With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“‘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.

 

“See that girl she does something to my chemistry” July 12, 2010


These two music deaths almost passed me by, they certainly didn’t seem to get much in the way of column inches in the UK press. But on July 6th Harvey Fuqua died of a heart attack aged 80 and on July 10th Sugar Minott died aged just 54, the cause of his death has not yet been announced but he was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2009. So I won’t let their passing go unmarked in my blog!

Harvey Fuqua in the Moonglows along with a very young Marvin Gaye

Harvey Fuqua first came to prominence in a group called the Moonglows along with a certain Mr Marvin Gaye. He had quite a musical pedigree. His Uncle, Charlie Fuqua was a member of the Ink Spots and he was also married to Berry Gordy’s sister Gwen. he was responsible for bringing the Spinners (aka the Detroit Spinners and the Motown Spinners in the UK) and Johnny Bristol to Motown. He went on to produce quite a few hits with Bristol. He worked closely with Marvin Gaye and it was Fuqua’s idea that Marvin record a series of duets with Tammi Terrell. He was the producer on Gaye’s first post Motown album ‘Midnight Love’ which featured the classic “Sexual Healing” In the late 70s Harvey discovered the late, great Disco artist Sylvester and produced two of his biggest hits; “Dance (Disco Heat)” and “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” My favourite Slyvester cut though is “Was It Something That I Said?” Mr Fuqua had such a rich musical history and career he will be sadly missed. Click on the song title to hear a great duet he did with the wonderful Etta James, called “If I Can’t Have You” (which incidentally is not the same as the Yvonne Elliman song of the same name from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

Harvey Fuqua with Stella Ragland and Smokey Robinson

Lincoln Barrington Minott began his career as a member of the African Brothers in 1969. Here they are with “Hold Tight” from 1970. He went on to record with top Jamaican producers; Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd and Rupie Edwards. He relocated to the UK from Jamaica in 1980 and had his biggest UK chart success with  a cover of an old Michael Jackson song “Good Thing Going” which reached number 4 in 1981. He recorded hundreds of tracks during his career. In 2006 he appeared on the Easy Stars album of Radiohead covers, titled ‘Radiodread’. He provided guest vocals on the track “Exit Music (For A Film)” Click on the song title for one of my favourite Minott songs, “Lovers Rock“. So like Mr Fuqua the music industry has lost another very talented man.

The late, great Sugar Minott

 

 
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