Barrington Levy

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Barrington Levy (born 30 April 1964, Clarendon, Jamaica)[1] is a reggae and dancehall artist from Jamaica.

Contents

Career

In 1976, Levy formed a band with his cousin, Everton Dacres, called the Mighty Multitude; the pair released "My Black Girl" in 1977.[1][2] Levy established his solo career the next year with "A Long Time Since We Don't Have No Love";[2] though the single was a failure, the fourteen year old was a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls.[3] In 1979, Levy met Henry "Junjo" Lawes and Hyman Wright, both record producers, and recorded several singles with the Roots Radics, including "Al Yah We Deh", "Looking My Love", "Englishman", "Skylarking", "Wedding Ring Aside" and "Collie Weed", all of which became hits and established Levy's career. Levy's next few singles were similarly successful, including "Shine Eye Girl", "Wicked Intention", "Jumpy Girl", "Disco Music", "Reggae Music", "Never Tear My Love Apart", "Jah", "You Made Me So Happy" and "When You're Young and in Love". Levy then recorded several duets with Toyan, Jah Thomas and Trinity, and appeared at Reggae Sunsplash in 1980 and 1981.[2] Although albums were not terribly important in Jamaica at the time, Levy released four albums before 1980: Shaolin Temple, Bounty Hunter, Shine Eye Gal (United Kingdom) and Englishman, a critically acclaimed record. His success led to many earlier studio and sound system performances being reissued without his consent, releases he described as "joke business".[2][4]

By the time his 1980 album Robin Hood was released, Levy was one of the biggest Jamaican stars, and saw his international fame growing as well, especially in the United Kingdom. Taking a break from albums, Levy then released a series of hit singles, including "Mary Long Tongue", "In the Dark", "Too Poor", "I Have a Problem", "Even Tide Fire a Disaster", "I'm Not in Love", "You Have It", "Love of Jah", "Under Mi Sensi", "Tomorrow Is Another Day", "Robberman", "Black Roses", "My Woman" and "Money Move".[2] He began working with Paul "Jah Screw" Love and toured the UK in 1984, where he enjoyed a big hit on the reggae charts with "Under Mi Sensi", which was followed by the crossover hit "Here I Come", which reached number 41 in the UK Singles Chart in 1985.[5] He returned to LPs with Lifestyle and Money Move, followed by a British hit album called Here I Come; Levy received the Best Vocalist prize at the British Reggae Awards in 1984.[2] The late 1980s saw Levy, now in his twenties, slow down his recorded output, though he continued to perform and record regularly, and played at Sunsplash every year from 1987 to 1995.[2] His fortunes were revived by two cover versions of Bob Andy songs - "My Time" and "Too Experienced", both produced by Jah Screw,[1] and he was signed by Island Records in 1991 for the Divine album.[4] In 1991 he returned to the UK charts with "Tribal Base", a single by Rebel MC featuring Levy and Tenor Fly, which reached number 20.[2] In 1993, Levy tried to break in the United States with the Barrington album, produced by Lee Jaffe, Andre Betts and Sly & Robbie, but it failed to give him the breakthrough he wanted and his relationship with MCA Records was short-lived.[2]

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