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Albert Hammond: Body Of Work (ear MUSIC) Out now…



5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)



If you can command almost 1.7 million listens per month on your Spotify, you must be doing something right. Legendary songwriter and artist Albert Hammond certainly is, after a career which spans more than five decades.

The writer of a slew of hits for many big name artists, such as The Hollies, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias, Chicago, Willie Nelson, Leo Sayer and many more; and he himself sang self-penned hits such as “It Never Rains In Southern California”, US hit “I’m A Train” and popular here in the UK, “Free Electric Band”.

Albert is still crafting new songs at the age of 80, and showcases his latest set on the 17-track album “Body of Work” which was recently released – his first album of new music in almost 20 years.

The man that wrote “The Air That I Breathe” (The Hollies) and “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” (Tina Turner), turned to longtime songwriting collaborator John Bettis to get stuck in with him for this new collection; with whom he wrote “One Moment in Time” for Whitney Houston. “I love working with him,” Albert says. “Everything is so creative, and we have so much respect for each other… and there is a chemistry.”

George Harrison/Tom Petty vibes on the super “Somebody’s Child”, with some sweet slide guitar licks adding value. Albert’s life-lived voice croons the gorgeous “Both Ways”, which contains the poignant and oh so true line: “There is so much more to life than waiting round to die”.

His vocal [and at 80 remember…], is the best it sounds on the album, and the harmonies work so well. I am willing to wager that this song will get picked up and covered many times long after Mr Hammond is at the big gig in the sky. Beautiful songwriting and equally wonderful delivery. “Knocking On Your Door” is a winner too.

Producer/ multi-instrumentalist Mathias Roska was key to the creative process. “Mathias had this idea to put me in the room with a mic and just sing the songs,” Albert explains, “because he wanted to get to know the songs.” From there tracks were fleshed out through collaborative jams, resulting in flourishes like mellotron on ‘Gonna Save The World’ and Mathias’ mesmerizing guitar solo on “Looking Back.”

“Body of Work”, his 20th studio album, is the soundtrack of an extraordinary lifetime and dips in and out of folk, alt. country, pop and balladry, just like his songwriting has done across 50+ years.  In the dictionary under “Versatile”, is a photograph of Albert!

“Listening to what we’ve achieved at the end,” Albert reflects, “I am just so grateful and happy that I was able to go through this incredible life experience.” We are grateful to you too, Mr H… Thank you for the music.



Words: Les Howard




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