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|Birth name||Richard Simon Darbyshire|
|Born||8 March 1960|
Stockport, Cheshire, England
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, producer, songwriting coach|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano|
|Labels||Chrysalis Records, Dome Records, Warner/Chappell Music, EMI, Polygram|
|Associated acts||Zu Zu Sharks, Living in a Box|
Richard Simon Darbyshire (born 8 March 1960) is an English singer, songwriter, producer and songwriting coach. Richard Darbyshire is best known as the frontman for the 1980s synthpop group, Living in a Box.
Richard Darbyshire was born in Stockport, Cheshire, in England. He went to school in Manchester, where he briefly attended Manchester Grammar School. At the age of 13, he followed his parents to Japan, where he attended an American boarding school.
Bathing in the sound of The Beatles, Darbyshire's interest in a musical career began early; he first took up the clarinet but then switched to guitar. While in Japan, Darbyshire was introduced to the soul music of Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Curtis Mayfield via US military station. He joined a band with a group of Americans playing Allman Brothers type of material. Although a major influence of the young Darbyshire was Bread, he took his music in a more soul- and R&B-oriented direction.
Back in England, Darbyshire sat his exams at the Manchester Grammar School and played with various bands of the Northern Music scene, such as Gammer and his Familiars. He also went to Oxford University, where he studied English literature.
After university, Darbyshire briefly joined a Manchester band called Zu Zu Sharks, composed of Adam and the Ants bassist Gary Tibbs and Alistair Gordon on keyboards. Their single "Love Tumbles Down" was a number 1 hit in Spain, but Darbyshire left the band in 1983, unhappy with their pop sound.
Darbyshire continued writing songs. One of them, "Put Your Foot Down" was recorded by The Temptations for their album Together Again, released in 1987. He also co-wrote songs with singer Tessa Niles in 1985 for her upcoming album (which ultimately went unreleased). He also performed session work for Polygram and EMI.
In 1985, Virgin Records wanted to sign Darbyshire to a contract, while Chrysalis Records asked him to be the vocalist/guitarist for a fledgling band consisting of drummer Anthony 'Tich' Critchlow and keyboardist Marcus Vere. After he sang the vocal on a track the band was working on called "Living in a Box", he chose to sign a five-year contract with the band, who ultimately named themselves after the song, Living in a Box. The band released two albums: Living in a Box (1987) and Gatecrashing (1989). Their eponymous single was a smash hit, cracking the Top 20 in the US.
In 1990, while the band was recording their third full-length album, artistic differences between EMI (who had bought Chrysalis Records) and Darbyshire resulted in the split of the band before the album was completed.
In 1991, he sang "I Love a Lady" with Bandzilla, a big band created and led by composer-arranger Richard Niles (then-husband of Tessa Niles, with whom Darbyshire had previously worked). His performance can be heard on Richard Niles' website.
His debut (and to date, only) solo effort, How Many Angels was released in 1994. Singer Lisa Stansfield co-wrote two of the songs, "This I Swear" and "Tell Him No", and sang backing vocals on the album. How Many Angels also featured songs originally written for Living in a Box's third album, and new songs written by Darbyshire and Frank Musker. The album would be re-released in two different forms: Love Will Provide (1999) and This I Swear (20 tracks special edition) (2009), each including B-sides and new tracks.
Darbyshire then continued to write and produce songs with and for other artists, particularly Lisa Stansfield, but also Mike Francis, Frank Musker, Richard Niles, James Last, Level 42 and Jennifer Rush, amongst others.
In 2004, Darbyshire won first prize at the USA Songwriting Competition in the R&B category.
Living in a Box albums
- 1994: How Many Angels
- 1999: Love Will Provide
- 2009: This I Swear (20 tracks special edition)
As musician/songwriter for other artists
|1980||Accelerate with the Mercurians||Accelerate with the Mercurians||Vocals, guitar|
|1981||Rocket Ticket||Gammer and his Familiars||Composer, guitar|
|1983||Love Tumbles Down (unreleased album)||Zu Zu Sharks||Composer, vocals, guitar|
|1985||Tough Girls (unreleased album)||Tessa Niles||Composer, guitar, backing vocals|
|1986||Salamandra||Miguel Bosé||Backing vocals|
|1987||Together Again||The Temptations||Composer|
|1988||Jellybean Rocks the House||Jellybean feat. Richard Darbyshire||Guest artist (vocals)|
|1991||Music of Quality and Distinction, Vol. 2||B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation)||Guest artist, vocals|
|1993||The Art of Romance||Mayumi||Composer, vocals|
|1994||Marie Claire D'Ubaldo||Marie-Claire D'Ubaldo||Composer|
|1994||Forever Now||Level 42||Composer|
|1994||Francesco Innamorato||Mike Francis||Composer, guitar, backing vocals|
|1995||A Different Air||Mike Francis||Composer, guitar, backing vocals|
|1995||Man on a Mission||Bing Abrahams||Composer|
|1997||Lisa Stansfield||Lisa Stansfield||Composer, arranger, backing vocals|
|1997||Credo||Jennifer Rush||Composer, backing vocals|
|1999||Swing: Soundtrack||Lisa Stansfield||Composer|
|1999||Knockout: Soundtrack||Various Artists||Composer|
|2000||Sooner or Later||Hamish Stuart||Composer|
|2001||Face Up||Lisa Stansfield||Composer, guitar, backing vocals|
|2001||Tommi Mischell||Tommi Mischell||Composer|
|2003||Temporary Madness||Jodie Brooke Wilson||Composer, backing vocals|
|2004||The Moment||Lisa Stansfield||Composer, guitar, vocal arrangement, backing vocals|
|2004||Elements of James Last Vol. 1||James Last||Composer, vocals, guitar, producer, vocal arrangement, backing vocals|
|2005||Pour être Libre||Lââm||Arranger, release coordinator|
|2006||Love in a Dangerous World||Kira Small||Composer|
- "Richard Niles Official Website | Ideas make you better". Richardniles.com. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Richard Darbyshire's official website
- Darbyshire on Discogs
- Darbyshire on AllMusic
- Darbyshire on 45cat
- Richard Darbyshire's "Love Will Provide" CD booklet
- Darbyshire @Artist direct
- Dr Richard Nile's official website
- Sonia Jones's official website