Saturday, March 2, 2013

Eddy Grant - Romancing the Stone

"Romancing the Stone" wasn't Eddy Grant's biggest U.S. hit, but we love to feature rare videos at ERV, and there is a method to our madness.  Anyhow, that's out story and we're sticking to it.  Grant, who was born in Guyana (perhaps the only artist on ERV from that country) has had a long and interesting career performing music that combined traditional Caribbean music (calypso, reggae and soca, in particular) with R&B, funk and rock.  The result eventually became called ringbang and is closely associated with Grant.

Of course, in addition to his diverse music, Eddy Grant also floated in and out of the charts, particularly in Britain (his family moved to London when he was a child).  He had 7 top 40 hits in the U.K. as a solo artist, plus 6 more as the main songwriter of The Equals, who were successful in the U.K. in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  Grant is also known for his political lyrics, especially on the topic of apartheid.

American audiences will mostly know Grant for his 1982 hit "Electric Avenue," which went to #2 on the charts.  "Romancing the Stone" (written for the movie of the same title) was also a top 40 hit in the U.S., as it reached #26 in 1984.  Unfortunately, there seems to have been a dispute with the movie's producers, as the song was not included in the movie (except for the guitar solo) and did not appear on the soundtrack.

As an interesting aside, I would recommend Romancing the Stone (the movie).  It is a funny action adventure movie that does not take itself too seriously, and is well cast (Kathleen Turner in her prime, for instance).  The backstory to the movie is quite sad, as screenwriter Diane Thomas worked as a waitress for years while developing the script.  Her big break came when she pitched the story to a customer (Michael Douglas), which led to major success.  Sadly, she was killed in a car accident the following year, and never wrote another screenplay.

Eddy Grant made two videos for the song, as a result of the dispute with the producers.  The first video features clips from the movie (and supernatural guitars, as Grant's guitar can apparently transform from a machete and change the weather if a suitcase is thrown at him):

The second video is just Eddy and a corpse (I think).  Not sure where this idea came from, but probably not the best.

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