Ghost remembers the time
COVER Me GoodSaturday, October 23, 2021
BY KEDIESHA PERRY
The Jamaica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its month-long feature titled 'Cover Me Good'. It will look at songs covered by Jamaican artistes which became hits.
Reminiscing on his first cover of an international hit, Ghost is pleased that a cover of Michael Jackson's Remember The Time made his career come to life.
“I never knew what I was doing dem time deh, so I jus' decided to do a cover. Di producer brought di riddim to mi an' I was a huge fan of Michael Jackson, so it was an honour to be doing a song that he did. It's really what put mi on di map,” the singer told the Jamaica Observer.
Released in 1993, his cover was produced by Shalamar and renamed Do You Remember. Ghost's version was recorded on the Giggy Riddim, which also featured hits like Run Di Place by Vybz Kartel, Mutely Tribute by Beenie Man, and All Because of You by Busy Signal and Tami Chynn.
Ghost said the song, which he rates as his biggest cover, is part of his live set 28 years later.
“From di time di song came out, every time girls hear 'Do you remember…' they would always go wild. When I perform I have different segments, and that song is still part of di dancehall section. People love it,” he said.
Michael Jackson, who was known as the King of Pop, released Remember the Time in 1992. It formed part of his eighth studio album, Dangerous, and peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles.
Jackson died in 2009 of cardiac arrest.
Ghost admits his multiplicity cover songs have, sometimes, attracted criticism.
“Some people say that all I sing is cover songs and [that I] don't have any original songs. But what I do with these cover songs is to include my own flavour an' my personality to make dem my own, and dat has attracted a wide international audience,” he said.
Some of his other popular covers include Body Guard (originally done by Paul Simon), I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner, Let's Stay Together by Al Green, Let Her Down Easy by Sananda Maitreya (Terrence Trent D'Arby), and To Love You More by Celine Dion.
Ghost said he covered Celine Dion's song and changed the name to Waiting For You in 2000. He said the Canadian-born singer wrote to the distribution company expressing her fondness for the reggae version. However, she requested that they change the title to match the original, which was To Love You More.
“After we wrote back and stated that we wanted to maintain our title, she never wrote back, but it just goes to show that cover songs give a lot of exposure to Jamaican artistes and Jamaica,” he told the Observer.
Ghost's given name is Carlton Hylton. He was part of the duo Ghost and Culture, but is best known as a member of the Monster Shack Crew, which also comprised Round Head and General B.