@ the Indigo 02
27 October 2012
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At the age of ten, Vivian Jones left Trewlaney, Jamaica, in 1967
to settle in England. In 1977 he joined the band the Spartans and
began to write his own material. A couple of bands later, Jones
went solo and achieved a number 1 in the reggae charts in 1980 with
“Good Morning.” A dearth of available session musicians
inspired him to form a new band called ‘Vivian Jones and The
Pieces,’ whose singles he also produced. In 1981, ‘Black
Echoes’ magazine voted him the most talented singer/songwriter
in the UK, but the then consistent problem of lack of remuneration
for reggae recording artists made him contemplate his future. So,
in 1984, he went back to Jamaica, but still ended up recording songs
with Roots Radics. He returned to England and collaborated with
Jah Shaka, and began to concentrate on his own music once more.
1988 saw another number 1 in the reggae charts, “Sugar Love,”
which stayed there for four weeks. “Extra Classic Super Fantastic
Love” reached number 3 in August 1989 and stayed in the charts
till January 1990, when “The Hurt” was released. The
album “Jamaica Love” was released in early 1990 and
features Jones’ hit singles from 1988 to 1990. In August,
he re-recorded “Good Morning/Feelings,” and 1991 saw
another five week number 1 with “Strong Love,” and the
British Reggae Industry awarded him the title of Best Male Artist.
Another trip to Jamaica in 1993 had Jones recording with of Jamaica’s
top producers, Bobby Digital and Junior Reid, and he returned to
England to record “Ethiopian Eyes/African Love,” which
proved to be two major hits. Vivian Jones then started work on the
“Love Is For Lovers” LP, the title track from which
was released in 1994 and got to number 1 in the Midlands and the
North of England. Sylvia Tella and Vivian Jones got together in
1995 to record a duet, “Sometimes Love,” which was released
on Jones’ own record label, Imperial House. The “Love
Is For Lovers” LP was then released in June.
1995 was a busy year for him, as also released on various record
labels were “Lady Love” (Stingray), “Never Not
Love You” (Charm), “Passion Love” (Charm), “Dedicated
to H.I.M” (Fashion), “Rebel Woman” (Fashion),
and “If You Want Me” (Fashion). While “Ladylove”
and “Never Not Love You” were huge hits across the Midlands
and the North of England, the London chart could not justify its
lack of reaction.
1996’s achievements started in February for the undaunted
Vivian Jones and the Imperial House crew when their first four track
EP was born featuring the songs “Nu Chat To Me,” “Sometimes
Love,” “Jah Bless Love” and “Feelings,”
an adaptation of a Burt Bacharach song.
Jones continued to release singles throughout 1997, including the
critically acclaimed duet “One Sweet Day” with Debbie
Gordon. He also released the album “Reggae Max” in 1998.
“Reggae Max” not only highlighted Jones’ talent
as a writer and producer, but a singer too. As the new millennium
dawned he began working at Jet Star’s recently opened Cave
studio in NW London, where he soon became an integral part of their
bid to revive the art of pristine reggae vocal productions. With
a populist and possibly more mature audience in mind, Jones and
his colleagues initiated a run of hit vocal tunes that proved so
successful, even Jamaica had to sit up and take notice.