Housecall, the 1991 hit song by Shabba Ranks, featuring Maxi Priest turns 30 on Friday, and from all indications, the duo is ready to celebrate the Billboard top 40 charting track.
On Tuesday, Maxi noted on his Instagram page that he was in celebration mode for the song, which peaked at number 37 on Billboard’s Top 100 chart on December 6, 1991, where it spent 15 weeks.
“Hello World! This Friday marks the #30thanniversary of the release of the song ‘Housecall’ with @shabbaranksofficial and myself. Can you believe it? To help with the celebration, post your videos singing or dancing, pictures, and memories this week and make sure to tag #30yearsofhousecall so we can see! Blessings all around,” Maxi Priest, wrote.
Housecall was among the tracks on the album As Raw as Ever, the first of Shabba’s two Grammy-winning albums, and which was released by Epic Records back in 1991. The track was written by Clifton “Specialist” Dillon, Shabba, iconic music producer and arranger Mikey Bennett, Brian Thompson and Maxi Priest and produced by Specialist and Mikey Bennett.
Shabba, now 55, had major hits in Jamaica in the late-1980s, and by the early 90s, the Seaview Gardens native was a global superstar across the world, revered in the U.K. and the United States.
The first Dancehall artist to win a Grammy, Shabba, whose given name is Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon, had signed a recording deal with Epic Records in 1991, which helped him gain international stardom and later Best Reggae Album Grammy awards for his gold-selling productions As Raw as Ever in 1992 and X-tra Naked in 1993.
As Raw As Ever came out ahead of Black Uhuru’s Iron Storm; Bunny Wailer’s Gumption; Rita Marley’s We Must Carry On; Victims by Steel Pulse and Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ Jahmekya that year.
At the time, Shabba Ranks was managed by the Specs/Shang team, which included the current Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange.
As Raw as Ever featured other tracks such as Trailer Load a Girls, Where Does Slackness Come From, Woman Tangle, Gun Pon Me, Gone Up, Flesh Axe, A Mi Di Girls Dem Love, Fist-A-Ris, The Jam, Ambi Get Scarce and Park Yu Benz.
That album had a slew of Jamaica’s finest musicians, producers and vocalists including Handel Tucker, acclaimed guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith, Third World’s Stephen “Cat” Coore on guitars and vocals, Steely and Clevie, Sly Dunbar, Danny Browne and revered singers Chevelle Franklin and Brian & Tony Gold on backing vocals.
“Shabba’s rough house style was complemented by Priest’s memorable “Shabba!” refrain and a steamy music video that got heavy rotation on BET and MTV,” according to The Jamaica Observer.
Maxi Priest, who was born in the UK is of Jamaican descent. The singer scored success in 1986 with a cover of Van Morrison’s Crazy Love from his album You’re Safe and also scored with a cover of Cat Stevens’ Wild World, which was featured on his self-titled third studio album. The album was certified gold in the UK.
Two years later, Maxi became an even greater superstar following the success of his gold-selling album Bonafide for Charisma Records, which yielded the number one Billboard Hot 100 hit Close to You and the follow-up hit Just a Little Bit Longer. Among his other hits was Set the Night to Music featuring Roberta Flack, which reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100.