Robert Hart (musician)

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Robert Hart
Born (1958-11-01) 1 November 1958 (age 55)
Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, funk
Occupations Singer, musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1980s–present
Labels Island Records, Atlantic Records, Hollywood Records
Associated acts Distance, Bad Company, Company of Snakes, The Jones Gang, Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Robert Hart (born 1 November 1958, Bournemouth, Dorset) is a British rock vocalist and songwriter. He is currently the lead singer of Manfred Mann's Earth Band and the new formed band Diesel. He has performed as a solo artist, and with The Distance and also with former Whitesnake members in the band called Company of Snakes and with Bad Company. He also fronted The Jones Gang, a rock group formed by Hart, Rick Wills and Kenney Jones. He now performs as a solo artist as well as touring with his own band XBad Company, with Dave "Bucket" Colwell and Garry "Harry" James (all of them being ex-members of Bad Company). He was the first English writer to be signed to Disney owned Hollywood Records. He has also written several Number 1 hits, and written a number of songs for film soundtracks, whilst being signed to Roy Orbison's Still Working Music, Disney's Hollywood Records, and Island Records.

Career[edit]

Chris Blackwell signed Hart to his Island Records label in the 1980s and teamed him with Bernard Edwards. The two men produced collaborated on several projects, including the soundtrack for the Whoopi Goldberg film, The Burglar. The Distance gained success in a worldwide market with particularly high sales in Japan. After leaving the band Hart moved to Atlantic Records as a solo artist, with Stewart Levine producing his first album, Cries and Whispers.

He then became the first English artist to be signed by Disney-owned Hollywood Records, and worked with Russ Ballard on Hart's self-titled album, Robert Hart, which charted in more than 18 countries.

It was while touring following the release of the album in 1992 that Hart was approached by Mick Ralphs of Bad Company and asked whether he would be interested in fronting the band. For the next seven years Hart toured with them. He also co-wrote two of the band's albums, Company of Strangers and Stories Told & Untold, three live albums. Over the years Hart has also been involved in projects with Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, Peter Maffay, members of Chic and Go West. His association with Kenney Jones came via Boz Burrell, who played with Hart in Bad Company.

Jones insists Hart is one of the best singers in the business. "He's got one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard," he says. "I've been in bands with the likes of Steve Marriott, Rod Stewart, Roger Daltrey and Paul Rodgers and Robert has a voice right up there with them."[citation needed]

Bad Company[edit]

During 1992, Hart was approached by Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke and asked if he would like to join them as the third lead vocalist for Bad Company, following Paul Rodgers and Brian Howe. Hart performed with Bad Company and became very popular with both the band and public alike, especially in the USA and Canada. In July 1994 a contract was drawn up by Alliance Artists and Legend Management and signed by the then Bad Company line up, Mick Ralphs, Simon Kirke, Hart, Dave Colwell and Rick Wills, giving Hart the right to perform write and record songs and albums and receive royalty payments as a full Bad Company member. 1995 saw the release of a self-produced Bad Company album, "Company of Strangers", with Hart, who bore an uncanny vocal similarity to Paul Rodgers. It contained five tracks self-penned or co-written by Hart and Ralphs. The band undertook a lengthy promotional tour of the USA with Bon Jovi. Griffin Music of America also re-issued Take This! on compact disc. In 1996 another Bad Co album, Stories Told & Untold featured Hart. Stories Told & Untold, contained seven new compositions and seven acoustic versions including 'Can't Get Enough' and a superbly revitalised 'Ready For Love'. Hart was also lead vocals on three live albums between 1994 and 2001. ( See more at: http://www.albionamps.com/artists-detail.aspx?Tab=22#sthash.y1ZNnswv.dpuf)

The Jones Gang[edit]

After that success with Bad Company Hart became the frontman with the Jones Gang. Hart formed the trio with Jones in 2001. Hart wrote a charity song titled "It's All About The Children" for which Hart and Jones got a few old friends together to play on the record.[citation needed] They included: Paul Young, Gary Granger, Ronnie Wood, and Rick Wills. It was from this Wills was to join Hart and Jones to complete the Trio. The Band recorded an album titled Any Day Now which Hart co-wrote all of the tracks and sole wrote most of the tracks. The album was released in the U.S on 9 August 2005. The debut single "Angel" written by Hart, and Russ Ballard[1] went to number 1 on the ACQB Top 40 charts, staying there for a further 11 weeks. The album overall was well received giving Hart another two songs that have been claimed to have reached no. 1 slots on some USA charts.[2]

The airline company USA 3000 commissioned 14 planes to have The Jones Gang album cover art work on as drawn by Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones. These made the headlines as these planes were the first sent in the rescue operation of people affected by Hurricane Wilma.[3]

Manfred Mann's Earth Band[edit]

On 13 March 2011, Manfred Mann announced Hart as the new singer for his formation Manfred Mann's Earth Band.

XBad Company[edit]

Hart had played with Dave "Bucket" Colwell and Garry "Harry" James over many years with Bad Company and, in Colwell's case, also the Jones Gang. They have all worked together on various albums, co-written songs and have toured the world together, and in 2009 they got together and decided to form their own band XBad Company. They recorded a World Cup song called "We Ain't Going Home Empty Handed", and have made a video of the song with the assistance of Michael Campbell from the Arts University College Bournemouth.

My Sister's Keeper[edit]

Another soundtrack featuring Hart's songs is the film My Sister's Keeper, the motion picture version of the novel featuring Cameron Diaz. Jonah Johnson recorded a version of Hart's song "With You", which can also be found on the Jones Gang album. The song was well received managing to get over 25,000 views on YouTube within days of the film's release, and which has now grown to over 380,000 views.

Help for Heroes[edit]

Hart gave permission for his song "We Will Remember Them" to be recorded by various artists for the charity Help for Heroes. On 1 November 2009, Robin Gibb, Michael Bolton, Mica Paris, Paul Rodgers and Lee Mead, who won TV's Any Dream Will Do and dozens of others recorded it at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Discography[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

  • Cries And Whispers (1989)
  • Robert Hart (1992)
  • Boys on the Corner (1992)
  • Fooled Around And Fell in Love (1993)
  • Heart and Soul (1994)
  • A Little Love Is Overdue (1999)
  • Angel (2005)
  • We Will Remember Them (2009)
  • We Aint Going Home Empty Handed (World Cup Song) (2009)

Album appearances[edit]

  • Under The One Sky (1989) (The Distance)
  • Company of Strangers (1995) (Bad Company)
  • Stories Told & Untold (1996) (Bad Company)
  • Live at Hampshire Beach Ballroom (1999) (Bad Company)
  • All About the Children (All Star Charity Band 2002)
  • Any Day Now (2005) (The Jones Gang)
  • Into the Fire (2014) (Diesel)

Film soundtracks[edit]

  • The Burglar (1987)
  • Ritchie Rich (1998) He also performed in this film as a mad drummer.
  • My Sister's Keeper (2009)

References[edit]

External links[edit]