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Beres Hammond

One of the most underappreciated reggae artists of his time, Beres Hammond was something of a throwback during his '90s heyday: a soulful crooner indebted to classic rocksteady and American R&B, one who preferred live instrumentation and wrote much of his own material. Hammond specialized in romantic lovers rock, but he also found time to delve into light dancehall, conscious roots reggae, hip-hop fusion, and straight-up contemporary R&B. He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955, in Annotto Bay, in the Jamaican province of St. Mary. Hammond grew up listening to his father's collection of American R&B (Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, etc.) and jazz, and also fell in love with native Jamaican music during the ska and rocksteady eras; his primary influence was Alton Ellis, and he also listened to the likes of Peter Tosh, the Heptones, and Ken Boothe.

Over 1972-1973, Hammond performed successfully in talent competitions, one of which led to his first recording, a soul cover of Ellis' "Wanderer." In 1975, Hammond joined the group Zap Pow as lead singer; they enjoyed a hit single in 1978 with "The System." Meanwhile, Hammond was already exploring the idea of a solo career, cutting his debut album, Soul Reggae, with producer Willie Lindo in 1976. Urged by his label, Aquarius, to pick a song for single release, Hammond instead returned to the studio and cut a new track, the ballad "One Step Ahead." It was a massive chart-topping hit in Jamaica, and so was his second single, 1978's Joe Gibbs-produced "I'm in Love." Hammond left Zap Pow in 1979 to concentrate on his solo career, and initially worked as a session singer to make up for the royalties that were failing to come in. He recorded his second solo album, Just a Man, with Gibbs in 1980, and reunited with Lindo for 1981's Comin' at You.

Hammond subsequently continued his session work, also forming a harmony quintet called Tuesday's Children that never recorded but had some success as a live act. Following the 1985 album Let's Make a Song, he founded his own label, Harmony House, to ensure that he would have an outlet whenever arrangements with other companies fell through. The first two singles, "Groovy Little Thing" and the Willie Lindo-produced "What One Dance Can Do," were both major hits that nodded to the emerging dancehall style, and the latter not only started to break him in the international market, but proved to be his biggest Jamaican hit ever. A self-titled album also appeared in 1986, and he scored another hit with "Settling Down." In 1987, amid his growing notoriety, Hammond was the victim of an armed break-in and robbery; greatly shaken by the ordeal of having been tied up while thieves ransacked his home, he left Jamaica and spent some time in New York with relatives, away from the spotlight.

Reuniting with Willie Lindo in the Big Apple, Hammond set to work on the ballad-heavy Have a Nice Week End, and also teamed with emerging crossover star Maxi Priest for the 1988 duet "How Can We Ease the Pain." In the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, Hammond returned to Jamaica and recorded the tougher Putting Up Resistance with producer Tappa Zukie, which was released in 1989 and spawned a significant hit in the title track and a popular follow-up in "Strange." Hammond made his return permanent in 1990, signing with the Penthouse label and teaming that year with producer Donovan Germain for the enormous dancehall hit "Tempting to Touch." Perhaps his best-known song in the U.K. and U.S., "Tempting to Touch" topped the charts in Jamaica and paved the way for 1992's hit A Love Affair album, which included further hits in "Is This a Sign" and "Respect to You Baby."

Now attracting interest from larger labels, Hammond wrote and recorded prolifically in the '90s, and produced fairly consistent results. Sweetness appeared in 1993 on VP, and 1994 brought In Control, a set on American major Elektra that was geared toward the international market. VP distributed his 1996 Harmony House album Love From a Distance, which made him one of the most popular lovers rock artists around, and Heartbeat handled the 1997 follow-up Getting Stronger. 1998 brought A Day in the Life... on VP, after which Hammond took a few years' break from his frantic recording pace. In the meantime, several compilations were released, including Jet Star's Reggae Max and Forever Yours (the former a hits retrospective, the latter focusing on his lovers rock material). Hammond returned to the studio in 2001 for Music Is Life, which featured a guest spot from rapper Wyclef Jean. Love Has No Boundaries was released in 2004 on VP Records, and included guest spots by Buju Banton and Big Youth, among others. A Moment in Time appeared in 2008 and featured the hit "Picking Up the Pieces." His 2012 effort, One Love, One Life, was split into two discs, one dealing with love while the other focused on social issues. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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His music is so inspiring
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Love your music it's up lifting.
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Beres Hammond number one Fan!!!
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Love all his music his music sick
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Inspiring.
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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If you are new to Beres you will find smooth music with love in its heart.
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When they see me with you wonder what they gonna say that's when they know we're in love
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Finally, got to see Mr. Beres Hammond in concert 2011, oh my GOODNESS he did not disappoint. I love this man!!!!!!
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One of my favorite artists period.
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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A di girl dem song this them love it
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I love this song bad
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sboogie1987
My mom loves him with everything in her. Big up Beres.
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I fall more and more in love with my guy whenever Beres is playing. His music unites our souls.
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My Husband in my head..#ONELO V E :*
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; ammo`d
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Mr Beres, you are one the best artist in my lifetime! !! Keep doing what you are doing! I love you! !!
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hmunu2007
Nuff respect Beres
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Nuff respect
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I luv his music
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i love u ........,ber e s . . . .
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I love you Beres forever and ever my love
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MY TUNE
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I freaking love this guy and alllllll of his music.when he come to my state I'm where ever he is. Lol #Beresnum1
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kungfufan4
Love, love, love, love all of music.
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Omg I here this song long time . My mom favorite song . She also play in her car . Me and sister love this song omg .
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Heard him live quite s few times and his voice sounds exactly the same every time. Love him
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Great singer:)
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allymada
Taking me back,taking me back.....lov i n g it,yasss!
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Beres respect for life
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Really good music coming from the teacher"Bere s Hammond nuff Respect,!!!! !
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Love this song... When I was a child my father use to play his tracks....
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"Beres I like this song"song"Sh e loves me know, this song was written by nicely, I like this song very much you are doing a very good work with the music my brother,Keep it up and the good Lord will bless you,,!!!!!
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When"Beres Hammond Sing a song it always sound good, I have been following is music for long time ,All is song sound very nice "Beres so keep up the good work that you are doing and again I love all your songs, !!!!!!!!
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HONEY I Will BE AWAY THEIR For You JUST CALL ME ANYTIME YOU WANT,!!!!,!!
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Nice Reggae music coming from Beres Mr Sweetness",! ! ! !
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shaychampion 3
I love me some Beres! See ya in August Beres
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Greetings I had the pleasure of Cong u perform I can never get enough of u, u are dynamite Beres. One love No Disrespect.. . . . . . . .
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orvilleg8
Beres is good
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Angel voice
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One the best Singer/ songwriter
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Luv him
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Beres Hammond is in a class by himself he is a very good singer Beres keep up the good work also keep putting out nice hits song,s, big up!!!!
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That's what I call them to, Beres sweetness,
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Memories cruising the beaches in Moku O Hawaii. Keukaha No Ka Oi. Aloha
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Love is music and is voice
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Love that song
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Love that song big up your self yea love you boom shot
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