Labi Siffre

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Labi Siffre
Born (1945-06-25) 25 June 1945 (age 69)
Hammersmith, London, England
Genres Soft rock, soul, adult contemporary, folk, funk
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter,
poet and writer
Years active 1970–2006
Labels EMI/Pye/China
Website Official site

Labi Siffre (born 25 June 1945) is a British poet, songwriter, musician, and singer.

Early life and education[edit]

Born the fourth of five children, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London to a British mother of Barbadian–Belgian descent and a Nigerian father, Siffre was brought up in Bayswater and Hampstead and educated at a Catholic independent day school, St Benedict's School, in Ealing, west London.[1] Despite his Catholic education Siffre has stated that he has always been an atheist.[2]

Musical career[edit]

Siffre played at Annie Ross's club in Soho in the 1960s as part of a house band.[2]

He released six albums were released between 1970 and 1975, and four between 1988 and 1998. In the early 1970s, he had UK hits with "It Must Be Love" (No. 14, 1971) (later covered by and a No. 4 hit for Madness, for which Siffre himself appeared in the video); "Crying Laughing Loving Lying" (No. 11, 1972); and "Watch Me" (No. 29, 1972).[3]

1985: retirement[edit]

Siffre came out of self-imposed retirement from music in 1985 when he saw a television film from South Africa showing a white soldier shooting at black children.[4] He wrote "(Something Inside) So Strong" (No. 4, 1987).[3]



  • "I Got The" (2006) (recorded 1975)

Studio albums[edit]

Cover versions[edit]



  • Nigger (Xavier Books 1993)
  • Blood on the Page (Xavier Books 1995)
  • Monument (Xavier Books 1997)


  • DeathWrite (Xavier Books 1997)


  • Choosing the Stick They Beat You With (Penguin 2000)


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin (2002) The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70s music p.398. Virgin, 2002
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 498. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Mathur, Paul SPIN Aug 1989

External links[edit]