Jamaica
Recording Artist: BTO
Writers: Jim Vallance
Date Written: 1979
Albums: Rock ‘n Roll Nights (1979)
Greatest Hits (1987)
Audio-1: Released version
 
 
Jim Clench: bass, backing vocal
Fred Turner: backing vocal, guitar
Blair Thornton: lead guitar
Jim Vallance: rhythm guitar, backing vocal, percussion
Robbie Bachman: drums, percussion
 
Produced by Jim Vallance. Recorded by Rolf Henneman at Mushrooms Studios, Vancouver and by John Brand at Trident Studios, London.  Mixed by John Brand at Trident Studios.
Audio-2: Demo recording
 
 
Jim Vallance: vocals, guitar, bass, drums
 
Recorded at Distorto Studios.
Comments:
Rick Springfield
"Jamaica" was written in early 1979. The song actually evolved front-to-back ... I started by writing the fade-out section at the end of the song, which was partly inspired by the chorus of Jay Ferguson's 1977 hit "Thunder Island".

My favourite movie around this time (1979) was "Travels With My Aunt". The film starred Maggie Smith as Aunt Augusta, but in my opinion it was Louis Gossett's role as Augusta's Jamaican valet (Wordsworth) that "made" the film. A few Jamaican references appeared in my work as a result: among others, I named my publishing company "Calypso Toonz", and I wrote the song "Jamaica".

Bryan Adams' manager Bruce Allen played "Jamaica" for BTO (by this time BTO was minus founding member Randy Bachman). BTO liked the song and recorded it for their 1979 album "Rock ‘n Roll Nights", which I produced.

A few years later "Jamaica" came to the attention of singer Rick Springfield, via his guitarist Tim Pierce (Tim knew Colleen Donovan, who worked for my publisher). Rick liked the song, but he thought the title "Jamaica" sounded too much like a travel commercial ... so he re-wrote the lyric, renaming the song "Kristina".

Rick recorded "Kristina" for his 1982 "Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet" album.  As a songwriter it was one of my first significant covers.
audio above: "Thunder Island" by Jay Fergusson.
BTO on Bandstand