Albert Louis Hammond OBE (born 18 May 1944) is a Gibraltarian singer, songwriter, and record producer. A prolific songwriter, he collaborated most notably with the songwriters Mike Hazlewood, John Bettis, Diane Warren, Holly Knight and Carole Bayer Sager.
Hammond in concert at Nuremberg, 2013
|Birth name||Albert Louis Hammond|
|Born||18 May 1944|
|Genres||Pop rock, soft rock|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, piano, vocals|
|Associated acts||The Diamond Boys|
The Family Dogg
The Magic Lanterns
He wrote commercially successful singles for artists including Celine Dion, Joe Dolan, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Leo Sayer, Tina Turner, Glen Campbell, Julio Iglesias, Willie Nelson, Lynn Anderson, and Bonnie Tyler, and bands Ace of Base, Air Supply, Blue Mink, Chicago, Heart, Living in a Box, The Carpenters, The Hollies, The Pipkins, Starship, and Westlife. Notable songs co-written by Hammond include "Make Me an Island" and "You're Such a Good Looking Woman" by Joe Dolan, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship, "One Moment in Time" sung by Whitney Houston, "The Air That I Breathe", a hit for The Hollies, "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" a Julio Iglesias/Willie Nelson duet, and "When I Need You" by Leo Sayer. In 2015 he received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection.
He is a solo singer in his own right. His biggest (and only Top 20) Billboard hit was "It Never Rains in Southern California", #5 US 1972. Other songs of his include "Down by the River", "The Free Electric Band", "I'm a Train", and "When I'm Gone". For a time he was part of the vocal group The Family Dogg, with whom he had the hit "A Way of Life". He has also produced for a number of artists.
Early life and success
Hammond was born in London, England, which is where his family had been evacuated to from Gibraltar during World War II. Shortly after his birth, they returned to Gibraltar, where 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, reaching number 6 on the UK Singles Chart with "A Way of Life" in 1969 from the album of the same name.
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 recorded in a Spanish disco-style in 1979), 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.
He then moved to the United States, where he continued his professional career as a musician. However, he had his greatest commercial success in mainland Europe. He is known for his successful singles of the 1970s, released on Columbia subsidiary Mums Records: "Down by the River", "It Never Rains in Southern California", "The Free Electric Band" (his only single to chart in the UK), "Half a Million Miles from Home", "If You Gotta Break Another Heart", "The Peacemaker", "I Don't Wanna Die in an Air Disaster", "I'm a Train" and "99 Miles from L.A."
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 No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in February 1977, after three of his earlier singles had stalled at No. 2. Commercially successful worldwide, it reached No. 1 In Canada (RPM Top Singles) (also for two weeks), and on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week in May 1977. Leapy Lee released a version of "When I Need You" on his first recording since 1970.
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. During this period 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, and Eydie Gormé.
With Hal David, Hammond co-wrote "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", a hit in 1984 for Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson. Hammond 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 that peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1988. With lyricist John Bettis, Hammond co-wrote "One Moment in Time", the theme song to the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, as performed by Whitney Houston.
In 1991, Hammond co-wrote "When You Tell Me That You Love Me", which was recorded by Diana Ross, which reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, Ross recorded the song again, this time as a duet with Westlife. Again the song reached No. 2 on 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 most successful singles. featuring artists including Elena Paparizou and Bonnie Tyler. It was released on Sony Spain on 23 November that year.
Awards and recognition
In 1987, Hammond's composition with Diane Warren "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" (recorded by Starship) was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award. In 1988, Hammond won an Emmy Award for the song "One Moment in Time", a song he wrote along with John Bettis.
Half Man Half Biscuit paid tribute to Hammond in their 1986 track "Albert Hammond Bootleg".
In May 2015, Hammond collected the Ivor Novello award for outstanding song collection.
