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Beres Hammond

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One of the most underappreciated reggae artists of his time, Beres Hammond was something of a throwback during his '90s heyday: a soulful crooner indebted to classic rocksteady and American R&B, one who preferred live instrumentation and wrote much of his own material. Hammond specialized in romantic lovers rock, but he also found time to delve into light dancehall, conscious roots reggae, hip-hop fusion, and straight-up contemporary R&B. He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on August 28, 1955, in Annotto Bay, in the Jamaican province of St. Mary. Hammond grew up listening to his father's collection of American R&B (Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, etc.) and jazz, and also fell in love with native Jamaican music during the ska and rocksteady eras; his primary influence was Alton Ellis, and he also listened to the likes of Peter Tosh, the Heptones, and Ken Boothe. Over 1972-1973, Hammond performed successfully in talent competitions, one of which led to his first recording, a soul cover of Ellis' "Wanderer." In 1975, Hammond joined the group Zap Pow as lead singer; they enjoyed a hit single in 1978 with "The System." Meanwhile, Hammond was already exploring the idea of a solo career, cutting his debut album, Soul Reggae, with producer Willie Lindo in 1976. Urged by his label, Aquarius, to pick a song for single release, Hammond instead returned to the studio and cut a new track, the ballad "One Step Ahead." It was a massive chart-topping hit in Jamaica, and so was his second single, 1978's Joe Gibbs-produced "I'm in Love." Hammond left Zap Pow in 1979 to concentrate on his solo career, and initially worked as a session singer to make up for the royalties that were failing to come in. He recorded his second solo album, Just a Man, with Gibbs in 1980, and reunited with Lindo for 1981's Comin' at You. Hammond subsequently continued his session work, also forming a harmony quintet called Tuesday's Children that never recorded but had some success as a live act. Following the 1985 album Let's Make a Song, he founded his own label, Harmony House, to ensure that he would have an outlet whenever arrangements with other companies fell through. The first two singles, "Groovy Little Thing" and the Willie Lindo-produced "What One Dance Can Do," were both major hits that nodded to the emerging dancehall style, and the latter not only started to break him in the international market, but proved to be his biggest Jamaican hit ever. A self-titled album also appeared in 1986, and he scored another hit with "Settling Down." In 1987, amid his growing notoriety, Hammond was the victim of an armed break-in and robbery; greatly shaken by the ordeal of having been tied up while thieves ransacked his home, he left Jamaica and spent some time in New York with relatives, away from the spotlight. Reuniting with Willie Lindo in the Big Apple, Hammond set to work on the ballad-heavy Have a Nice Week End, and also teamed with emerging crossover star Maxi Priest for the 1988 duet "How Can We Ease the Pain." In the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, Hammond returned to Jamaica and recorded the tougher Putting Up Resistance with producer Tappa Zukie, which was released in 1989 and spawned a significant hit in the title track and a popular follow-up in "Strange." Hammond made his return permanent in 1990, signing with the Penthouse label and teaming that year with producer Donovan Germain for the enormous dancehall hit "Tempting to Touch." Perhaps his best-known song in the U.K. and U.S., "Tempting to Touch" topped the charts in Jamaica and paved the way for 1992's hit A Love Affair album, which included further hits in "Is This a Sign" and "Respect to You Baby." Now attracting interest from larger labels, Hammond wrote and recorded prolifically in the '90s, and produced fairly consistent results. Sweetness appeared in 1993 on VP, and 1994 brought In Control, a set on American major Elektra that was geared toward the international market. VP distributed his 1996 Harmony House album Love From a Distance, which made him one of the most popular lovers rock artists around, and Heartbeat handled the 1997 follow-up Getting Stronger. 1998 brought A Day in the Life... on VP, after which Hammond took a few years' break from his frantic recording pace. In the meantime, several compilations were released, including Jet Star's Reggae Max and Forever Yours (the former a hits retrospective, the latter focusing on his lovers rock material). Hammond returned to the studio in 2001 for Music Is Life, which featured a guest spot from rapper Wyclef Jean. Love Has No Boundaries was released in 2004 on VP Records, and included guest spots by Buju Banton and Big Youth, among others. A Moment in Time appeared in 2008 and featured the hit "Picking Up the Pieces." His 2012 effort, One Love, One Life, was split into two discs, one dealing with love while the other focused on social issues. ~ Steve Huey
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Albums by
Beres Hammond

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    19 songs

    On Air

    Kings & Queens For Lovers Rock

    17 songs

    On Air

    Sons Of Jamaica

    1 song

    On Air

    Love Story in Dub Remaster

    1 song

    On Air

    One Life to Live Dub Remaster

    1 song

    On Air

    Sing Me A Song In Dub Remaster

    10 songs

    On Air

    Fatis Presents Beres Hammond Vol 1

    11 songs

    On Air

    Fatis Presents Best of Beres Hammond

    11 songs

    On Air

    Something Old, Something New (Beres Hammond)

    12 songs

    On Air

    Beres Hammond

    17 songs

    On Air

    Music Is Life

    14 songs

    On Air

    A Day in the Life...

    14 songs

    On Air

    Love from a Distance

    14 songs

    On Air

    In Control

    13 songs

    On Air

    Full Attention

    15 songs

    On Air

    Love Affair

    11 songs

    On Air

    Have a Nice Week End

    6 songs

    On Air

    One Life To Live - EP

    9 songs

    On Air

    Fatis Presents Beres Hammond Vol 2

    10 songs

    On Air

    Just a Man

    3 songs

    On Air

    No Goodbye

    20 songs

    On Air

    One Love, One Life

    14 songs

    On Air

    Lifetime Guarantee

    39 songs

    On Air

    Can't Stop a Man: The Ultimate Collection

    13 songs

    On Air

    Full Attention

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Beres Hammond

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   What One Dance Can Do
  3.   Let the Good Times Roll
  4.   Groovy Little Thing
  5.   Teeny Weeny Little Lovin
  6.   He Stopped Loving Her Today
  7.   No Candle Light
  8.   Come Back Home
  9.   Putting Up Resistance
  10.   Hold On
  11.   Fight to Defend It
  12.   Who Say
  13.   Sweetness
  14.   My Wish
  15.   Where Were You
  16.   Reggae Calling
  17.   Good Old Dancehall Vibes
  18.   I Feel Good
  19.   I'm Gonna Do My Best
  20.   Let's Face It
  21.   No Goodbye
  22.   She Loves Me Know
  23.   Sons Of Jamaica Beres Hammond
  24.   Tempted to Touch
  25.   Singer Man
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Beres Hammond

    On Air

    Sean Kingston: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Reggae

    On Air

    George Jones Tribute

    On Air

    Bob Marley: DNA


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