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.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies