The Best of Edi Fitzroy

With the rain never seeming to stop at the moment and winter dragging on it’s a welcome relief to distract myself with some true roots reggae and think of summer coming around the corner.

With a career spanning over thirty years, Edi Fitzroy is a prominent figure in the roots reggae scene. With his clean lyrics and distinctive vocals, Fitzroy is one of Jamaica’s most socially conscious singers. He first rose to prominence in the early 80s with his hit, ‘Missy Molly Colley’, produced and collaborated on by Mikey Dread. A tour to the UK then followed for both artists, supporting The Clash. 

In 1981 Fitzroy released his debut album, ‘Check For You Once’, which featured the almighty Roots Radics band and was partly recorded at Channel One Studios. The album was described by many as the best record of the time to come out of Jamaica.

1984 saw the release of  ‘Coming Up Strong’, this time with Sly and Robbie as the backing band, the biggest track by far being ‘Princess Black’, Fitzroy’s tribute to women.   He also received the Rockers award for most conscious performer this year.

In following years, a series of 45s were released and also another album. The ‘general’ of roots and culture visited the UK again in the mid 80s as a reggae ambassador and was the first reggae artist to play at the Royal Festival Hall.  His latest album ‘Hold the Vibes’ was released in 2006.

This album is a collection of singles released on the Musical Ambassador label, produced under Trevor Elliot.  Six songs off his debut album feature, including ‘Informer’ and ‘African Queen’. Only one song off Dread and Fitzroy’s collaboration is included on this compilation, the crowd favourite, ‘The Gun’.  This album also includes three remixes, two of ‘Youthman Penitentiary’ and a 2007 remix of ‘Princess Black’.

I enjoyed this album immensely and will be definitely be one to play in the summer! Standouts for me were ‘The Gun’, ‘Have You Ever’ and ‘Chant It’. With its collector appeal this album is sure to please lovers of roots reggae.