||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
|Born||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Origin||New York, New York, United States|
|Genres||House, boogie, urban contemporary|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Piano|
Strictly Rhythm Records
Colonel Abrams is an American house and urban musician, who was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in New York, New York. He graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School, currently known as the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics.
Colonel Abrams (his real name) moved with his family to New York City when he was ten years old due to his father (a construction worker) getting a job there. The family moved to the East Village in Manhattan on East 13 Street. From an early age, he began playing the guitar and piano. He was in several early bands. Among them was Heavy Impact in which he played both guitar and keyboards alongside Joe Webb (guitar), Lemar Washington (guitar), Marston Freeman (bass guitar), Ronald Simmons (drums), Harry Jones (trumpet) and Barbara Mills (saxophone). In the mid-1970s he formed Conservative Manor, 94 East (the band featuring Prince on lead guitar) and the New Jersey band Surprise Package.
Hits in the mid-1980s including "Leave the Message Behind the Door" and "Music Is the Answer" established him as a solo artist, initially in Europe and later in the US. In 1985, he signed to Steven Machat's label and production company, AMI. Machat, who was working with the New Zealand producer Richard Burgess, hired him to produce Abrams' self-titled debut album. Machat then arranged for MCA to sign Abrams for worldwide releases. A collaboration with the British producer Richard James Burgess produced the hits "Trapped," "I'm Not Gonna Let You," and "Table for Two".
"Trapped" reached the top five in the UK Singles Chart and topped the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1985, followed by his self-titled album, which spent two weeks at number one the following year. It was estimated by the Phonographic Association that "Trapped" sold over five million copies worldwide by spring 1987. An electronic remix of "Trapped" was later released in 1995 by Boards of Canada, under the pseudonym Hell Interface. A new version of "Trapped" ("Trapped 2006") was released in the UK.
"I'm Not Gonna Let You" also spent a week at number one in the dance chart in 1986. The album peaked at number 75 on the US Billboard Top 200 and Number 13 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Although Abrams had no American pop hits through his career, he had a number of entries on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart in the 1980s and 1990s, including four entries that hit number one. In 1987, he had his fourth number-one US dance hit with "How Soon We Forget", the same year that he released his second album, You and Me Equals Us.
On January 9, 2007, Abrams released the single "Just When You Thought", the third single on his own record label, Colonel Records, after "Heartbreaker" and "Let Us All Be Friends". In 2007, Abrams released "Never Be", "Just Like Mathematics" and "True Stories". In June 2008 his single, "Only a Few", was issued. He performed at the '80s Reunion' in August 2011.
In 2014 a sample of Colonel Abrams original signature track "Trapped" was used by Belgian band The Subs on a cover of the track, featuring on their album "Hologram".
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to rehome Colonel Abrams. The retired NYC house veteran is currently homeless and needs to raise funds in order to access vital medical treatment.
- Colonel Abrams (MCA, 1985)
- You and Me Equals Us (MCA, 1987)
- About Romance (Scotti Bros./Acid Jazz, 1992)
- Make a Difference (Music USA, 1996)
- Best of Colonel Abrams (Universal Special Products, 1999)
- Strapped: The Very Best of the Remixes (Famous, 2010)
- 1984: "Music Is The Answer and Leave the Message Behind the Door"
- 1985: "Trapped and The Truth"
- 1986: "Speculation, I'm Not Gonna Let You and Over and Over"
- 1987: "How Soon We Forget, Nameless, Soon You'll Be Gone"
- 1990: "Bad Timing"
- 1991: "You Don't Know (Somebody Tell Me)" (#58 US R&B)
- 1992: "When Somebody Loves Somebody" (#70 US R&B)
- 1992: "Never Be Another One" (#22 US Dance)
- 1993: "I'm Caught Up"
- 1993: "As Quiet as It's Kept"
- 1994: "So Confused" (#15 US Dance)
- 1994: "So Proud"
- 1995: "Victim of Loving You"
- 1996: "Heartbreaker"
- 1996: "99½"
- 1996: "As I Take You Back"
- 1996/7: "Get With You"
- 1997: "Make a Difference"
- 1997: "Trapped '97"
- 2000: "Music Is My Life"
- 2001: "Don't Give Me a Love That I Can't Use"
- 2002: "Hurt My Feelings"
- 2002: "Could It Be"
- List of Number 1 Dance Hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart