Sunday, December 29, 2013

TAKE TWO: BILLY OCEAN


Billy Ocean made his first appearance on the pop charts in 1984 with the international smash, "Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)". After a number of follow-up hit singles, this popular singer seemed to just vanish from the music scene.

Born Leslie Charles in Trinidad and Tobago in 1950, his family moved to England when he was a young child. As a teenager, Leslie decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a musician. He took his stage name from the Ocean Estate in London's East End and sang in clubs before getting a recording contract. His self-titled debut was released in 1976 and was a modest success with a single, "Love Really Hurts Without You" reaching number two on the UK Pop Chart. Ocean recorded other albums which received much less attention and wrote songs for a variety of artists.  With the release of his fifth album, "Suddenly" in 1984, this was Ocean's commercial breakthrough with "Caribbean Queen" (recorded as "European Queen" for Europe's release) reaching number one in the U.S.  The singles, "Loverboy" and the title track also made it to the U.S. top five on the pop chart.

The song, "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going" was used in the film, "The Jewel of The Nile" in 1985 and became a top five hit across the globe. After his last major hit "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" in 1988, Billy Ocean fell out of favor and failed to receive significant radio play. That certainly hasn't stopped Ocean from making music with "Here You Are", his eleventh studio album, was released last April. He continues to perform and tour across Europe.

Let's go back and listen to two of my favorite songs from Billy Ocean:

"Suddenly" - Billy Ocean (1985)

"Mystery Lady" - Billy Ocean (1985)

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