes a few of her people happy, she don't care about the rest at all."

::"She got a system they call apartheid, it keeps a brother in subjection."

::"But maybe pressure will make Joanna see, how everybody could live as one." [ [http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Eddy-Grant/Gimme-Hope-Joanna.html Seeklyrics.com - "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" lyrics] ]

:This song was later adapted for use on a commercial for Yop, a commercially available yoghurt-based drink, with the altered lyrics "Give me Yop (me mama?) when the morning come".

*Other tracks, such as "War Party" were also political protest songs. "The only decoration is the one upon the graves". [ [http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Eddy-Grant/War-Party.html Seeklyrics.com - "War Party" lyrics] ] "Living on the Front Line" was another. "They got me living on top of my existence, oh appreciating my resistance".

* In 2001, "Eddy Grant, The Greatest Hits" was released. He also appeared at that year's Party in the Park concert.
* June 29 2008 Eddy Grant performed at the Glastonbury Festival.

Ice Records

Grant set up his own recording company, Ice Records, 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 for Sting, Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello. Ice Records is distributed in the United States by Select-O-Hits of Memphis, Tennessee.

Discography

UK chart singles

* "Living on the Front Line" - 1979 - #11
* "Do You Feel My Love" - 1980 - #8
* "Can't Get Enough of You" - 1981 - #13
* "I Love You, Yes I Love You" - 1981 - #37
* "I Don't Wanna Dance" - 1982 - #1
* "Electric Avenue" - 1983 - #2 (US #2)
* "Living on the Front Line" / "Do You Feel My Love" - re-issue - 1983 - #47
* "War Party" - 1983 - #42
* "Till I Can't Take Love No More" - 1983 - #42
* "Romancing the Stone" - 1984 - #52 (US #26)
* "Boys in the Street" - 1984 - #78
* "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" - 1988 - #7
* "Harmless Piece of Fun" - 1988 - #90
* "Put a Hold on It" - 1988 #79
* "Walking on Sunshine" - 1989 - #63
* "Electric Avenue" - remix - 2001 - #5
* "Walking on Sunshine" - remix - 2001 - #57cite book
first= David
last= Roberts
year= 2006
title= British Hit Singles & Albums
edition= 19th
publisher= Guinness World Records Limited
location= London
pages= p. 234
id= ISBN 1-904994-10-5
]

Albums

Box sets / Compilations

*1984 "All The Hits" (K-tel) - UK #23
*1989 "Walking on Sunshine (The Best of Eddy Grant)" (Parlophone Records) - UK #20
*1997 "Greatest Hits" (EMI)
*1999 "Hits From the Frontline"
*1999 "Hit Collection" (Wagram Records)
*2000 "Greatest Hits Collection"
*2000 "Hit Collection" (Ice Records)
*2001 "The Greatest Hits" (Sire Records) - UK #3
*2001 "Greatest Hits" (WEA International)
*2008 "The Very Best of Eddy Grant - Road To Reparation" (Greenheart Music)

Parody

*"Flatbush Avenue", a parody of "Electric Avenue", was recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic.cite web|url=http://www.weirdal.com/setlists.htm|title="Weird Al" Yankovic: Concert Setlists|work=weirdal.com|accessdate=2006-11-07]
*"Gimme Dope Joanna", a skit on "Gimme Hope Joanna", was recorded by the German satirical heavy metal band, J.B.O.
*"Give Me Yop! Me Mamma", a parody of "Give Hope Joanna", was used in an advertisement for Yop.

ee also

*List of black Britons
*List of disco artists (A-E)
*List of Eastern Caribbean people
*List of reggae musicians
*Afro-Guyanese
*Culture of Guyana
*Music of Guyana
*Caribbean music in the United Kingdom

References

External links

* [http://www.icerecords.com/ Ice Records]
* [http://www.icerecords.com/EddyGrant.htm Biography from his own Ice Records label]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtPk5IUbdH0 Video for "Electric Avenue"]
* [http://new.uk.music.yahoo.com/videos/EddyGrant/Romancing-The-Stone--2169320 Video for "Romancing The Stone"]


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