Music Is Life
February 2, 2003
|Format||DVD - Region 2|
|Length||Approx. 120 minutes|
Hugh Beresford Hammond aka Beres Hammond was born in the parish of St. Mary in Annotto Bay, Jamaica, in 1955. Strongly influenced by Jamaican singers Alton Ellis and Peter Tosh as well as American R&B singers Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, he started singing ska and reggae a very young age. Beres got his real start in the music business in 1972 when as a teenage schoolboy, he took first prize at an amateur talent show with covers of "Peridia" and Jerry Butler's "Need To Be Loved". After winning several talent competitions and recording a single called "Wanderer", Beres Hammond became lead singer for Zap Pow, Jamaica's top backing band of the mid-70's, when they recorded 1975's "Zap Pow Now". Three years later, Hammond's debut solo LP, "Soul Reggae", kicked off a series of chart dominating singles, beginning with "One Step Ahead," the number one tune on Jamaican charts for four months.|
In 1985, he switched from his soulful style to hardcore reggae and came out with the year's number one boomshot, "What One Dance Can Do." It was followed by other international reggae sensations, like "Groovy Little Thing" and "She Loves Me Now". Beres Hammond formed his own label, Harmony House. In 1987, while in the process of recording a new album, Hammond was attacked, tied up and robbed in his home. After the attack, he moved to New York and kept low profile for a few years. In 1990, he returned to Jamaica and recorded the single "Tempted To Touch". It became an enormous international hit. With the subsequent album, "Love Affair", Hammond's career shifted into high gear.
Throughout the nineties he recorded a string of successful albums including "Full Attention", "In Control", "Love From A Distance" and "A Day In The Life". In addition, he received numerous awards including Best Male Vocalist and Best Song. The prolific singer, songwriter, and producer Beres Hammond continued to deliver notable efforts in the new millennium as could be witnessed when he released his 2001 album, "Music Is Life", which has been extremely successful and included his number one hit "Rock Away".
"Music Is Life" is also the title of a dvd which has been subtitled "Live From New York". Recorded in March 2001 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York it captures Beres Hammond live in concert along with friends like Maxi Priest, Red Fox and Wyclef Jean as well as artists from the Harmony House stable, young singer Ginja and the Harmony House Singers, Nikki Tucker and Dorette Wisdom. Beres Hammond kicks off with "Can't Stop A Man" and then for almost two hours Beres delivers an amazing string of hits for a sold out venue. In front of an enthousiastic audience Beres delivers a great performance, fully demonstrating his power and passion for the music that's rooted in reggae history. Besides Beres we're also treated to some of his friends. First there's Maxi Priest who gives a sparkling performance. Maxi teams with Red Foxx to deliver "House Call" which was made popular by Shabba Ranks and himself. When Beres sings "Dance For Me" from his album "Music Is Life", Wyclef Jean walks onto the stage and the Hammerstein erupts. He performs the song with Beres and then does some free-styling, displaying his remarkable creativity, deejaying in Spanish and Japanese. Wyclef then takes the guitar from Harmony House Band member "Gitsy" and plays some lively riffs, including some Jamaican melodies.
"Music Is Life" is an excellent registration of a great show by Jamaica's premier balladeer Beres Hammond. The quality of sound and images are first-class and fully match the artist's own professionalism.
These are the songs featured on this dvd :