|Born||10 August 1962|
Little Boo Records
Muttley Bosco Records
Cherry Red Records
|Associated acts||Mari Wilson, Kim Wilde, Paul Reiser, Judith Owen|
Julia Fordham (born 10 August 1962) is a British singer-songwriter. Her professional career started in the early 1980s, under the name "Jules Fordham", as a backing singer for Mari Wilson and Kim Wilde, before signing a recording contract of her own later that decade. Fordham is now based in California.
In 1988, Fordham released her first album on Circa Records, simply titled Julia Fordham. After a round of publicity including an appearance on the BBC1 Wogan chat show in April 1988, the album reached No. 20 in the UK and eventually earned a platinum disc. It contained the Top 40 single "Happy Ever After" (which peaked at No. 27 in August 1988) The album also charted in the US, reaching No. 118 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Fordham released her second album, Porcelain, in 1989. The album charted higher than her debut (No. 13) and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. It was Fordham's only album to chart on the US Top 100, reaching No. 74.
In late 1991, Fordham released her third album, Swept. The album reached No. 33 in the UK and contained the Top 40 hit "(Love Moves In) Mysterious Ways", which peaked at No. 19 in early 1992 and was also featured in the 1991 film The Butcher's Wife.
Julia's first 3 records "Julia Fordham", "Porcelain" and "Swept" all went Gold in Japan. The single "Happy Ever After" from the 1st record was #1 in Japan.
Fordham's fourth album, Falling Forward, was released in 1994. The album peaked at No.21 in the UK. A single, "Different Time, Different Place", narrowly missed the UK Top 40 (No. 41).
In 1997, Fordham released her fifth album, East West. 1998's The Julia Fordham Collection recapped the best-known songs from these five albums and included new versions of recordings, including "Where Does The Time Go" which featured the vocals of Curtis Stigers.
Signed in 1999 to Division One/Atlantic Records, Fordham recorded Concrete Love. The album was produced by Larry Klein who has worked with many artists including Joni Mitchell (his former wife) and with Fordham previously on Falling Forward. The release was cancelled when a corporate reshuffle caused her record label to be closed and her contract ended. The album eventually emerged on Vanguard Records and various other labels internationally, including Sanctuary Records in the UK. It now featured a re-recording of its title track as a duet with India.Arie, as well as different cover artwork. Remixes of the single "Wake Up With You" were also released. Fordham embarked on an acoustic club tour in the US, the UK and Japan.
Her seventh album, That's Life, was released on her 42nd birthday in 2004. She performed more live shows which included a successful run of shows in Japan at the Blue Note venues. That's Live, a live album and DVD (filmed in Los Angeles with guest appearances by the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter India.Arie, the trumpeter Mark Isham and Judith Owen), was released in January 2005. Fordham then came to the end of her recording contract with Vanguard. Also in 2005, Fordham's sister, Claire Fordham, had a book published, Plus One: A Year in the Life of a Hollywood Nobody, based on her experiences of being Fordham's sister and living in Los Angeles.
Fordham continued to record, independently releasing a remake of her debut single "Happy Ever After" (with the help of a children’s choir from a village near her hometown on the south coast of England) in aid of Indian Ocean Tsunami relief. This was backed by two tracks written and recorded with Aadesh Shrivastava .The single was then released to download and made available to purchase on CD. The proceeds from the sales of the record helped to rebuild a school in Cuddalore, India. The recording in West Sussex, UK brought Julia back full circle to where she first started writing and performing songs in local folk clubs as a teenager.
In 2006, Fordham released an EP entitled Baby Love, via AWAL (Artists Without A Label). The EP is a collection of songs inspired by the birth of her daughter Marley Rose. Also in 2006, Fordham appeared in a music video for the Judith Owen track "Here", playing the part of Owen's mother. The video was directed by the actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
In 2007, Fordham appeared as guest vocalist on a track, "Carry", on Judith Owen's album Happy This Way. Fordham is friends with Owen and they have performed together and been a guest on stage at each other's shows.
In September 2007, EMI released the compilation album Songbook. It was a Philippines only release and included previous studio recordings as well as live cuts and rare tracks. In November 2007, it was announced that Fordham had completed a new album which was going to be released via a "start up" company called NovaTunes. China Blue was released as a download-only album in late January 2008. It is a jazz-based album of self-penned songs with the exception of one track ("I Keep Forgettin'") which is a cover of a Leiber and Stoller song and features the original singer, Michael McDonald, on vocals.
In 2010, Fordham teamed up with comedian, actor and pianist Paul Reiser and released the album Unusual Suspects. The two embarked on an acoustic tour after its release.
In late 2011, Fordham released three new tracks for download, "You Left Me For Dead", "Red Silk Dress" (collaborations with guitarist Dominic Miller) and the seasonal track "Christmas in London".
Fordham's second album, 1989′s Porcelain and its 1991 follow-up, Swept, were both reissued by Cherry Red Records as two-CD deluxe editions in 2013. In 2016, Cherry Red Records released a two-CD deluxe version of "Julia Fordham." All re-releases contain unreleased versions, B-sides, rarities and annotations written by Julia.
