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No one in Reggae turns it out like Beres Hammond.
 
He was born Beresford Hammond in the province of St. Mary in Annotto Bay. Early on, Hammond became intensely interested in the ska/reggae sounds of such performers as Peter Touch and soulful singer Alton Ellis -- who would become one of the "father's" of rock-steady music. Already a talented singer, he found himself particularly drawn to the music of Leroy Sibbles of the Heptones and Ken Boothe, another favorite, after Ellis, his primary influence. Though island music was his prime inspiration, Hammond also loved the R&B, and jazz frequently played by his father who had an enormous and varied record collection. Beres got his own start between 1972 and 1973. His first break came when he  auditioned for a Merritone Amateur show. During the audition, Hammond sang about a dozen songs in radically different genres; he believed the judges liked his voice. This led him to record a soul version, in the style of Alton Ellis, of "Wanderer." Hammond became the lead singer of Zap Pow in late 1975. "The System," recorded on Mango in 1978, was their known single.
While with Zap Pow, he launched his solo career; his first solo album Soul Reggae was released in 1976 on the Aquarius label and produced by long-time friend Willie Lindo. It was a big success. Then he recorded the ballad "One Step Ahead," which stayed at No. 1 for over 14 weeks. In 1978,  he made "I'm in Love," and it too became a chart topper. By 1979, the strain of performing and recording with the group and managing his own career was too much so he left Zap Pow. Though he had two chart hits and a top-selling album by then, Hammond saw very little money from the sales. Eventually he cut the album Just a Man. It did well and produced a couple of hit singles, but again he made no money. Not wanting to continue the saturation, Hammond again stopped recording for one year. He recorded his next album in 1981 with Willie Lindo. It was first released on Dynamics and titled Comin' at You.


In 1985, he recorded another album, Let's Make a Song, and then decided to start his own label, Harmony House, just so he could always have a home base. His debut single "Groovy Little Thing," was a substantial hit. Lindo recorded his next single, "What One Dance Can Do," and it became one of his biggest hits not only in Jamaica, but also abroad.
Around 1989, he and Lindo, who had come to New York recorded the cross-over album of ballads Have a Nice Weekend, but did not release it until after he recorded Resistance in Jamaica.  In 1990, he returned to Jamaica and went to Penthouse Records and during the session, spontaneously created "Tempted to Touch" -- a song inspired by the sight of a beautiful girl in shorts he'd seen sashaying about the studio that day. It became an enormous hit in Jamaica, New York City and even England. At long last, Hammond found himself a hot property when the album produced several more major hits including "Is This a Sign" and "Respect to You Baby."  In 1995, Hammond recorded In Control on Elektra, an excellent blend of ballads, and socially conscious reggae. Unlike most reggae heros, Beres isn't about flinging dreadlocks and other glamour moves. This prolific and compelling artist is about the music and nothing but.  In 1996 the big hit "Love From A Distance" on the album entitled, "A Day In the Life" is a vibrant lyrical masterpiece with great music, wonderful songwriting, and sensual storytelling.
Beres Hammond, a 20 year veteran of the reggae industry is not only a vocalist but a songwriter and producer as well. Working with the island's top studio musicians, he purrs in the seductive "ladies' man" fashion. He has that mellow, whiskey-grained voice working deep, ranging from sultry & sexy at the low end of the scale to a spiking rapturous height that can keep a crowd moving. He is one of reggae's great soul singers though for much of his twenty years he has only been known for the most part in his native Jamaica. Hammond's style harkens back to the Rastafarian sounds of the '70s that center on a strong melody coupled with socially conscious lyrics and intricate harmonies.


Check your local record shop for more hits from Beres!
 



 
 

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