September 11, 2023

Police In Helicopter gets another go-around

article reposted by Chelsea


Police In Helicopter, the song that earned John Holt a hard-core dancehall following, is being reissued 40 years after its release by VP/Greensleeves Records.

On September 8, the companies issued “a rare 1983 12-inch single mix” to streaming (known as the Sirens Mix) to mark the milestone.

According to a release from VP/Greensleeves Records, “It is presented in its original form alongside two additional edits and a comic-book-style illustration by the artist Spliffington.”

Holt first came to prominence during the 1960s rocksteady era as a member of harmony group, The Paragons, which had a number of hit songs such as Wear You to The Ball, Happy Go Lucky Girl, and On The Beach.

Going solo late that decade, he was similarly successful as a reggae vocalist with hits like Only A Smile, Stranger in Love, Strange Things, and the big-selling album, 1000 Volts of Holt.

Police In Helicopter heard him teaming with producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes and the Roots Radics Band, then the hottest combination in dancehall music.

Recorded at Channel One and distributed by London-based Greensleeves Records, the album of the same name was well-received, particularly in the UK where Holt had a large fan base.

The title song, which hit out against the destroying of ganja fields in Jamaica by law enforcement, became a dancehall anthem.

Holt died in 2014 at age 67.

One of his sons, Junior, welcomes the re-release of his father’s biggest dancehall song.

“Good feeling to know that Father John Holt is still remembered in the music industry. I and my son (Bamm Holt) did a remix of Police in Helicopter few years back. So, more strength to Father Holt,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

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