Junior “One Blood” Reid


Junior "One Blood" Reid

Reid was born in the Tower Hill area of Kingston, and had a tough upbringing in the city’s Waterhouse district, notorious for being one of the most dangerous places in Jamaica.[1] It was there in the politically turbulent late ’70s that he recorded his first-ever single “Speak the Truth” at the age of 13 for the late Hugh Mundell, released in Jamaica on Augustus Pablo‘s Rockers International label, and popular as an import single in the United Kingdom.[2] UK label Greensleeves Records followed this with “Know Myself” in 1981.[1] He then went on to form his own band, the Voice of Progress, and after a local hit with “Mini-Bus Driver” the group scored local success with an album of the same name.
By the early 80’s, commissioned by the great Sugar Minott to record a number of tunes on Minott’s Youth Promotion label, enjoying considerable popularity with tracks such as “Human Nature”, “A1 Lover”, and the evergreen “See How Me Black See How Me Shine”, an uplifting and proud statement which became an anthem to the ghetto youth whom Reid increasingly championed. Reid was present at the 1983 shooting death of reggae singer Hugh Mundell; he was travelling in the same car as Mundell in Kingston. After the death of Mundell, Reid transferred his talents to King Jammy‘s studio on St. Lucia Road where his fast-growing success rose yet another notch. “Boom Shacka Lacka” was his first UK hit and led to another exceptional album. After a number of fine singles – which included “Youthman”, “Bank Clerk”, “Sufferation”, “Give Thanks and Praises” and “Higgler Move” – his chance of a wider international audience came with the offer of replacing Michael Rose in Black Uhuru. Always a strong follower of Black Uhuru, and with a similar vocal style, Reid slipped into Rose’s shoes with ease. The collaboration on his first Black Uhuru album, the Grammy-nominated Brutal, in 1986, was well received by all. Two years and two albums later, Junior’s interest to produce material for himself, and desire to regain his domestic popularity, drove him back into the solo arena and back to King Jammy’s studio, as well as setting up his own JR label.[1] Reid had a number 21 hit in the UK in 1988 with the collaboration with Coldcut, “Stop This Crazy Thing”.[1] He had an even bigger hit in 1990, with “I’m Free”, recorded with The Soup Dragons, reaching number 5.[1] Meanwhile, 1989’s “One Blood” saw him re-established at the forefront of the reggae scene.[1]

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2 thoughts on “Junior “One Blood” Reid

  1. Pingback: Tribute to the Reggae LEGENDS 2012 – BOB MARLEY DAY | SCREAM

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