Synopsis of Pop Music
“We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue
And then we'll take it higher…”
Many people call themselves 'solo artists,' but few fit the tag as well as Eddy Grant. Since the 1970’s, this gifted performer has released several albums on which he wrote and performed every note of the music, in addition to recording it in his own studio and issuing it on his own record label. The totally-personalized music Grant made was a deft blend of pop songwriting, dance rhythms and colorful international elements, making him an international hit-maker during the 1980’s.
Eddy Grant got his start as a member of the Equals. Grant functioned as the main singer, guitarist and songwriter for this band, which scored many hits in the U.K. with their Caribbean-styled pop. When that group disbanded, Grant founded his own studio and record label. During the 1970’s he holed up in the studio and began developing a new style of music called ‘soca’ that blended pop, soul, calypso and African rhythms into a unique and colorful sound. He soon began scoring hits in the U.K. and Europe with his songs, including several where he played all the instruments and sang all the vocals by himself.
In 1982, Eddy Grant moved to Barbados and built the Blue Wave studio complex. It was there that he recorded his breakthrough album, Killer On The Rampage. This record blended social-commentary-themed lyrics with a complex but pop-friendly sound that deftly mixed international influences and pop hooks. It became a hit when the song “Electric Avenue” was released as a single. This danceable tune talked about tensions in the streets over a pulsating instrumental track that mixed new-wave synthesizers and a funky groove. It became a #2 hit and made its parent album a worldwide success.
In 1984, Eddy Grant entered the world of film soundtracks when he wrote the theme song for the hit adventure film, Romancing The Stone. This Top-30 hit was a typically eclectic blend of pop and reggae elements that also included a wailing, rock-style guitar solo. Meanwhile, his Blue Wave studio complex soon became a popular destination for rock stars like Elvis Costello and the Rolling Stones (who used it to prepare for their 1989 “Steel Wheels” tour).
After an absence of four years, Eddy Grant returned to the international pop scene with 1988 with “Gimme Hope, Jo’Anna.” This song cleverly put across an anti-apartheid message by wrapping it in a funky, catchy reggae-pop melody, becoming an international success. In 1991, Grant hosted the first annual Carribean Music Awards at the Harlem’s Apollo Theater in New York City. In recent years, he has also purchased a number of calypso recordings for his record label and has created the world’s largest collection of calypso music in the process.
Eddy Grant’s classic work remains as popular as ever today and has been covered by artists as diverse as the Clash and Pato Banton. Although he is mainly focused on his work as a studio owner and a record label head, Grant still performs on occasion and periodically issues recordings. Most recently, he released a collection of calypso music cover versions entitled Soca Baptism. In addition to these activities, Grant also finds time to produce world-music artists like Calypso Rose and Duke. Whether as a businessman or a performer, Eddy Grant will continue to be an important part of the international music scene for a long time.
Artist Release History1977 - Message Man
1979 - Walking on Sunshine
1979 - Living in a Front Line
1980 - Love in Exile
1980 - My Turn to Love You
1981 - Can't Get Enough
1981 - Live at Notting Hill
1982 - Killer on the Rampage
1983 - Eddy Grant
1984 - Born Tuff
1984 - Going for Broke
1988 - File Under Rock
1988 - Hits
1989 - Walking on Sunshine: The Best of Eddy Grant
1990 - Barefoot Soldier
1992 - Paintings of the Soul
1993 - Soca Baptism
1997 - I Don't Wanna Dance
2000 - Hit Collection
Pop Sub Categoriespop