Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Bruce Ruffin was a member of the Techniques, one of the more successful rocksteady vocal groups of the late '60s. His greatest success, though, came in the 1970s as a reggae-pop solo artist and writer. Ruffin got his start singing with Byron Lee & the Dragonaires briefly before joining the Techniques in 1967. He was one of several talented singers to drift through the Techniques' ranks, but his stay with the group was highlighted by several rocksteady hits that he wrote, the most notable of which was "Love Is Not a Gamble." Restless, Ruffin left the Techniques a year later, returning in 1969 as a solo artist with the upbeat reggae of "Long About Now."
He continued to record with a number of producers (Leslie Kong, Herman Chin-Loy, Lloyd Charmers) and had some success with covers, including Paul Simon's "Cecilia," but it was a José Feliciano tune, "Rain," that would give his solo career momentum. In 1972 he had a crossover hit with "Mad About You," which featured odd background vocals and strings and ultimately set the direction for his career. For the rest of the decade, Ruffin continued to release polished reggae-pop that had a strong audience in the U.K. and Europe. By the 1980s, Ruffin was concentrating on writing and publishing. He eventually moved away from music to study law, becoming a legal consultant to other reggae artists.