Horace Andy



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Horace Andy's career is one of the few reggae success stories. His instantly recognizable voice now floats mysteriously through strains of Massive Attack, bringing one of reggae's key vocalists to a much wider audience.

Born Horace Hinds in 1951, in Kingston Jamaica, "Sleepy" got his start in recording at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label in 1970. His initial efforts did not really hit, and getting Horace off the ground was a bit of problem. Coxsone Dodd recalls, "When he came to Studio One he was very laid back so you really had to groom him. It was a problem to get him started, you know, with the musicians, 'cause they kept putting him off. So I had to tell them to rehearse him because from the start, I knew something was there..."

Dodd remembers Horace not being a great songwriter at the start, and so "foreign" (American) tunes were used. Coxsone "used to always pick the foreign music" and in 1970  he chose Parliament. Their "Omium" album was released in that year, and the George Clinton-penned "Oh Lord, Why Lord" was chosen as a vehicle for Horace, which proved to be a hit for Horace, brilliantly arranged and sung in true Horace Andy style. By 1972, hits were coming fast and furious for Horace, and he "bust out" with the highly memorable
"Skylarking," whose topic (begging amongst unemployed youth) struck a cord with the JA record buying public. By the time Horace gets to songs like "See a Man's Face," he, the musicians, and the studio were well on fire.

Horace grew and developed at Studio One, and soon his distinctive, unusual, warbling falsetto was delivering hit after hit - "See a Man's Face," "Slacky Tidy," and his continuing successes with covers often out did the originals, as was the case with Cat Stevens' "Where Do The Children Play" and Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion"

Horace has resided in the UK for the last 10 years, and has teamed up with the Mad Professor for more studio work. Horace's coup-to-date has been his link-up with UK avant-soulsters Massive Attack. Massive Attack formed their own record label, Melankolic, in 1997. Its initial releases ("Spying Glass") feature longtime pal Horace, who has also been taken on the road as part of their touring line-up, where Horace has grafted the Jamaican-composed "Man Next Door" to the Massive Attack sound. Speaking on his successful relationship with them, he commented that for years he had been wanting to do music in that vein, but "there was no one in
Jamaica to do it."

Horace Andy last played in Ireland in April 2004 calling in at Crawdaddy Dublin and The Half Moon Cork

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Reggae Train
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Last modified: 02/23/11