John Holt – ‘Chanting’ (Greensleeves Records, GRE0902)
In 1983 the former lead vocalist of The Paragons, singer/songwriter John Holt, surprised many of his fans, myself included, when sporting the distinctive beard and dreadlocks of the followers of the faith of Rastafari, he released a new album, ‘Police in Helicopter’, backed by the Roots Radics and produced by the Dancehall Don, Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes. The album also featured songs with a more socially aware content than was normally associated with romantically inclined balladeer.
Holt had a massive hit with the title track and the follow up, ‘Fat she Fat’. Tucked away on side 2 was a track called ‘Chanting’. Though never officially released a heavily re-mixed Dubplate of the track, the exclusive property of Jah Shaka the leading UK based sound system, gained popularity through extensive play in UK dancehalls.
Now, 32 years after the original LP release, both versions of the song are finally available curtesy of Greensleeves Records. A fitting tribute to one of the genres finest singers who passed away a year ago.