Bernard Fowler in Vienna, 2007
|Birth name||R. Bernard Fowler|
January 2, 1959 |
New York, United States
|Genres||Rock, rock and roll, funk, R&B, blues, country rock, reggae, blues-rock, gospel|
|Occupations||Musician, producer, Songwriter, Actor|
|Instruments||Vocals, percussion, guitar, bass guitar, trombone|
|Labels||Atlantic, Rolling Stones, Sony|
|Associated acts||The Rolling Stones, Peech Boys, Herbie Hancock, Bootsy Collins, Tackhead, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Waddy Wachtel, Little Axe|
Bernard Fowler (born January 2, 1959) is an American musician, songwriter, producer, and actor. He has provided backing vocals with The Rolling Stones for over 25 years on recordings and tours, and has been a featured guest vocalist on the majority of solo albums released by the members of that band. He has also been a regular featured singer on other musicians' recordings and tours. He has appeared on over 30 albums.
Fowler has toured and recorded with the bands Tackhead and Bad Dog and occasionally with Nicklebag and Little Axe. He released his first solo album in 2006, and has produced some of the albums upon which he performed.
Fowler's first recordings were for the group Total Eclipse in 1974. In the early 1980s he was a member of The New York City Peech Boys with DJ Larry Levan and keyboard player Michael De Benedictus. The group had dance hits with tracks like "Don't Make Me Wait" and "Life Is Something Special". He provided vocals for the songs "I'm the One" and "Come Down" from the Material album One Down, where he was credited as a songwriter on several tracks. Fowler guested on Herbie Hancock's classic electro-funk albums Future Shock (1983) and Sound-System (1984), as well as the 1985 albums Compact Disc by Public Image Ltd and Language Barrier by Sly & Robbie. In 1986, he sang a song written by Paul Simon which appeared on Philip Glass's Songs from Liquid Days. In 1987 he sang backup for James Blood Ulmer on America:Do You Remember the Love?, and the next year he appeared on Bootsy Collins's What's Bootsy Doin'?. Fowler was the lead singer for the group Tackhead for several albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He has also appeared on albums from Herb Alpert, Little Axe, Todd Terry, and Michael Hutchence, (formerly of INXS). In 1988 Fowler found himself touring with Steven Seagal.
The Rolling Stones
In 1985, Fowler was hired to record backing vocals on Mick Jagger's first solo album, She's the Boss. This proved to be the beginning of a lasting business and personal relationship, not only with Jagger, but with all the current members of the Rolling Stones, as he has also performed on the solo albums of Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Ron Wood. After Fowler had already performed as a session musician with individual members of the Rolling Stones on their solo projects, he was chosen to join the Stones on their Steel Wheels world tour, in 1989. Mick Jagger spoke about his choice of Fowler to sing backing vocals saying that Fowler impressed him because he had a wide vocal range, many musical influences, and stamina.
"He is also very strong and can sing for ages. He's got a lot of range and a lot of stamina vocally. You have to have that if you're going to do long nights and lots and lots of shows, all in the open air; he can easily keep up with me." -- Mick Jagger, 1998."
He has remained as a regular backup singer on tours with the Stones since then. Fowler was a feature vocalist on three of Watts' jazz solo albums. The other members of the Rolling Stones have utilized his vocal talents on their solo projects, including Richards' Main Offender and Wood's solo projects.
Songwriting and projects
Fowler has been asked to collaborate on songs from other artists. One such person has been Ron Wood in writing and composing songs for his solo albums. Fowler and Wood have co-written several songs together and recorded them on Wood's albums.
In 2006, Fowler released his first solo album, Friends with Privileges, on Sony Japan. This is his first entirely solo effort, however, he has had a significant number of rock and roll and R&B heavyweights in the music industry working with him. They include Ron Wood, Darryl Jones and Lisa Fischer of Rolling Stones fame; studio session musician and record producer Waddy Wachtel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Plant, Dave Abbruzzese (formerly of Pearl Jam), Joe Elliot (of Def Leppard), and Ivan Neville. His newest project is called the IMF's.
