Reggae singer Junior Murvin dies aged 64
'Police and Thieves' became an anthem in British inner cities of the late Seventies
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 02 December 2013
Junior Murvin, the Jamaican singer whose hit "Police and Thieves" became one of the most distinctive songs in reggae music and an anthem in the British inner cities of the late Seventies, has died.
"Police and Thieves" was recorded in 1976 to reflect turf war and police violence in Jamaica but became closely associated with London's Notting Hill Carnival, which ended in rioting that year. The song introduced many punk rockers to reggae and was covered by The Clash for their debut album in 1977.
"Police and Thieves" was the title track of a popular Junior Murvin album released by Chris Blackwell's Island Records, also in 1977. The song was eventually a British chart hit for the Jamaican singer in 1980 and has been a staple of sound systems at Notting Hill Carnival for nearly four decades.
The falsetto singer, who was born Murvin Smith Junior, began his career under the name of Junior Soul and recorded over a period of more than 30 years. But he never managed to emulate the success of his greatest hit, which was produced by the eccentric Lee "Scratch" Perry. He died peacefully at his home in Port Antonio, Jamaica, on Monday. He was 64.
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