Helms' first release in 1969, London Records released "If You Let Me" a track that sounded several years earlier as most PPX licensed tracks were. "Ragtime Girl" was released on Pye Records in 1975. Neither of these early releases made much of an impact but helped to push Helms into the spotlight in the 1970s.
Helms signed to Fly Records in 1972, and released "So Long Love". However, he is best known for his #8 UK hit single, "Gonna Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse" in 1973; whilst further releases such as "I'll Take Good Care of You" and "Jack Horner's Holiday" did not do as well. "I'm Gonna Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse" was written and produced by Johnny Worth.
In 1974 he worked on Roger Glover's concept album The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, performing "Waiting." The album also featured Ronnie James Dio, Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale, Tony Ashton and John Lawton. In 1976, Helms performed on two songs for Eddie Hardin's Wizard's Convention album ("Loose Ends" and "She's a Woman.")
1980s and 1990s
Helms worked on the soundtrack of the 1985 movie Water, and performed some songs on the album release of the 1980s stage musical Time. He worked as a session musician with Topper Headon, Deacon Blue, Madness, and other groups in this period. His album Speak (1988) did not do well.
Helms was often heard singing vocals on many radio jingles on Independent Local Radio stations in the United Kingdom. His voice was particularly prominent on the Alfasound produced ident packages for Pennine Radio, Radio Hallam and the Yorkshire Radio Network. Helms also voiced/sang the part of the Cilician pirate Isoricus on the track 'Trust Me', on Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus released in 1992.
Helms, along with band members George Chandler (ex-The Olympic Runners), Jimmy Chambers, and William Henshall formed the band, Londonbeat, who were initially big in the Netherlands. The group's hits include "I've Been Thinking About You", "A Better Love", and "9 A.M (The Comfort Zone)", all written by William Henshall.
In 2003, the band were re-formed as 'New Londonbeat' with a new line-up consisting of Jimmy Helms, Jimmy Chambers, Myles Kayne and Marc Goldschmitz. Signed to the German record label, Coconut, they released an album called Back in the Hi-Life, which featured re-recordings of "A Better Love", "I've Been Thinking About You", and with new tracks added.