Fritz Bootle, Jr. (F.J.) story began in Freeport on the Grand Bahama Island. While legendary balearic acts were honing in on a sun-soaked sound at Compass Point Studios on the nearby island of New Providence, you could ferry over to Freeport, to witness an equally flourishing scene of soca, reggae, and disco music. If you were lucky, you might’ve caught a live show from F.J. at one of the various clubs around town. During the early ‘90s, regulations on drug traffickers were quite loose which meant discotheques were in full swing and the island attracted a bevy of pleasure-seeking tourists. In addition to the clubs, fish fry’s at the beach were popular places for locals to grab a beer and some snapper to hear the DJs play new selections from neighboring islands. It was a lively time on the island, and F.J.’s music was meant to reflect the relaxed attitude that came with the archipelago lifestyle.
F.J. was fortunate to have married the daughter of local producer, Frank Penn, who had a studio and label in Freeport called G.B.I. Recordings that he’d run since the ‘60s. F.J. was given full access to use the resources of the studio and fine tune his compositions. He’d go to the studio after work, spending hours experimenting on ways to combine his various influences such as Bob Marley, Teddy Riley, and George Duke. His earliest songs infused digital reggae with soul and RnB, creating a unique blend of genres that bears no exact comparison with other music that was coming out locally at the time. He became enthralled by his creations, and would lie in bed at night with eyes closed, waiting for more melodies to come to him.
Fooling around with Cubase, drum programming, and bass sequencers, he created his first single, Fool’s Love. It was a hit song on the island, and you might’ve caught the homemade video for it if you tuned into BET back in the early ‘90s. He went on to produce a full album called “Life On Music” in ‘94 that was released on cassette, and he continued producing through the ‘90s, until he eventually moved to the US.
Although the music was made fairly recently, Hurricanes have decimated the islands many times over since the ‘90s, and few original copies remain of “Fool’s Love” or “Life On Music”. “That’s The Way” is the retrospective selection of what recordings were left from his releases and material we found on lost F.J. test pressings during our digging trip to the Bahamas.
Remastered and restored as a 12” extended EP pressed at 33rpm. The outer sleeve has a heart sticker and comes with an inner sleeve featuring stills from F.J.’s provocative “Fool’s Love” video.