Tuesday, December 3, 2013

R.I.P. Junior Murvin

Jamaican reggae vocalist Junior Murvin was not among the more prolific artists of reggae's golden years, but his Curtis Mayfield-like falsetto was a unique and memorable instrument.  And if he is known for no other reason, he will be remembered for the song he wrote and recorded for producer Lee "Scratch" Perry - "Police and Thieves".  You may have heard the original release at some point.  On the radio?  At a party? Perhaps on the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels soundtrack.  You may also have heard the cover by The Clash. Below is a video Junior performing the song live for the UK show Top of the Pops in 1976.  In any case, the combination of rude boy themes, Murvin's sweet vocals and the tight rhythm laid down by Perry's house band made for a classic reggae anthem.

Here is another Murvin hit, "Cool Out Son" -

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