This song is about a beautiful and exotic woman who seduces the singer. Ocean came up with the song by tapping out a vocal melody, then filling in the lyrics.
The first version of this song was titled "European Queen (No More Love On The Run)" and released in the UK. In went nowhere, so Ocean and his team edited the song, changing it to "Caribbean Queen." This version was a hit in both the US and UK. A third version, "African Queen," was made for that continent. The video was edited for the different versions so ocean would be singing the right words.
This won the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance. It gave Billy Ocean his first American #1, and also hit #1 on the Hot R&B Singles/Tracks and Club Play Billboard charts.
This was Ocean's first single for Jive Records. He was previously on the GTO and Epic labels, where he had a number of UK hits and one minor entry in America: "Love Really Hurts Without You," which went to #22 in 1976. When "Caribbean Queen" sailed to #1 in America, it was the first chart-topper for Jive in that country.
For the Suddenly album, Jive Records teamed Ocean with producer Keith Diamond, who, like Ocean, is from Trinidad. Along with Ocean, Diamond is credited as a co-writer on this track. Diamond went on to write and produce hits for Starpoint ("Object Of My Desire") and Freddie Jackson ("He'll Never Love You (Like I Do)").
This was used in the 1985 Miami Vice episode "The Prodigal Son." It also appeared in episodes of Knight Rider, Scrubs, The King of Queens (three times) and King of the Hill.