Ranking Ann ADD

Ranking Ann

Born Ann Swinton, Ranking Ann came to prominence on her brother’s Black Rock sound system playing in and around London in the late 70’s. She began her recording career with an uncompromising debut, ‘Liberated Woman’. This resulted in her being categorised as the music’s feminist DJ. When labelled as such, she announced, ‘No Rasta me a individualist’ - establishing the fact that her agenda was not to ‘put-down’ men, but to ‘uplift’ women. In 1982 she released ‘Love On A Mountain Top’ but returned to her revolutionary style for ‘Dangerous MC’. Her debut album ‘A Slice Of English Toast’ (1982) was released on the Ariwa record label. From 1983 she toured extensively throughout the UK with the Ariwa Posse.

In 1984 her career advanced further with the release of her second album ‘Something Fishy Going On’ and a tour itinerary covering France, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland (to name a few) as part of the Ariwa Posse Tour. In 1985 she made known her opposition to the parliamentary act allowing the police wider powers to stop and search suspects, of which the majority were black - ‘Kill The Police Bill’ was a pertinent piece that tackled the issue. It received strong support from the Red Wedge group, and as a result, Ranking Ann toured alongside some of the UK’s leading pop artistes promoting socialist ideals.

She appeared on the UK’s Channel 4 black magazine television programme, Black On Black, which was noted for featuring live appearances of visiting Jamaican performers. As an exception to the rule, the show’s producer focused on the Saxon sound system's DJs alongside Ranking Ann. Demonstrating her charisma in an extraordinary performance of militant style 'Right to Fight’, she paraphrased the expression ‘All Dem Want Is Coal Not Dole’ and also the hard-hitting ‘Feminine Gender’.

She later went on to collaborate with Scritti Politti - ‘Flesh and Blood’ and Silent Poets - ‘Shalom’. It wasn't until the 90's that she was able to take her brand of reggae back to its birthplace and perform in Jamaica. Once again the pioneer, she performed her brand of gospel-ragga around the UK, France and Jamaica from 1990 through to the 2000’s.

Since 2015 Ranking Ann has worked with Rainbow Sounds, Wayne McArthur & the Universal Players, Red Robin, Naram and the Dubhouse Band recording and doing live shows. Her latest release ‘Jealous Man’ is out on the Red Robin label.