Electric Avenue (song)

Last updated
"Electric Avenue"
Electric Avenue UK single cover.jpg
UK cover
Single by Eddy Grant
from the album Killer on the Rampage
B-side "Walking on Sunshine"
Released 1983
Studio
Genre
Length3:48
Label
Songwriter(s) Eddy Grant
Producer(s) Eddy Grant
Audio sample
"Electric Avenue"
Music video
"Electric Avenue" on YouTube

"Electric Avenue" is a song written, recorded and produced by British singer and songwriter Eddy Grant, who released it on his 1982 album Killer on the Rampage. In the United States, with the help of the MTV video he shot for it, it was one of the biggest hits of 1983. The song refers to the Electric Avenue in London, and to the 1981 Brixton riot in the Brixton district of the city.

Contents

Composition

The song's title refers to Electric Avenue in the south London district of Brixton which was the first market street to be lit by electricity. According to Grant, he first became aware of the street's existence during a stint acting at the Black Theatre of Brixton. [1] The area is now known for its high population of Caribbean immigrants. At the beginning of the 1980s, as identified by the Scarman Report, tensions over unemployment, racism and poverty exacerbated by racist policing culminated in the street events now known as the 1981 Brixton riot. Grant, horrified and enraged, wrote and composed the song in response; a year afterwards, the song was playing over the airwaves. Grant had left the UK shortly after the riots to live in Barbados: his most recent batch of songs had been lost in baggage transit, and "Electric Avenue" was one of the songs he wrote immediately afterwards to make up for the lost material. [1]

Music video

Filmed in Barbados, [1] the song's music video helped it to gain popularity in the United States. In the early years of MTV, the network ran music videos almost exclusively by white artists and was criticized by famous musicians, such as David Bowie, for not having black artists on the network. [5] After "Billie Jean" aired and was successful, MTV soon scrambled to get other black artists into their rotation. Once "Electric Avenue" aired, it did not take long for the song to climb up to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. [6]

Other release information

The original B-Side to this song was a non-LP track titled "Time Warp". The 45 sold more than one million copies in the United States, earning a platinum certification. It was later re-issued with "I Don't Want to Dance" as the flip side.

"Electric Avenue" was re-released in 2001. The single featured the "Ringbang Remix," and reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart in June 2001, [7] as well as reaching number 16 on the US dance chart.

The Ringbang Remix was also featured on Now That's What I Call Music! 49 as track 1 of disc 2.

Reception

Grant initially released it as a single in 1983, and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. In 1983, CBS decided to launch the single in the U.S., where it spent five weeks at No. 2 on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 charts [8] and hit No. 1 in Cash Box Magazine. (It was kept out of the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 by a combination of two songs, "Flashdance... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara and that year's song of the summer, "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.) "Electric Avenue" was a hit on two other US charts: On the soul chart it went to No. 18, [9] and on the dance charts, it peaked at No. 6. [10] It was nominated for a Grammy Award as Best R&B Song of 1983, [11] but lost to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".

Charts

Weekly charts

Year-end charts

Chart (1983)Rank
Australia (Kent Music Report) [38] 20
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) [39] 46
Canada Top Singles ( RPM ) [40] 6
Germany (Official German Charts) [41] 63
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) [42] 76
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) [43] 37
US Billboard Hot 100 [44] 22
US Cash Box [45] 9
Chart (2001)Rank
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) [46] 99

Refugee Camp All-Stars version

"Avenues"
Single by Refugee Camp All-Stars featuring Pras and Ky-Mani Marley
Released1997
Length
  • 3:56 (single version)
  • 3:59 (album version)
Label Motor Music
Songwriter(s) Eddy Grant
Producer(s)

In 1997, Refugee Camp All-Stars covered the song for the original soundtrack of the movie Money Talks. This cover was titled "Avenues" and featured reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley.

Charts

Chart (1997)Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders) [47] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) [48] 32
Germany (Official German Charts) [49] 51
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) [50] 10
Netherlands (Single Top 100) [51] 14
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) [52] 12
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) [53] 4
Norway (VG-lista) [54] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [55] 7
US Billboard Hot 100 [56] 35

Year-end charts

Chart (1997)Position
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) [57] 86
Netherlands (Single Top 100) [58] 69
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) [59] 22

See also

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