Electric Avenue is a street in Brixton built in the 1880s, that was the first market street to be lit by electricity. But it’s most famous for being the title of Eddy Grant’s 1982 hit “Electric Avenue”.
Today, the street just around the corner from Brixton tube station is part of Brixton Market with butchers, fishmongers and specializes in selling a mix of African, Caribbean, and Portuguese products. All in all, it’s pretty much a hole. But being an avid 80s fan, I had to rock down to Electric Avenue.
Eddy Grant’s single Electric Avenue reached #2 on both the UK and U.S. singles charts and is one of the highest-charting Reggae-influenced pop songs ever. Grant says Electric Avenue is a serious song as it tells the story of a poor man who beholds the things in life he could never achieve. The song’s lyrics also refer to the 1981 Brixton riot between police and protesters, which Grant refers to in the opening line “Down in the street there is violence”. But I think most of us thought the lyrics “And then we’ll take it higher” might have had a different meaning….
Electric Avenue, Brixton Lambeth, London SW9