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About Latin Quarter

Politics have been at the heart of Latin Quarter's music since the band's inception. Latin Quarter was formed in 1983 by Mike Jones (lyrics), Steve Skaith (vocals, guitar), and Richard Wright (guitar). Jones and Skaith began writing socially conscious songs as members of the political organization Big Fire. In December, 1983, Yona Dunsford (vocals, keyboard) and Carol Douet (vocals) were added to the lineup; nearly a year later, Greg Harewood (bass), Richard Stevens (drums), and Steve Jeffries (keyboard) joined the band and Latin Quarter's mix of folk, reggae, rock, and new wave started to evolve. The group released its first album, Modern Times, in 1985. The track "Radio Africa" became Latin Quarter's most successful song, hitting the U.K. charts three times in a two-year span. However, Latin Quarter's deeply political lyrics frightened U.K. radio programmers; although tracks like the anti-Apartheid protest "No Rope As Long As Time" attracted college radio DJs in the U.S., most of Latin Quarter's singles were limited to scant evening airplay in the U.K In 1987, Stevens and Jeffries were replaced by Martin Lascalles (keyboards) and Darren Abraham (drums) as the band recorded its second album, Mick and Caroline. Unable to find a record company that truly cared about their music, Latin Quarter broke up in 1990. In 1991, however, the Bhundu Boys remixed "Radio Africa," reviving interest in Latin Quarter. Latin Quarter reunited in 1993 for the album Long Pig, following it with Bringing Rosa Home in 1997. ~ Michael Sutton

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