Philip Frazier

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b. Philip Fraser, c.1958, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. In 1975 Frazier improvised songs in Greenwich Town alongside his colleague Earl Zero. Earl had enjoyed previous hits produced by Al Campbell and…
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b. Philip Fraser, c.1958, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. In 1975 Frazier improvised songs in Greenwich Town alongside his colleague Earl Zero. Earl had enjoyed previous hits produced by Al Campbell and Tommy Cowan and urged Frazier to pursue a recording career. The Freedom Sounds collective, founded by Bertram Brown, produced Frazier’s debut, ‘This Time Won’t Be Like The Last Time’. His career went into overdrive with the releases of ‘Breaking Up’, ‘Come Ethiopians’, ‘Single Man’, ‘2000 Years’ and ‘Sentimental Feelings’, a double a-side backed with Prince Allah’s ‘Sun Is Shining’. Freedom Sounds was an ambitious project, designed to promote forthright dealings in the industry, and it enrolled top-class performers including Earl Zero, Michael Prophet, Sammy Dread, Prince Allah, Rod Taylor and the Soul Syndicate. Frazier’s career enjoyed a boost when he recorded a version of ‘Never Let Go’ as a tribute to his neighbouring companion Slim Smith. His success continued with ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, ‘Mr Wicked Man’, ‘Blood Of The Saint’ and a tribute to his R&B idols, ‘Special Request To The Manhattans’. By 1978 his reputation had extended to Europe and the USA, resulting in an international tour. While in Britain he linked up with the Silver Camel Sound System based at the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street. Like their Jamaican counterparts, the sound diversified into distribution and began releasing a number of roots hits. The label secured the release of Frazier’s ‘Blood Of The Saint’ and a rare compilation, Loving You, before it dissolved. The label’s demise prompted Frazier’s return to Jamaica, recording with Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes and Barry Clarke. The hits continued, including ‘Please Stay’ and ‘When I Run Out’, which both featured heavily on U-Roy’s Stur Gav Sound System and resulted in Frazier becoming a cult hero. By the mid-80s he was working with Bunny Gemini and Triston Palma. His solo hits included ‘Send Us Back Home’, ‘Sad And Blue’ and ‘Don’t Ring My Doorbell’. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s he surfaced with sporadic hits, including a version of the Uniques’ ‘Watch This Sound’, a variation of the Four Tops’ hit ‘If I Was A Carpenter’, ‘Coming On Strong’ and in 1995, he released ‘It’s Magic’ over the Wailers’ ‘Hypocrites’ rhythm.