Grant performing in 2009
|Birth name||Edmond Montague Grant|
5 March 1948 |
Plaisance, British Guiana
Edmond Montague "Eddy" Grant (born 5 March 1948) is a Guyanese British musician. He was a founding member of The Equals, one of Britain's first racially integrated pop groups. He is also known for a successful solo career that includes the platinum single "Electric Avenue".
The AllMusic journalist Jo-Ann Greene noted: "Eddy Grant stands among an elite group of artists as one who has not just merely moved successfully across the musical spectrum, but has actually been at the forefront of genres and even created one of his own. From pop star to reggae radical, musical entrepreneur to the inventor of ringbang, the artist has cut a swathe through the world of music and made it his own."
Grant was born in Plaisance, British Guiana. When he was a young boy, his parents emigrated to London, England, where he settled. He lived in Kentish Town and went to school at the Acland Burghley Secondary Modern at Tufnell Park.
Grant had his first number one hit in 1968, when he was the lead guitarist and main songwriter of the group The Equals, with his self-penned song "Baby Come Back". The tune also topped the UK Singles Chart in 1994, when covered by Pato Banton featuring Robin and Ali Campbell of the reggae group UB40. 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.
- 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 hit single in the US with his original song, "Romancing the Stone", written to accompany the 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.
- Other political protest songs included "War Party" and "Living on the Front Line".
- Defined a Caribbean music meta-genre and philosophy called ringbang, which he first described in 1994.
Grant set up his own recording company, Ice Records and the Coach House studio, 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 Sting, Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello.
- Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital, 2013. (Contributor), Serpent's Tail, 8 August 2013, ISBN 978-1846687617
- List of black Britons
- List of disco artists (A-E)
- List of Eastern Caribbean people
- List of reggae musicians
- Culture of Guyana
- Music of Guyana
- Caribbean music in the United Kingdom
- Greene, Jo-Ann (5 March 1948). "Eddy Grant – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Gregory, Andy (2002) International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, Europa, ISBN 1-85743-161-8, p. 202
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 185. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 42. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "I Don't Wanna Dance", Chart Stats, Retrieved 19 July 2010
- "Eddy Grant", Chart Stats, Retrieved 19 July 2010
- Rollins, Scott. "Eddy Grant Talks About Ringbang". Zeeburgnieuws.nl. Retrieved 23 April 2012.