Until the arrival of Shabba Ranks
, Maxi Priest was the boss of Reggae with a Soul groove. While the other stars of the UK
80s dancehall explosion were Rappers, Maxi was the vocal sweetening on the country's then leading sound system, Saxon. He was signed to Virgin
's 10 imprint in 1985, and his debut set, You're Safe, was a runaway UK Reggae chart success, spawning the hits 'In The Springtime' and 'Strollin''.
His name spread further with Intentions (1986), and his third, Maxi (1988), opened his Top 20 account with 'Some Guys Have All The Luck' and 'Wild World'. By now he was regularly working on R and B rythms, and Maxi's status soared globally through work with Soul II Soul, Jazzz guitarist Lee Ritenour and duets with Frankie Paul and Shabba Ranks. His uncredited voice punctuated the latter's 'Mr Loverman' smash with a keening 'Shabba'. He got another smash in 1993 with the sumptuous 'Housecall' and, although his star has slipped somewhat since, he remains the same unaffected South Londoner he has always been.