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Winston McAnuff

Written by on 12/02/2023


McAnuff was born in Manchester Parish, Jamaica into a family of preachers. One of his great-grandfathers was Scottish. He started his musical career singing gospel in the church choir.

He recorded his first album Pick Hits to Click in 1978.

Two years later his second album What the man “a” deal wid was released.

His best known song from this time is the single “Malcolm X”, which was also recorded by Earl Sixteen, and most successfully by Dennis Brown.

It was originally recorded by McAnuff for Joe Gibbs but the producer decided not to release it, and he got Earl Sixteen to record it before the song was given to Dennis Brown who recorded it for his Visions of Dennis Brown album.

The song was the subject of a legal dispute in 2013 between McAnuff and Greensleeves Records after the record label allegedly registered the song as co-written by Brown. A third studio album, Electric Dread, was released in 1986.

Although McAnuff had reasonable fame in Jamaica, none of his work was released elsewhere. It wasn’t until 2002 that his work was released in Europe.

In 2002 the French record label Makasound released the first two albums and a compilation album Diary of the Silent Years. The release of the albums revived McAnuff’s career, notably in France.

In 2005 McAnuff released the album A Drop, which he recorded with the French keyboard player Camille Bazbaz.

This record displays a mix of rock, funk, dub and punk rock. A year later, in 2006, a new album Paris Rockin’, which he recorded with Java and other French session musicians, was released. His last album, Nostradamus, was released in 2008.

The album was a concept album about the predictions of Nostradamus.

In 2011, he took part in Les Échos Du Temps the latest album of Danakil, a French roots reggae band, on the track “Media” where both he and his son Matthew were featured.

This is the last apparition of his son, murdered 22 August 2012 in a street fight.

In 2013 he released the album A New Day, a collaboration with French musician Fixi.

In 2014 he sings on two songs of the first album of The Celtic Social Club, a collective of Scottish, Breton, French and New Yorker musicians.

In 2017, he releases the album “Rabbi Son” with french producers Bost & Bim on their own label The Bombist.

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