BiographyHolt was born in Kingston in 1947.
By the age of twelve, he was a regular entrant in talent contests run at Jamaican theatres by Vere Johns.
He recorded his first single in 1963 with "I Cried a Tear" for record producer Leslie Kong, and also recorded duets with Alton Ellis.
He achieved prominence in his home country as lead singer of The Paragons and they cut a succession of singles for Duke Reid at his Treasure Isle Studio and enjoyed a string of hits, including "Ali Baba", "Tonight", "I See Your Face", and the Holt penned "The Tide Is High" (later made famous by Blondie and also covered by Atomic Kitten).
"Wear You to the Ball" was another of his hits with The Paragons, and hit the charts again when U-Roy added a Deejay verse to it.
During his time with the Paragons, he also recorded solo material for Studio One (including "Fancy Make-up", "A Love I Can Feel", "Let's Build Our Dreams" and "OK Fred") and Prince Buster ("Oh Girl", and "My Heart Is Gone").Holt left the Paragons in 1970 and concentrated on his solo career.
By the early 1970s, he was one of the biggest stars of reggae, and his "Stick By Me" was the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972, one of a number of records recorded with producer Bunny Lee.
His 1973 album, Time Is The Master, was successful, with orchestral arrangements recorded in London.
The success of the string-laden reggae led to Trojan Records issuing a series of similarly arranged albums produced by Bunny Lee starting with the 1,000 Volts of Holt in 1973, a compilation of Holt's reggae cover versions of popular hits (and later followed by similarly named releases up to 3,000 Volts of Holt).
1,000 Volts spawned the UK Top 10 hit "Help Me Make It Through the Night" (written by Kris Kristofferson), which peaked at number 6, and included covers of Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are" and "Touch Me in the Morning" by Diana Ross.Holt's style, notably slower and more romantic than most of his contemporaries, is a recognisable forerunner of the lovers rock sub-genre.His song, "Man Next Door", has been covered by numerous other reggae artists including Dennis Brown, UB40 and Horace Andy.
The latter sang in a more electronic vein for the Massive Attack album, Mezzanine.Album discographyA Love I Can Feel (1970) BambooHolt (1971) JaguarStill in Chains (1971) TrojanGreatest Hits (1972) MelodiscOK Fred (1972) MelodiscPledging My Love (1972) Jackpot/TrojanThe Further You Look (1973) TrojanTime Is The Master (1973) MoodiscOne Thousand Volts Of Holt (1973) Originally Trojan, now Secret RecordsDusty Roads (1974) TrojanBefore the Next Tear Drop (1976) KlikUp Park Camp (1976) Channel OneChannel One Presents The Magnificent John Holt (1977) Channel OneRoots of Holt (1977) TrojanShowcase (New Disco Style) (1977) ThunderboltHolt Goes Disco (1978) TrojanIn Demand (1978) Dynamic SoundsLet It Go On (1978) TrojanSuper Star (1978) Weed BeatThe Impressable John Holt (Disco Mix) (1978) Harry JA1 Disco Showcase (1981) TaurusIntrospective (1980) Dynamic SoundsMy Desire (1980) JackpotJust the Two of Us (1982) CSASweetie Come Brush Me (1982) VolcanoGold (1983) CreolePolice in Helicopter (1983) Greensleeves/ArrivalFor Lovers and Dancers (1984) TrojanLive in London (1984) Very GoodWild Fire (1985) Natty Congo/Tad's (with Dennis Brown)Vibes (1985) Leggo SoundsThe Reggae Christmas Hits Album (1986) TrojanFrom One Extreme to Another (1986) BetaTime Is The Master (1988) CreoleRock With Me Baby (1988) TrojanIf I Were a Carpenter (1989)Why I Care (1989) GreensleevesReggae, Hip House, R&B Flavor (1993)Peacemaker (1993)There have also been dozens of compilations of Holt's work, starting in the early 1970s with a Greatest Hits compilation from Studio One, and notably followed by the 1,000 Volts...
series on Trojan Records.
For The Love Of You