Junior Murvin has passed away at his home in Jamaica.
Born Murvin Smith, Junior Murvin came of age in an era when Jamaican politics was dominated by the gun. Infatuated with music, it was to be these twin concerns – musical and social – which dominated his career as a conscious artist.
Blessed with an effortless, quivering falsetto, Junior Murvin notched up a number of local hits before breaking out with reggae classic 'Police And Thieves'. Documenting the troubles Kingston was enduring during the long hot summer of 1976, it found global resonance after The Clash included the song on their debut album.
Given renewed resonance in the UK after becoming an anthem during the Notting Hill riots of 1976, the track remains a reggae staple. Buoyant, beautiful and fun in the face of adversity, it's redemptive, soulful makes it a perennial spin.
Recording across the decades, Junior Murvin released his debut album – also titled 'Police And Thieves' – through Island Records in 1977. Further releases include 1982's 'Bad Man Posse' and 1984's 'Muggers In The Street' before the singer launched his Murvin label.
Battling ill health for some time, Junior Murvin was admitted to hospital last week for diabetes and hypertension. Passing away at the Port Antonio Hospital on Monday (December 2nd) news of the singer's death was confirmed to the Jamaica Observer by his son.
One more time…
The new issue of Clash magazine is out right now. It's always on the money with breakthrough acts worth listening to. So, go and see.