Edmond Montague Grant, 5 March 1948, Plaisance, Guyana, West Indies. Grant moved to England in 1960. Over the next few years, he wrote a number of ska songs, some of which have become classics, including the suggestive hit for Prince Buster, Rough Rider. During the late 60s he enjoyed pop success as part of the Equals, with Baby Come Back topping the UK singles chart. Grant was 24 years old, with several further Equals hits to his credit, when he left the band to form his own production company. After producing other acts, he made his own debut in 1977 with Message Man. It was certainly a solo effort: not only did he sing and play every note, but it was recorded in his own studio, the Coach House, and released on his own label, Ice Records. Grant had developed his own sound - part reggae, part funk, with strong musical motifs and strong melodies - producing pop with credibility. More than 10 years after the Equals first hit, Living On The Front Line (1979) was a UK number 11 hit, and the now dreadlocked Grant had found himself a whole new audience. Do You Feel My Love and Cant Get Enough Of You kept him in the UK Top 20.
In 1982, Grant moved his home and studio to Barbados, signed Ice Records to RCA Records, and achieved a memorable UK number 1 hit with I Dont Wanna Dance. The following year Electric Avenue reached number 2 on both sides of the Atlantic, and the parent album Killer On The Rampage proved his biggest seller. The huge hits eluded him for four years until he stormed back in January 1988 with Gimme Hope Joanna, as if he had never been away. The dressing of the anti-apartheid message in the apparent simplicity of a pop song was typically inspired. In recent years, Grant has continued recording and writing quality material, but has concentrated his efforts on building a successful music publishing company and record label in Barbados. A dance remix of Electric Avenue was a huge club hit in 2001.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.