Wednesday, January 28, 2009

፨ ALBERT HAMMOND, It Never Rains in Southern California|Down By the River|The Free Electric..|I'm A Train|I Don't Wanna Die..|This Side Of Midnite|

Albert Hammond (born 18 May 1944, London, England) is a Gibraltarian-British singer, songwriter and music producer. Hammond was born in London, where his family had been evacuated from Gibraltar during World War 2. His family returned to Gibraltar shortly after his birth, where he grew up. In 1960 he started in music with Gibraltarian band 'The Diamond Boys', of no real commercial success, but which played a part in Spain's introduction to popular music. The Diamond Boys performed at the first nightclubs in Madrid to stage modern bands alongside Spanish rock and roll pioneers, such as Miguel Ríos. In 1966 Hammond co-founded the British vocal group, The Family Dogg scoring a UK Top 10 hit with "A Way of Life" in 1969.

He also wrote songs for others with frequent collaborator Mike Hazelwood. These include "Little Arrows" for Leapy Lee, "Make Me An Island" (1969) and "You're Such a Good Looking Woman" (1970) for Joe Dolan (which Hammond himself re-recorded in 1979, in a Spanish disco-style version), "Gimme Dat Ding" for The Pipkins in 1970 (itself a cover from the Freddie and the Dreamers album, Oliver in the Overworld), "Good Morning Freedom" for Blue Mink, "Freedom Come, Freedom Go" for The Fortunes in 1971 and "The Air That I Breathe" which was a hit for The Hollies in 1974. In 1971, Hammond also found time to sing on Michael Chapman's fourth album, Wrecked Again, and worked briefly with The Magic Lanterns on recordings of his and Hazelwood's songs and other material.

"It Never Rains in Southern California" reached number five in the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a million-seller around the world, the first in a string of eight charting singles that Hammond enjoyed over the next five years.

Got on board a westbound seven forty seven
Didn't think before deciding what to do
Ooh, that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

Out of work, I'm out of my head
Out of self respect, I'm out of bread
I'm underloved, I'm underfed, I wanna go home
It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it
Had offers but didn't know which one to take
Please don't tell 'em how you found me
Don't tell 'em how you found me
Gimme a break, give me a break


Hammond is one of the more successful pop/rock songwriters to come out of England during the 1960s and 1970s, and has also enjoyed a long career as a recording artist, his work popular in two languages on three continents across four decades. 

Hammond also collaborated with Diane Warren on "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" a transatlantic No. 1 in 1987  for Starship and "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love," a hit for Chicago, which peaked at No. 3 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1988. Hammond also wrote "One Moment in Time," the theme song to the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, as performed by Whitney Houston. With Hal David, Hammond co-wrote "To All The Girls I've Loved Before", a hit in 1984 for Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson.

Meanwhile, Hammond's follow-up album, The Free Electric Band (its title track salvaged from the unproduced musical), was nearly as impressive musically as its predecessor, although it sold far fewer copies without a huge hit to drive its sales. His next hit, "I'm a Train," came amid a flurry of activity surrounding Hammond's career. 

He wrote some hits for Tina Turner, (including "I Don't Wanna Lose You," "Be Tender With Me Baby," "Way of the World" and "Love Thing") and who also recorded the original version of Hammond/Warren's "Don't Turn Around," a UK No. 1 for Aswad in 1988, and a hit for Ace of Base five years later. Along with Carole Bayer Sager, Hammond wrote the song "When I Need You." The song was first recorded by Hammond on his 1976 album When I Need You. Produced by Richard Perry, Leo Sayer's version made #1 on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in February 1977, after three of his earlier singles had stalled at #2. A hit worldwide, it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in May 1977.

Hammond has also released albums in both English and Spanish, and recorded many of his songs in both languages.In 2005 he released his first UK album in many years, Revolution of the Heart (where Todd Sharpville was his music director), and the single "This Side of Midnight." His son, Albert Hammond, Jr. Is a successful solo musician and also a member of The Strokes.

Hammond was immortalised in song by Half Man Half Biscuit in their 1986 track "Albert Hammond Bootleg". On the 19 June 2008, Hammond was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. [Wikipedia]

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