With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“I’m gonna make you the talk of town, no use wearing a frown” October 20, 2014


JOHN HOLT 2

I just heard the sad news that reggae legend┬áJohn Holt has died. His manager confirmed that he passed away in a London hospital on Sunday night. He was just 67. He started out as the lead singer of the Paragons and wrote many of their songs; including “Wear You To The Ball” and “The Tide Is High“. The latter went on to become an international hit for Blondie in the 80s and later for Atomic Kitten. I always preferred the Paragons original version. He also recorded as a solo artist while he was with the Paragons cutting tracks like the original of “OK Fred” in 1979. This was later a UK hit for Errol Dunkley in 1979. He recorded tracks with legendary reggae figures such as Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Bunny Lee, Prince Buster and Alton Ellis.

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He recorded and released many albums and singles and was a superstar in Jamaica. Sadly in the UK he was never as popular. His 1974 cover of Kris Kristofferson‘s “Help Me Make It Through The Night” reached number 6 in the UK chart. He released his last solo album, ‘Peacemaker’ in 1993. I still have a copy of the fabulous ‘1,000 Volts Of Holt’ album from 1973, only the CD version though. My vinyl copy wore out years ago.

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My thoughts go to his family, friends and fans. John Holt RIP.

 

“‘Cause there’s no prescription for me she’s the one, the only remedy” October 25, 2010


RIP - The Cool Ruler

People of cyberspace, I have some very sad news to share; Reggae legend Gregory Isaacs passed away today aged just 59. He died at his London home after a long illness having been diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago. Many of you regular readers will know that I have always been a big reggae fan and Isaac’s wonderful “Night Nurse” remains a favourite of mine. Mick Hucknall off of Simply Red recorded a cover of the song in 1997 with Sly and Robbie. In my opinion it was just a formulaic cover of a classic and doesn’t hold a candle to the original. Strangely the original was never a UK or US hit although it garnered massive radio and club play in 1982. The ‘Night Nurse’ album reached number 32 in the UK album chart.

He recorded with many Reggae greats including Rupie Edwards, Byron Lee and Prince Buster. He also formed the African Museum record label and shop with Errol Dunkley in 1973. One of his first big solo songs was “My Only Lover” which many consider to be the first ever lovers rock tune. He was a regular at the Reggae Sunsplash Festival, appearing every year up to 1991. His last album was ‘Brand New Me’ in 2008.

Read about him here at the BBC and the NME. Then listen to (and watch in a couple of cases) some classic Gregory cuts below. “Slavemaster” is one of the best.

Peace and love to his family, friends and fans.

 

 
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