Albert Hammond: Wikis


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Albert Hammond

Background information
Birth name Albert Hammond
Born 18 May 1944 (1944-05-18) (age 65)
London, England
Origin Gibraltar
Genres Popular music
Occupations Singer, musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Guitar, piano
Years active 1960-present
Associated acts The Family Dogg

Albert Hammond OBE (born 18 May 1944) is a Gibraltarian-British singer, songwriter and music producer. 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.[1]


Birth and success

Hammond was born in London, England,[2] 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.[2] 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.[2][3 ]

Later life

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.[2] 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 Hazlewood's songs and other material.[1]

He later moved to the United States, where he continued his professional career as a musician. He is known for his hits of the 1970s, released on Columbia subsidiary Mums Records, such as:

  1. "It Never Rains in Southern California"
  2. "The Free Electric Band" (the only single of his to chart in the UK)[3 ]
  3. "I Don't Wanna Die in an Air Disaster"
  4. "I'm a Train"
  5. "Down by the River"

"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.[1] The accompanying album also introduced "Down by the River" and "If You Gotta Break Another Heart" — which was recorded by Cass Elliot in a slightly rewritten version — and "The Air That I Breathe."[1] The latter was Hammond's favorite song on the album, and it was later to become the last major international hit by The Hollies (and that group's last significant U.S. single for more than a decade).[1] 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.[1] His next hit, "I'm a Train," came amid a flurry of activity surrounding Hammond's career. He produced records by Johnny Cash ("Praise the Lord and Pass the Soup"), collaborated with Richard Carpenter and John Bettis ("I Need to Be in Love"), wrote songs with Art Garfunkel, and, growing out of the latter project, recorded a self-titled third album produced by Garfunkel producer Roy Halee.[1]

By the mid 1970s, he was working with producer/engineer Phil Ramone and collaborating with lyricist Hal David, generating a number one single on the adult contemporary charts with "99 Miles from L.A."[1] The record label, however, resisted releasing the accompanying LP or its successor, When I Need You, the latter only getting released in America after Leo Sayer generated a hit single with his version of the title song (which was also later cut by Perry Como).[1] Written with Carole Bayer Sager, "When I Need You 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 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.

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.

Hammond has also released albums in both English and Spanish, and recorded many of his songs in both languages.

In 2000 he received an OBE [2].

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.

Other songwriting credits


  • 1972 - It Never Rains in Southern California
  • 1973 - The Free Electric Band
  • 1974 - Albert Hammond
  • 1975 - 99 Miles from L.A.
  • 1976 - Canta Sus Grandes Éxitos en Español e Inglés
  • 1976 - My Spanish Album
  • 1977 - Mi Album de Recuerdos
  • 1977 - When I Need You
  • 1978 - Albert Louis Hammond
  • 1978 - Greatest Hits
  • 1979 - Al Otro Lado del Sol
  • 1981 - Comprenderte
  • 1981 - Your World and My World
  • 1982 - Somewhere in America
  • 1986 - Hammond and West (Dutch edition)
  • 1987 - Hammond and West (German edition)
  • 1988 - The Very Best Of (CBS)
  • 1989 - Best of Me
  • 1991 - Songsmith
  • 1992 - Exitos
  • 1995 - Greatest Hits
  • 1996 - It Never Rains in Southern California (Golden Classics album)
  • 1996 - Coplas & Songs
  • 1997 - El Nuevo Mundo de los Gnomos (soundtrack) (Various artists)
  • 1998 - Todas Sus Grabaciones en Espanol para Discos (Epic) (1975-1978)
  • 1999 - It Never Rains in Southern California
  • 1999 - The Very Best Of (Sony)
  • 2004 - It Never Rains in Southern California / The Free Electric Band
  • 2005 - Revolution of the Heart

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i biography by Bruce Eder
  2. ^ a b c d e Full Biography at
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 242. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.  
  4. ^ Singer Duffy begins new album sessions in New York BBC1 13 January, 2010

External links



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