Beres Hammond

Beres Hammond - Do This World A Favor

Beres Hammond - From My Heart With Love - Rocky Gibbs - RGCD026 (late 90's)

I'm In Love With You, I'm Lonely, Do This World A Favor, Save A Little Love For Me (Dennis Brown), John Crazy, Love Me Tonight, Keep My Wheel Turning, Too Hot (Dennis Brown), Just A Man, Music Is A Positive Vibration, Jammin' My Way To Fame (Dennis Brown), If Only I Knew, Seasons

Produced by: Joe Gibbs

Every now and again a reggae artiste gets a spin on the UK Northern soul scene. Just recently (last 10 years) its been Beres Hammond, but some of the people that came before were; Glen Miller and Jackie Edwards. It's obvious that the money is to be made in reggae and not soul, but that doesn't stop these artistes putting out the odd soul tracks.

In the case of Do The World A Favour, it came out a few times on LP only, first on 'Just A Man' from 1979 to later an 80's LP and finally the track took off when it appeared on the From My Heart With Love CD in late 90's. Small amount of distortion on CD, like it's been dubbed from vinyl, still sounds very nice though, take a preview listen. Backing vocals are by Pam Hall and today's song was written and arranged by Willie Lindo. The CD is as hard to find as the original albums, thanks to John Weston for my copy, a mint Just a Man sold for £102 in 2008!

Born the ninth of ten children; Hammond grew up listening to his father's collection of American soul and jazz music; including Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. He was further influenced by the native musics of ska and rocksteady, in particular Alton Ellis.

Hammond began participating in local talent contests from 1972 to 1973, which led to his first recording, of Ellis' "Wanderer". In 1975 he joined the band, Zap Pow, as lead singer, leading to the hit 1978 single, "The System" under the Aquarius Records label. However, he simultaneously sought a solo career, releasing his debut album, Soul Reggae, in 1976. His solo ballads "One Step Ahead" (1976) and Joe Gibbs produced "I'm in Love" (1978), were both hits in Jamaica. He left Zap Pow in 1979 to pursue his solo career, and recorded two more albums in 1979 and 1981. He formed Tuesday's Children, a harmony group that toured but never recorded.

Hammond formed his own record label, Harmony Records, in 1985 for the release of his Make a Song album, which had two Jamaican chart-toppers that were influenced by the emerging dancehall style: "Groovy Little Thing" and "What One Dance Can Do". The latter, produced by Willie Lindo, began to break Hammond into the international market. He scored another hit in 1986 with "Settling Down" on his eponymous release. He left his fame in Jamaica for New York in 1987 after being tied up as thieves ransacked his house during a home invasion. There he recorded Have a Nice Weekend and the duet single "How Can We Ease the Pain" with Maxi Priest.

Beres Hammond at PCRL radio
Hammond returned briefly to Jamaica to record Putting Up Resistance, which was significantly harder than his typical ballads, under Tapa Zukie, which spawned the hits "Putting Up Resistance" and "Strange." He signed with Penthouse Records in 1990 and returned to Jamaica permanently to record the dancehall smash "Tempted to Touch", with producer Donovan Germain. This is perhaps his best known song in the United States and United Kingdom, and set the foundation for the hits "Is This a Sign" and "Respect to You Baby" on the 1992 Love Affair album.

Now garnering interest from major studios such as Electra Records, Hammond recorded five more albums in the 1990s as well as several compilations, establishing himself as one of the top lovers rock artists. His first album of the new millennium was 2001's Music Is Life, which featured an appearance by Wyclef Jean. The 2004 release Love Has No Boundaries, had guest spots by Buju Banton and Big Youth.

He returned to Jamaica to perform at the Opening Ceremony for the Cricket World Cup 2007. 2008 saw the release of yet another album "A moment in time" featuring the single "I feel good". It was released on the 11/11/08 under VP records. Wikipedia

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