Sunday, 13 November 2016
It Never Rains in Southern California/Names, Tags, Numbers & Labels/Down By The River/From Great Britain To L. A.
Albert Louis Hammond, Jr. OBE (born 18 May 1944) is a Gibraltarian singer, songwriter, and record producer who grew up in the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar.
Hammond was born in London, England, to where his family had been evacuated from Gibraltar during World War II. His family returned to Gibraltar shortly after his birth, and it is there he grew up. In 1960, he started in music with Gibraltarian band The Diamond Boys, which had no real commercial success, but played a part in Spain's introduction to pop and rock 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 Hazlewood. These include "Little Arrows" for Leapy Lee, "Make Me An Island" (1969) (which Hammond himself re-recorded in 1979, in a Spanish disco-style version), and "You're Such a Good Looking Woman" (1970) for Joe Dolan, "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 sang on Michael Chapman's fourth album, Wrecked Again, and worked briefly with the Magic Lanterns on recordings of his and Hazlewood's songs and other material.
Hammond had success as a singer-songwriter with his Spanish recordings. His releases on Epic Records allowed him to tour every region of Latin America. It was during this period that he met Manuel Montoya, a CBS Mexico executive, who became his personal manager in 1985. This led to Hammond's Grammy Award winning production of Lani Hall's, Es Facil Amar, the producer and writer of "Cantaré, Cantarás" (the Latin American equivalent of "We Are The World"), and collaborations with Roberto Livi on recordings by Raphael, Eydie Gorme amongst others. Hammond also scored two hits in the Philippines during 1981. His songs "When I'm Gone" and "Your World and My World" (from the album of the same title) were popular in the country.
In 1991, Hammond co-wrote "When You Tell Me That You Love Me", which was recorded by Diana Ross, which reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, Diana Ross recorded the song again, this time as a duet with Westlife. Again the song reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart. He wrote several hits for Tina Turner, including "I Don't Wanna Lose You", "Be Tender With Me Baby", "Way of the World", and "Love Thing". Bonnie Tyler 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.
In 2005, he released Revolution of the Heart (where Todd Sharpville was his music director), and the single "This Side of Midnight". In 2008, Hammond met Kasaan Steigen of the Los Angeles-based Trigger Management who became his personal manager, during which time Hammond collaborated with British singer Duffy and others. Duffy's resulting album, Endlessly, co-written and co-produced by Hammond, was released in November 2010.
In 2010, Hammond also worked on Legend, a new recording of duets of his greatest hits, featuring such artists as Elena Paparizou and Bonnie Tyler. It was released on Sony Spain on 23 November that year.