An ode to Edi

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, March 19, 2018

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THE Beginning & the End: Alpha Omega, a collection of songs by singer Edi Fitzroy, has been released one year after his death.

It contains some of his biggest hits such as The Gun as well as new versions of fan favourites like Stylee and Easy Ride.

The album was released on February 26 by Musical Ambassador, the label Fitzroy recorded for during his heyday, the early 1980s.

Trevor Elliott, principal of Musical Ambassador, said he considered putting the set out last year but had a change of heart.

“I didn't want people thinking I was making hay off my friend's death,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Fitzroy died in March last year in his home parish of Clarendon at age 61.

The lanky vocalist had a hit song to his name when he began working with Elliott. In 1978, Fitzroy made Jamaican charts with Miss Molly, produced by Michael “Mikey Dread” Campbell, his co-worker at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

With Musical Ambassador, Fitzroy had a succession of chart-riders including the uplifting Princess Black and Check For You Once, featuring the Roots Radics Band, which also appear on the album.

Elliot said he and Fitzroy did several recording sessions in 2016 that yielded new versions of Stylee, originally produced by Campbell, Oh Johnny and Easy Ride.

Fitzroy (born Fitzroy Edwards) was an accountant at the JBC who had recorded songs intermittently since the mid-1970s. With Campbell as a guide, he broke through with Miss Molly and Stylee.

Elliott utilised the hottest musicians in his initial sessions with Fitzroy. Sly and Robbie played on Princess Black, while drummer Carl Ayton, bassist Lebert “Gibby” Morrison and keyboardist Robbie Lyn backed him on The Gun.

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