Paul Hardcastle

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Paul Hardcastle
Birth name Paul Hardcastle
Born (1957-12-10) 10 December 1957 (age 57)
Kensington, London, England
Genres Synthpop, freestyle, electronica, ambient, electro house, breakstep, smooth jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, producer, songwriter, radio presenter (in us)
Instruments Synthesizer, keyboards, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion, programming
Years active 1982–present
Labels Chrysalis, Motown, Hardcastle, Trippin' 'n' Rhythm, V2, Profile

Paul Hardcastle (born 10 December 1957, London, England[1]) is an English composer, musician, and multi-instrumentalist. Although he specializes in the synthesizer, he can also play multiple instruments.


In the early 1980s, Hardcastle played the keyboards on several singles on the Oval record label by the dance music groups Direct Drive and First Light, before going solo.

He achieved some acclaim for his early singles, notably in 1984, the electro-funk/freestyle/instrumental track, "Rain Forest", which along with the track "Sound Chaser", hit number two on the dance chart.[2] "Rain Forest" also hit number five on the soul chart and number fifty-seven on the Hot 100.[3] In 1985, he came to greater prominence with the international hit "19", a song about America's involvement in the Vietnam War and the effect it had on the soldiers who served, using sampled dialogue from the 1984 ABC documentary Vietnam Requiem about the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by veterans. Producer Simon Fuller named his company '19 Entertainment' after the song, and the two are known to collaborate on certain projects.

Hardcastle enjoyed several further hits in the UK, including "Don't Waste My Time" (with vocals by Carol Kenyon) (UK No. 8) and "The Wizard", a UK No. 15 hit that became the theme tune for BBC Television's music chart show Top of the Pops from April 1986 until September 1991. He also had a hit with "Just for Money", which reached No. 19 in the UK and featured Bob Hoskins and Laurence Olivier. Earlier, he had cut a cover version of D-Train's most influential hit "You're the One For Me", segued with his own compositions "Daybreak" and "A.M." Hardcastle also wrote the theme tune for Saturday Live, a popular entertainment show which ran from 1985–1987.

He also made the hit single "The Voyager", a version of which was used for the BBC One programme Holiday.

After 1986, Hardcastle started to specialise in television soundtracks and remixed work, for artists as such as Five Star, Barry White, Third World, Sinitta, Johnny Logan, Hiroshima and Ian Dury. His piece "The Shuffle" was included in the soundtrack of the movie When the Wind Blows.

In 1988, Hardcastle released the concept album, No Winners, which focuses on the potential negative effects of the Cold War arms race. In 2000, he released Hardcastle III, which included a remake of "Rain Forest" and a hit single, "Desire".

Hardcastle has also recorded several synth jazz albums, alternating releases under the pseudonyms Kiss The Sky (with Jaki Graham) and The Jazzmasters, as well as under his real name Paul Hardcastle.[1] Working regularly with vocalists such as Helen Rogers, Becki Biggins and Margo LeDuc, Hardcastle has recruited several saxophonists including Gary Barnacle (on the first album), Snake Davis, Phil Todd, Tony Woods and Rock Hendricks. All these albums have been played on smooth jazz radio in the United States, where some of the most played tracks include "Northern Lights", "Lost in Space", "Desire", "Shine", and "Serene". He won the Billboard Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year award in 2008.

2010's The Jazzmasters VI track "Touch and Go", featuring his son Paul Jr. on saxophone, reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Jazz songs chart, becoming his tenth number one on the Smooth Jazz chart in total.

His album, Hardcastle VI, released in September 2011, features yet another remake of "Rain Forest"—this time mixed with R&B legend Marvin Gaye's signature song, "What's Going On".

In February 2014, Hardcastle was appointed Chairman of NUA Entertainment, which was founded by one of the UK's top businessmen, Neil Utley and his wife, Nicky.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Hardcastle is married to Dolores Baker, and they have three children:[4] Maxine (born April 1986[5][6]), Paul Jr. (born August 1990[7]), and Ritchie (born May 1997).



Year Album Label
1984 Daybreak (by First Light)
1985 Zero One (feat. Universal Funk) EMI Music Distribution [8]
1985 Rainforest
1985 Paul Hardcastle
1988 No Winners
1990 Sound Syndicate A/K Music / K-tel International
1993 Time For Love Fast Forward Records (import) [9]
1993 The Definitive
1997 First Light
1997 Cover to Cover: A Musical Autobiography JVC 1997, Trippin 'N' Rhythm/Push Records 1999 [10]
2003 Very Best: Paul Hardcastle 1983–2003
2009 Paul Hardcastle: The Collection Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records [11]
2009 Zero One
2011 Desire Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records [12]
2012 Perceptions of Pacha VIII P&C Pacha Recordings / Pacha Multimedia
2012 19 Below Zero Hardcastle Music, Universal Music
2013 Electrofied 80s: Essential Paul Hardcastle Music Club Deluxe (division of Demon Music Group)
2014 Movin & Groovin Trippin 'N' Rythmn Records
2015 19: The 30th Anniversary Mixes NUA Entertainment

Smooth jazz albums[edit]

Hardcastle series[edit]

Year Album Label
1994 Hardcastle JVC Musical Industries
1996 Hardcastle II JVC Musical Industries
2002 Hardcastle III Hardcastle Records
2005 Hardcastle 4 Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2008 Hardcastle 5 Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2011 Hardcastle VI Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2013 Hardcastle VII Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records

The Jazzmasters series[edit]

Year Album Label
1993 The Jazzmasters Fast Forward Records, ltd., JVC Musical Industries, Inc
1995 The Jazzmasters II JVC Musical Industries
1999 The Jazzmasters III Hardcastle Records, Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2000 Jazzmasters: The Greatest Hits Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2004 The Jazzmasters 4 Hardcastle Records, Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2004 JazzMasters: The Smooth Cuts Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records [13]
2006 The Jazzmasters V Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2010 The Jazzmasters VI [14] Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2014 The Jazzmasters VII Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records

Kiss The Sky series with Jaki Graham[edit]


Year Album Label
1992 Kiss The Sky Motown Records
1994 Millennium sky way JVC Musical Industries

The Chill Lounge series[edit]

Year Album Label
2012 The Chill Lounge, vol.1 Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2013 The Chill Lounge, vol.2 Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records
2015 The Chill Lounge, vol.3 Trippin 'N' Rhythm Records


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title[16] Year Peak chart positions Album
US Dance
US Jazz
"You're the One For Me – Daybreak – A.M." 1984 41 Daybreak
"Guilty" 53
"Eat Your Heart Out" 59 Rain Forest
"Rain Forest" 1985 53 57
"19" 1 15 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 15 1 Paul Hardcastle
"Just for Money" 19 15
"Don't Waste My Time" 1986 8 15
"Foolin' Yourself" 51 The Definitive Paul Hardcastle
"The Wizard" 15 10
"Walk in the Night" 1988 54 No Winners
"40 Years" 53
"Are You Ready" 1989 90 Sound Syndicate
"Galaxy Of Love"
"Rain Forest" / "What's Going On" 2011 16 Hardcastle VI
"Easy Come, Easy Go" 1
"No Stress (At All)" 2013 1 Hardcastle VII
"Easy Street" 1

See also[edit]


External links[edit]