With The Rolling Stones and their solo projects
- (1985) She's the Boss (Mick Jagger)
- (1989) Steel Wheels (Rolling Stones)
- (1991) Flashpoint (Rolling Stones)
- (1992) Tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings (Charlie Watts)
- (1992) Slide on This (Ronnie Wood)
- (1992) Main Offender (Keith Richards)
- (1993) Warm and Tender (Charlie Watts)
- (1993) Slide on Live: Plugged in and Standing (Ronnie Wood)
- (1993) Jump Back (Rolling Stones)
- (1994) Voodoo Lounge (Rolling Stones)
- (1995) Stripped (Rolling Stones)
- (1996) Long Ago and Far Away (Charlie Watts)
- (1997) Bridges to Babylon (Rolling Stones)
- (1998) No Security (Rolling Stones)
- (2000) Live and Eclectic (Ronnie Wood)
- (2002) Forty Licks (Rolling Stones)
- (2004) Live Licks (Rolling Stones)
- (2005) A Bigger Bang (Rolling Stones)
- (2005) Rarities 1971-2003 (Rolling Stones)
- (2008) Shine a Light (Rolling Stones)
- (2010) I Feel Like Playing (Ronnie Wood)
- (1982) Don't Make Me Wait (Peech Boys)
- (1982) One Down (Material)
- (1982) Future Shock (Herbie Hancock)
- (1983) I Need You Now (Sinnamon)
- (1984) Sound-System (Herbie Hancock)
- (1985) Starpeace (Yoko Ono)
- (1985) Language Barrier (Sly & Robbie)
- (1986) Futurista (Ryuichi Sakamoto)
- (1986) Media Bahn Live (Ryuichi Sakamoto)
- (1986) Songs from Liquid Days (Philip Glass)
- (1986) Album (Public Image, Ltd.)
- (1987) Do You Remember the Love? (James Blood Ulmer)
- (1988) What's Bootsy Doin'? (Bootsy Collins)
- (1990) Strange Things (Tackhead)
- (1990) Liberty (Duran Duran)
- (1991) Videohead (Tackhead)
- (1991) Johnnie B. Bad (Johnnie Johnson)
- (1992) No Other World (Shining Path)
- (1992) Onobox (Yoko Ono)
- (1993) Stain (Living Colour)
- (1994) Jazz Passengers in Love (Roy Nathanson's Jazz Passengers)
- (1996) 12 Hits and a Bump (Nicklebag) (Iguana Records)
- (1997) Power Inc. (Tackhead)
- (1999) Michael Hutchence (Michael Hutchence)
- (1999) Colors (Herb Alpert)
- (2000) Hot Night Tonight (Barbara Lynn)
- (2001) Best of Material (Material)
- (2004) Champagne & Grits (Little Axe)
- (2008) Along Came a Spider (Alice Cooper)
- (2008) Ever Changing Times (Steve Lukather)
- (2010) All's Well That Ends Well (Steve Lukather)
- (2010) Bought for a dollar/Sold for a dime (Little Axe)
- (2006) Friends With Privileges (Bernard Fowler) (Sony Japan)
- Fowler, Bernard (Official Website). "Bernard Fowler Biography". Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- Bernard Fowler at AllMusic
- Bliss, Karen (accessed 10 March 2008)Rolling Stone Magazine
- Heslin, Maria Katrien (Oct–Nov 1998). "Rock-n-soul with Bernard Fowler - backup rock vocalist's career and his band Nickelbag". bNet Business Library. American Visions. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- Heslin, Maria Katrien. "Rock-n-soul with Bernard Fowler - backup rock vocalist's career and his band Nickelbag Backup Rock Vocalist's Career Oct-Nov, 1988 bNet Business Library". American Visions. Retrieved 2008-06-08.
- (accessed 5 March) Songs By Ron Wood