In mid-2013, Fordham was scheduled to do 15 concerts across the UK. The tour began in Worcester on 20 June and ended in her hometown of Portsmouth on 13 July. During the tour, Fordham was joined on stage by Judith Owen and they performed a duet written by Owen titled "That Scares Me" from Owen's album The Beautiful Damage Collection. Owen also performed one of her own songs and provided the on stage harmonies and backing vocals when Fordham sang her chart hit "Happy Ever After" (UK No. 27).
Fordham has also teamed up again with Grant Mitchell and recorded an album containing her biggest hits and fan favourites. Scheduled for a worldwide download-only release on 24 June and physical release on 8 July in the UK, Under the Rainbow also features a new song titled "Skipping Under the Rainbow".
"Skipping Under the Rainbow" was played by Michael Ball (singer) on his Sunday night radio show on BBC Radio 2 on 30 June 2013. On 4 July 2013, Ball joined Fordham on stage at Bush Hall in London and they performed a duet of Fordham's hit "Where Does the Time Go?" (UK No. 41).
Fordham was a guest on the Richard Madeley on Sunday show which aired on BBC Radio 2 on 7 July 2013. She performed two songs live for the show, including her single "Skipping Under the Rainbow", with Grant Mitchell accompanying on piano.
Shortly after finishing her UK tour, Fordham released an emotive tribute to Nelson Mandela in the form of a video set to Fordham's hit "Happy Ever After" (UK No. 27). This is the single that was inspired by Mandela's struggle through the apartheid years, his imprisonment and presidential years.
After spending the summer of 2014 in the studio recording tracks for a new album, she headed to the UK for a short tour, which opened in Cornwall at St Austell Arts Centre, taking in Bury St Edmunds, Glasgow, Selby and Stockton-on-Tees.
On October 22, JVC Japan issued her "The Language Of Love" album - an impressive collection of cover versions given Fordham's sultry, jazzy treatment. 'Moon River' from Breakfast At Tiffany's, Blondie's 'Call Me', Eurythmics' 'Who's That Girl', and Janis Ian's 'Seventeen' proved particularly popular with fans. The album also included 2 new compositions ('Like You Used To Do' and 'The Morning After') plus another re-working of 'Happy Ever After'.
After an appearance at the Topanga Folk Fest on October 26, Fordham returned to the UK for a substantial 18-date tour throughout November to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of her iconic Porcelain album. The acclaimed Porcelain 25 tour included shows at Cadogan Hall, London, The Sage in Gateshead, and the Epstein Theatre Liverpool, before closing at the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne.
2015 opened in Japan with concerts in Tokyo and Osaka to promote the JVC Japan release of her Language Of Love album.
After appearing at the Malibu Guitar Festival in May, summer concerts in San Francisco (Feinsteins at the Nikko), LA (Catalina Jazz Club) and New York (Joe's Pub), Fordham, with Grant Mitchell on piano/backing vocals, returned to the UK for a trio of dates.
An August 1 show at The Pheasantry in London was followed by one at St James' Studio 24 hours later. A homecoming gig on Hayling Island (August 7) completed the three sell-out shows. She aired a new song 'Got Your Back' from the film 'Status Unknown' at all three UK shows.
- 1988 Julia Fordham (UK No. 20)
- 1989 Porcelain (UK No. 13)
- 1991 Swept (UK No. 33)
- 1994 Falling Forward (UK No. 21)
- 1997 East West
- 1999 Julia Fordham Collection
- 2002 Concrete Love
- 2004 That's Life
- 2005 That's Live
- 2007 Baby Love EP
- 2007 Songbook Available in the Philippines
- 2008 China Blue
- 2010 Unusual Suspects
- 2013 Porcelain - deluxe version re-release
- 2013 Swept - deluxe version re-release
- 2013 Under the Rainbow
- 2014 The Language of Love
- 1983 "Friends" / "Friendship"
- 1988 "The Comfort of Strangers" (UK No. 89)
- 1988 "Happy Ever After" (UK No. 27)
- 1988 "Woman of the 80s" (UK No. 83)
- 1989 "Where Does the Time Go?" (UK No. 41)
- 1989 "Lock and Key" (UK No. 80)
- 1989 "Genius"
- 1990 "Girlfriend" / "Manhattan Skyline"
- 1991 "I Thought it Was You" (UK No. 64)
- 1992 "(Love Moves in) Mysterious Ways" (UK No. 19)
- 1992 "I Thought it Was You" (re-issue) (UK No. 45)
- 1994 "Different Time Different Place" (UK No. 41)
- 1994 "I Can't Help Myself" (UK No. 62)
- 1995 "Hope Prayer and Time"
- 2002 "Wake Up With You"
- 2003 "Nothing I Wouldn't Do"
- 2004 "Kid Gloves"
- 2005 "Happy Ever After" (re-recording)
- 2006 "Baby Love" (EP)
- 2010 "Unsung Hero"
- 2010 "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
- 2011 "Red Silk Dress"
- 2011 "You Left me for Dead"
- 2011 "Christmas in London"
- 2015 "Got Your Back" (from 'Status Unknown' movie)
- Julia Fordham: That's Live (2005) Vanguard Records
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 208. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Chartstats.com UK Chart discography
- Michael Moran (8 January 2008). "Julia Fordham: happy ever after?". London: Times Online.
- Happy Ever After - Mandela Tribute