Beres Hammond Biography

Beresford Hammond, 1955, St. Mary, Jamaica, West Indies. Success came late to Hammond in the form of numerous awards for Best Male Vocalist during the early 90s. He joined Zap Pow as a teenager after singing on local talent shows. By the time Hammond left the group in 1980, he had already recorded his debut, Soul Reggae, which was produced by Willie Lindo, and was working on the follow-up Just A Man. Although Hammond produced his own Let’s Make A Song, it was a productive partnership, and Lindo produced 1983’s Coming At You. Hammond’s dusky, emotive vocals earned him a reputation as an excellent stylist and this was demonstrated by his material, which often had a strong R&B influence. His fifth album, Beres Hammond, marked a change in direction. The singles lifted from it, ‘Groovy Little Thing’, ‘One Dance Will Do’ and ‘She Loves Me Now’, were all hits, making his name on the dancehall scene. It was not until 1990, when he was persuaded to record for Donovan Germain’s Penthouse label, that he had any comparable success. Despite a high-profile duet with Maxi Priest on ‘How Can We Ease The Pain’ in 1988, a major contract with Cooltempo Records had not brought him a wider audience and he seemed to have floundered somewhat. However, ‘Tempted To Touch’ was a major success, after Germain combined his voice with popular dancehall rhythms, leading to 1992’s A Love Affair. By this time Hammond was a highly sought-after vocalist, and material came from producers such as Lindo, Richard ‘Bello’ Bell from Star Trail, Steely And Clevie and Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell. Many hits followed, often as collaborations with artists such as Marcia Griffiths, Buju Banton, Mad Cobra, Cutty Ranks, Reggie Stepper and Tony Rebel. ‘Putting Up Resistance’ won a JAMI award in 1992 for the year’s Best Song after Sly Dunbar remixed earlier tracks Hammond had voiced for Tapper Zukie. In 1993, Burrell compiled several of Hammond’s finest tracks for Full Attention. The album showed him not only to be a versatile singer of ballads, reality and dancehall material but also to be a genuinely talented writer. He signed to Elektra Records in late 1993, after recording hits for the New York producers Sting and Robert Livingston. He released one album before moving to Harmony House and releasing Love From A Distance in 1996, on which Shaggy and the Dream Warriors provide some fine vocal harmonies.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results