Bell on stage in 2008
|Birth name||Madeline Bell|
July 23, 1942 |
Newark, New Jersey, US
|Associated acts||Sandpebbles Dusty Springfield, Blue Mink, Ashman-Reynolds, Spike Edney's All Star Band (S.A.S.)|
Madeline Bell (born July 23, 1942) is an American soul singer, who became famous as a performer in the UK during the 1960s, having arrived from the US in the gospel show Black Nativity in 1962, with vocal group the Bradford Singers.
She worked as a session singer, most notably backing for Dusty Springfield, and can be found on early Donna Summer material as well. Her first major solo hit was a cover version of Dee Dee Warwick's single "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", which performed better on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart than the original.
Bell then joined contemporary pop combo Blue Mink, with whom she had a number of Top 20 hits with Philips Records in the UK, including "Melting Pot", "Our World", "Randy", "Banner Man", "Good Morning Freedom", "Sunday", "By The Devil I Was Tempted" and "Stay With Me". Before joining Blue Mink in late 1969 she sang solo, and her cover version of "Picture Me Gone" is still a Northern Soul favourite today, as is "What Am I Supposed To Do", from 1968, a two-minute B-side tune co-written with future Led Zeppelin member John Paul Jones, then working as one of London's most in-demand session bassists. (Bell also sang backup on Joe Cocker's "Bye Bye Blackbird" in 1969, which featured a guitar solo from another Led Zeppelin member, Jimmy Page.) Jones later arranged, produced and recorded Bell's 1973 RCA album Comin' Atcha. She contributed to the soundtrack of the romance film A Touch of Class (1973). She also sang backup for the Dave Clark Five "Everybody Get Together" and contributed backing vocals to Elton John's 1972 album Honky Chateau.
Bell has also provided backing vocals on a number of other artists' recordings, notably Tom Parker's neo-classical arrangements, and in 1975 performed with Sunny and Sue (originally members of Brotherhood of Man) at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden, providing backing vocals for the German entry "Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein", performed by Joy Fleming. She worked with Kiki Dee and Lesley Duncan. In 1976 Bell sang backing vocals on We Can't Go on Meeting Like This, the second album by the band Hummingbird. In 1975 she appeared on Sunny Side of the Street for Bryn Haworth.
She also joined the French disco group Space, providing lead vocals on two of their albums. One of the songs she provided lead vocals on was "Save Your Love For Me" from 1978, which charted high in many countries. She also provided backing vocals for another French artist; Cerrone. Madeline also appears on Giorgio Moroder's 1979 album, E=MC2.
Since the 1970s, Bell has continued singing solo and also performed in a number of stage shows. She continues to live in Spain since her husband, drummer Barry Reeves (once of the Ferris Wheel) passed away on February 6, 2010, following a brave fight against pneumonia. She regularly tours Europe singing jazz and popular songs. In 1982, she added background vocals to the fantasy film Alicja. She then again teamed up with John Paul Jones in 1985, contributing performances ("Take It or Leave It" and "Here I Am") to the soundtrack album Scream for Help.
Bell was the voice behind the 1980s advertising campaign for Brooke Bond D, a brand of tea bag in the UK. The music was composed by Ronnie Bond. She also provided vocals on the jingles of another 1980s advertising campaign, British Gas's Wonderfuel Gas, which began in 1982.
- Bell's a Poppin' (1967)
- Doin' Things (1968)
- I'm Gonna Make You Love Me (1968)
- Madeline Bell (1971)
- Comin' Atcha (1973)
- This Is One Girl (1976)
- "Themes" (1976)
- Beat out That Rhythm on a Drum (1988)
- "Madeline" 1993
- "City Life (with Georgie Fame) 1993
- "Have You Met Miss Bell" 1993
- "Girl Talk" 1994
- "Christmas Card" 1995
- "Yes I Can" 1998
- "Melting Pot" 1999
- Blessed (2000)
- "Blue Christmas" 2001
- "Tribute To Ray Charles" (2006)
- "This Is Love" 2012
- "Together Again" 2013
- "The Singer" 2014
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