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Jimmy Helms

Although vocalist Jimmy Helms was born in Florida in 1944, he scored his hits and marked his career almost entirely in the United Kingdom. An early burning desire for music was fed during his years in the United States Army, where he played in the Fort Jackson Army Band. Switching from band to song and changing his home base from America to Britain after his stint in the service, Helms released his first single, "Ragtime Girl," on Pye records in 1963. He followed up with one more early single in 1969 when London released "If You Let Me." Neither managed to do anything, but they certainly helped build the forward momentum that pushed Helms to the spotlight during the '70s.

Signing to Fly/Cube records in 1972, Helms released the well-received "So Long Love," but it was the following year's stunning "I'm Gonna Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse" that finally brought him the breakthrough he deserved. Produced by John Worth, the song was a Top Ten hit that spring. However, two further singles, "I'll Take Good Care of You" and "Jack Horner's Holiday," failed to match their predecessor's might, while the following year's I'm Gonna Make You an Offer album, recorded with a session band featuring former Affinity/Fancy member Mo Foster, similarly failed to do anything on the charts.

Despite seemingly doomed to one-hit-wonderdom, Helms remained undeterred. Returning to his first label, Pye, he recorded the Songs I Sing LP and the single "Don't Pull Your Love" during 1975, while he was also in-demand as a guest on a number of other artist's releases -- Helms appeared as the kingfisher in Roger Glover's Butterfly Ball, while 1976 brought a role in Eddie Hardin's Wizard's Convention superstar album. Helms also contributed to early- to mid-"70s albums by Mick Greenwood and Scaffold spin-off Fresh Liver.

In 1977, a link with renowned producer Biddu saw Helms release the "Black Joy" single and soundtrack LP (repackaged on CD in 2002). Continuing to move on and off the radar, Helms contributed to the soundtrack of the 1985 movie Water, and was also involved in the mid-'80s stage musical Time, performing several songs on the accompanying album. Still working heavily in sessions, Helms appeared alongside Madness, Then Jericho, and Deacon Blue, while his own next album, Speak, appeared (and quickly disappeared in 1988). But still that year represented the dawn of a new age for the soon-to-be completely revitalized musician.

Partnering with Jimmy Chambers, George Chandler (ex-Olympic Runners), and production wizard Willy M, Helms became one-fourth of the late-'80s/early-'90s dance band Londonbeat. Driven by drum machines and produced by Martyn Philips, the band unleashed a huge string of successful singles in the U.K. from 1988 through the middle of the next decade. While their 1988 debut, "9 AM (The Comfort Zone)" and a 1991 cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" brought them mainstream success, nothing could touch the Helms-penned "I've Been Thinking About You." It would be that song that would give Helms his highest-ever profile, soaring to number two on the British charts in September, 1990, and kicking off a U.S. New Year in style as it rocketed to number one in February 1991, ultimately staying on the chart for nearly five months. A decade later, Helms still led a New Londonbeat around the U.K. oldies circuit. ~ Amy Hanson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bubblegum Soul

1. Give Me Just A Little More Time

3. Build Me Up Buttercup

5. I'm Doin' Fine Now

6. Jack In The Box

8. Band Of Gold

11. Want Ads

14. Black Joy

15. Eeny Meeny

17. I've Been Hurt

18. Red Red Wine

19. Melting Pot

x

Track List: Greatest Hits Of The 70's

Disc 1

1. It's A Heartache

2. Back Home

3. Ready Steady Go

4. No More Heroes

5. Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)

6. My Sharona

7. Tomorrow Night

8. Showdown

10. Up Against The Wall

12. Silver Lady

13. Baby Jump

14. On My Radio

16. Don't Look Back

17. The Second Time Around

18. El Bimbo

Disc 2

1. Spanish Stroll

3. Magic

4. Dancing On A Saturday Night

5. You To Me Are Everything

6. And The Beat Goes On

7. Rapper's Delight

8. Whodunit

9. Greased Lightnin'

10. Roll Over Beethoven

11. Kung Fu Fighting

13. Freedom Come, Freedom Go

14. Donna

15. Sugar Candy Kisses

16. Beach Baby

17. Brother Louie

Disc 3

1. Child In Time

2. Dance With The Devil

3. Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)

4. Radar Love

5. Silver Machine

6. Milk And Alcohol

7. Motor Bikin'

8. 2-4-6-8 Motorway

9. Rubber Bullets

10. Nutbush City Limits

11. Your Generation

12. Isn't It Time

13. Peaches

14. Sylvia

15. This Perfect Day

17. Here Comes The Sun

18. He's Gonna Step On You Again

Disc 4

1. The Air That I Breathe

2. Don't Throw It All Away

3. When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman

4. Please Don't Go

5. Loving You

6. Tired Of Toein' The Line

7. Dancing In The City

9. If You Can't Give Me Love

10. Hot Child In The City

11. Wall Street Shuffle

12. Popcorn

14. Lay Your Love On Me

15. Mexico

18. Don't Let It Die

Disc 5

1. Hocus Pocus

3. Something Better Change

4. Little Girl

5. Valley Of The Dolls

6. Straw Dogs

7. Judy Teen

10. Homicide

12. Don't Take No For An Answer

15. Don't Give Up On Us

17. Boogie On Top

18. Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)

Disc 6

3. Proud Mary

4. One Last Kiss

5. Money In My Pocket

6. O.K. Fred

7. Midnight Rider

8. Cocaine

9. Sideshow

10. Gangsters

11. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

13. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

14. Emma

15. Can You Feel The Force

16. American Pie

18. Be Thankful For What You've Got

Disc 7

1. Wild Places

3. Lost In France

4. Alright, Alright, Alright

6. Indian Reservation

8. Streets Of London

9. Give Up Your Guns

11. Rich Kids

12. Knock On Wood

16. Shannon

17. Memories

18. Time In A Bottle

Disc 8

1. More Than A Woman

2. That's The Way I Like It

3. So You Win Again

5. Rock Your Baby

8. Can't Get By Without You

11. Don't Do It Baby

12. Misty Blue

13. Nice And Slow

14. Boogie Oogie Oogie

15. Gonna Get Along Without You Now

16. Get Off

17. I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet

18. Movin'

x

Track List: Northern Soul: The Essential Collection

x

Track List: True Love

2. Cupid

4. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me

6. Stop Twistin' My Arm

7. Some Come Running

9. Heartbeat

10. Right By Your Side

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reglicha
Love the 70's - keep them coming Pandora Radio! This is real music!

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