Jim Diamond: biography of the singer / songwriter and Great Entertainer! Jim has done seven storming shows at The Shed since 1993 and most recently with Snake Davis in October 2004. The Shed audience love him. If you get the chance to see the man in concert, grab it!
Jim Diamond was born and raised in Bridgetown in Glasgow’s East End. Joining his first band at the age of 15. He spent the next seven years singing in soul and blues bands, touring across Europe for four years with “Gully Foyle”. At the age of 22 he finally put his own band together, a soul-orientated 5-piece. “Bandit” performed Jim’s own compositions and were soon signed to Arista by label boss Clive Davis. Their album “Bandit” was critically acclaimed and loved by other musicians but otherwise went unnoticed by the general public.”Souled and Healed” should be available in a store near you, The single “When You Turn” has a Snake Davis sax solo and is out the last week of January.
Disenchanted, Jim left ‘Bandit’ to join Alexis Korner, with whom he was to sing for the next two years. Alexis, the “Godfather of British Blues”, who had previously discovered the talents of Mick Jagger, Long John Baldry and Robert Plant, took Jim under his wing and taught him a great deal. But Jim became stifled by the musical intensity of the classical blues band and, with Alexis’ blessing and encouragement, he left to once again pursue a solo career.
In search of pastures new, Jim headed out to L.A. to play with Earl Slick (fresh from Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’ album and tour) and Carmine Apice (Rod Stewart’s drummer) in Slick Diamond. During this period he broadened his horizons, producing with Carmine in Japan and writing a film title track with Michael Legrand for Mary Clayton, one of Ray Charles’ original Ray-lettes. Getting this close to Ray Charles, Jim’s all-time hero, was a major highlight of the American sojourn.
He returned to the UK in the early eighties where he put together Phd with keyboard player Tony Hymas and drummer Simon Phillips (both of the Jeff Beck Band). The subsequent album “Phd” was released to commercial and critical claims throughout the world, spawning the single “I Won’t Let You Down”, a multi million Number one best seller which has gone on to become a classic in its own right. Another single, “I Don’t Know”, featuring Jeff Beck, again scored chart success in Europe. The band lasted less than two years, disbanding when they felt they had reached their musical limits in that particular line-up.
Jim returned to his solo career and once again had a world-wide Number one with the song “I Should Have known Better”, for which he was nominated for the Ivor Novello Best Single Award. From this, Central TV commissioned Jim to write the theme tune for a new TV series – “Boon” – starring Michael Elphick. “Hi Ho Silver”, hit No 5 in the UK. This run of success ended with the departure of his Record Company boss, Derek Green.
Out on his own, Jim determined to put together his own album in his own way and recorded an album in conjunction with co-writers Graham Lyle (who was Jim’s collaborator on “Should’ve Known Better” as well as writing and producing “What’s Love Got to Do With it” for Tina Turner); Tony Hymas (co-writer of “I Won’t Let You Down”) and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. It was released through German label Teldec, again achieving critical success.
1993 saw the release of “Jim Diamond” the album (co-produced with Graham Lyle for Polygram Records). Featuring many musicians and friends, including Phil Palmer (of Dire Straits and Eric Clapton) and Benny Gallagher. They decided to re-record “I Should Have know Better” and “Hi Ho Silver” – which had not previously been available on CD, as well as nine new songs.
The album went straight into the Top 20 Album Chart on release, peaking at Number 16. Sadly the album is no longer available.