Big Mountain – Baby I Love Your Way
Big Mountain evolved from a San Diego, Californian reggae band, the Rainbow Warriors, in the mid-80s. They toured the USA playing gigs to the uninitiated, introducing a diluted form of reggae to American ears. The multicultural line-up, featuring Quino (vocals), Gregory Blakney (drums), Jerome Cruz (guitar), Lance Rhodes (drums, percussion), Manfred Reinke (keyboards) and Lynn Copeland (bass), released 1992’s Wake Up on the Quality label.
A revamped line-up, featuring Quino, Copeland, Santa Davis (drums), James McWhinney (percussion), Billy Stoll (keyboards), Michael Hyde (keyboards), and leading Jamaican session player Tony Chin (lead guitar), convened to record their second album. In 1994, they released a version of Peter Frampton’s ‘Baby, I Love Your Way’, which when featured in the movie Reality Bites became an international bestseller, peaking at UK number 2 and US number 6. The single also featured a Spanish version, enabling the band to enjoy successful sales in the South American market. The hit was followed by ‘Sweet Sensual Love’, performed in both English and Spanish, although it only reached number 51 in the UK pop chart. Unity followed, selling over a million copies worldwide.
The band’s accomplishment led to successful appearances at Jamaica’s 1994 and 1995 Reggae Sunsplash festivals. They have since been unable to match the success of their first hit, but have continued to record with a number of Jamaica’s top session men, including Sly And Robbie and Handel Tucker. In 1995, the single ‘Caribbean Blue’ failed to make an impression in either the reggae or pop charts. Free Up featured singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow on co-writing credits.