|Year||Album||US Billboard Top 200||Canada RPM Top 100||Record label|
|1972||It Never Rains in Southern California||77||53||Mums Records|
|1973||The Free Electric Band||193||–||Mums Records|
|1974||Albert Hammond||–||–||Mums Records|
|1975||99 Miles from L.A.||–||–||Epic Records|
|1976||Canta Sus Grandes Éxitos En Español E Inglés||–||–||Epic Records|
|1976||My Spanish Album||–||–||Epic Records|
|1977||Mi Album de Recuerdos||–||–||Epic Records|
|1977||When I Need You||–||–||Epic Records|
|1978||Albert Louis Hammond||–||–||Epic Records|
|1979||Al Otro Lado Del Sol||–||–||Epic Records|
|1981||Your World and My World||–||–||Columbia Records|
|1982||Somewhere in America||–||–||Columbia Records|
|1986||Hammond & West (with Albert West)||–||–||K-Tel|
|1989||Best of Me||–||–||CBS|
|1992||12 Exitos||–||–||Sony Discos|
|1996||Coplas and Songs||–||–||Epic Records|
|2005||Revolution of the Heart||–||–||SPV GmbH|
|2012||Legend II||–||–||Sony Music|
|2013||Songbook 2013 (Live in Wilhelmshaven)||–||–||Hypertension|
|1969||"A Way of Life"||6||A Way of Life|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Record label||B-side||Album|
|1972||"Down by the River"||91||38||—||—||Mums Records||"The Last One To Know" (non-LP)||It Never Rains in Southern California|
|"It Never Rains in Southern California"||5||2||2||—||Mums Records||"Anyone Here in the Audience"|
|1973||"If You Gotta Break Another Heart (original version)"||63||—||—||—||Mums Records||"From Great Britain To L.A."|
|"The Free Electric Band"||48||—||44||19||Mums Records||"You Taught Me to Sing the Blues" (non-LP)||The Free Electric Band|
|"The Peacemaker"||80||51||—||—||Mums Records||"Who's For Lunch Today"|
|"Half a Million Miles from Home"||87||26||—||—||Mums Records||"I Think I'll Go That Way"||Albert Hammond|
|1974||"I'm a Train"||31||15||37||—||Mums Records||"Brand New Day"|
|"I Don't Wanna Die In an Air Disaster"||81||—||—||—||Mums Records||"Candle Light, Sweet Candle Light"|
|"99 Miles from L.A."||91||1||—||—||Mums Records (US)||"Rivers Are For Boats" (US)||99 Miles from L.A.|
|1981||"When I'm Gone"||—||—||—||—||Columbia Records||"World of Love"||Your World and My World|
|"Memories"||—||—||—||—||Columbia Records||"I Want You Back Here With Me"|
|"Your World and My World"||—||—||—||—||Columbia Records||"I'm a Camera"|
|1982||"Somewhere In America"||—||—||—||—||Columbia Records||"Before You Change the World"||Somewhere In America|
(in alphabetical order of song title)
(in alphabetical order of song title)
|Artist / band||Year|
|"Cantaré, cantarás"||Spanish||Juan Carlos Calderón and Anahí van Zandweghe||Hermanos
(Various Latin artists)
|"Entre mis recuerdos"||Spanish||Holly Knight and Luz Casal||Luz Casal||1995|
|"Sensualité"||French||Shelly Peiken and Axelle Red||Axelle Red||1993|
|"Y Tú También Llorarás"||Spanish||Anahi van Zandweghe||José Luis Rodríguez||1987|
Other songwriting credits
(in alphabetical order of song title)
- "Careless Heart" – written with Roy Orbison and Diane Warren
- "Creep" (by Radiohead) – subsequently given co-writing credits (with Mike Hazlewood), due to the song's musical similarity to "The Air That I Breathe"
- He co-wrote almost all songs on Welsh singer Duffy's album Endlessly, including Duffy songs "My Boy", "Lovestruck" and "Well, Well, Well"
- "Have Mercy" – written with Shelly Peiken for Yazz; was also recorded by Viktor Lazlo on her album Back To Front
- "I Give It All To You" / "I Imagine" – written with Steve Duberry and Lord 'n Elliot and sung by Mary Kiani in 1995
- "Loving You (Is a Way of Life)" – co-written with Tom Snow and Franne Golde and recorded by Australian singer Jon Stevens
- "Moonlight Lady" – written by Hammond and Carole Bayer Sager and originally sung by Hammond with a large adaptation from "It Never Rains in Southern California". It was later recorded by Julio Iglesias in his 1984 album 1100 Bel Air Place
- "Oklahoma Sunday Morning" – co-written with Tony Macaulay and Lee Hazlewood, a hit for Glen Campbell
- "Once in a Lifetime" – written with Antonina Armato and Dennis Morgan
- "Smokey Factory Blues" – written by Hammond and Hazlewood, and recorded by Johnny Cash on his John R. Cash album; was also recorded by Steppenwolf on the Slow Flux album
- "Through the Storm" – a duet with Aretha Franklin and Elton John
- "Mary was an Only Child" - co-written with Mike Hazelwood sung by Art Garfunkel on his 1973 debut album Angel Clare
- "Albert Hammond Official Website". Alberthammond.net. 18 May 1944. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 242. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Eder, Bruce (18 May 1944). "Albert Hammond – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Little Arrows II: Leapy Lee: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Archive.is. 17 July 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
- "BBC – Newsbeat – Singer Duffy begins new album sessions in New York". BBC News. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Albert Hammond Returns with "Legend"". Legend-alberthammond.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
- "Albert Hammond regresa en noviembre con "Legend", álbum en el que repasa su carrera junto a Raphael y Julio Iglesias ("Albert Hammond returns in November with 'Legend', an album in which he reviews his career with Raphael and Julio Iglesias")". Europa Press (in Spanish). 20 November 2010. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.(Google translation)
- "Albert Hammond". The Ivors. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albert Hammond.|
- Official website
- Albert Hammond on IMDb
- A profile on Albert Hammond
- Albert Hammond – 5 Minute Interview with John Matthew Hall of The Independent, 2009
- Albert Hammond at AllMusic
- Albert Hammond discography at Discogs