“Electric Avenue” By Valentine Ora. Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant https://www.youtube.com /watch?v=vtPk5IUbdH0.

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Electric Avenue

Electric Avenue By Valentine OraElectric Avenue by Eddy Grant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtPk5IUbdH0A Brief History LessonThe song was written about the Brixton Riot in 1981. Brixton is an area in London, England. Electric Avenue is the name of a specific market street in Brixton, although this particular street was not where the majority of the riot took place.The 1981 Brixton Riot (summary)The riot occurred on April 10th and 11th, 1981 in South London. Over 5,000 people were involved. The impact was widespread. There were nearly 50 injuries to civilians and over 270 injuries to police officers . Approximately a hundred vehicles were burned due to arson, most of them being police vehicles. Over a hundred buildings were damaged in the rioting, many also due to fire. 82 people were arrested.In 1981, all of the UK was affected by a nasty recession, but a small portion of South London called Brixton experienced a disproportionately high level of hardship, characterized by social and economic difficulties. The demographic suffering the most was the African-Caribbean community, where poverty, unemployment, crime, and homelessness were prevalent issues.One day, several black youth died in a house party fire. The authorities were accused of not having responded with enough urgency, based on racially-motivated prejudices. This led to a protest march called the Black Peoples Day of Action, spanning 17 miles and attracting over 20,000 participants.The 1981 Brixton Riot (summary)Tensions escalated between the black community and the local authorities, until one day a young black man named Michael Bailey was spotted running by a police officer, who stopped him and found that he was bleeding profusely from a stab wound. As a crowd gathered, the officer followed Michael and eventually recognized that he was badly hurt, and attempted to load him into his car in order to take him to a hospital. Members of the crowd thought that the officer was attempting to arrest Michael and fought against him, forcibly taking Michael out of the car to take care of him on their own.Word spread, allegedly, that a black youth was left to die by the police officer, who was purported to not have cared. This sparked fury among the community already plagued by racial tensions, perceived injustice, and a distaste for the government and authority figures. Bloody SaturdayAfter the controversy surrounding the Michael Bailey case, as well as several isolated cases of police stopping and searching cars and people, a riot ensued when youth began attacking officers by throwing bottles and bricks. This grew into a full scale riot when more and more people joined. Over 1000 officers were dispatched to try and control the situation, and that number grew to over 2,500.About the SongThe song was released as a single in 1982 and achieved commercial success in 1983, when it reached number 2 on singles charts in both the United States and the UK.The success of the song struck me as significant because unlike many songs with a social/political message, it became a hit. For instance, the two songs in the US that competed with it for top spot were Every Breath You Take by the Police and Flashdance by Irene Cara both more traditional pop songs.Musical StyleThe song can be described as Reggae-Pop or Reggae-Rock, and despite its socially conscious lyrics, sounds very quirky and jubilant in its delivery and instrumental. Another example of Eddy Grants StyleGimme Hope, JoAnna (1988)This is another protest song, this time protesting South African Apartheidhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFcmNu4KdGIThe End

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