For one of the industry’s true legends, 2017 will mark an astonishing 50 years since Gilbert O’Sullivan made his first foray into the music business with the release of his debut single ‘Disappear’. It launched O’Sullivan on a career that is still thriving five decades later – seeing him dominate the charts in the seventies and continue to enjoy success and acclaim to the present day. Enjoy every facet of his history in this new live show, Including classics such as Alone Again Naturally, Nothing Rhymed, Clair Matrimony and Get Down as well as songs from the latest album Latin Ala G, including the recent hit singles No Way and I Guess I’ll Always Love You. Following the UK chart success of his Essential Collection album, Gilbert will be back on the road to celebrate his five decades of music with his rescheduled tour dates.
He was the superstar who topped the UK and US single charts in the 70s with songs of endearing tunefulness, unabashed sentiment and existentialist musings. Today, British singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan continues to be regarded with tremendous affection and his songs remain well-loved around the world.
Gilbert O’Sullivan was born Raymond Edward O’Sullivan in 1946 in Ireland. He moved to Swindon, England with his family aged 7 and after a formal education became a student at Swindon Art College, specializing in graphic design. But he had another love – music – and after forming and joining local bands as a drummer/vocalist, he started writing his own songs, heavily influenced by The Beatles as writers and Bob Dylan as a performer. Calling himself Gilbert, with a very distinctive image, two singles released by CBS Records and one with the Major Minor label, got little attention. Undeterred, he sent a demo tape to Gordon Mills, the man behind Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, who impressed with his song writing, became his manager. The result was his first single on the MAM label, Nothing Rhymed, became a UK Top Ten hit in 1970.
More hit singles and a debut album Himself followed. But it was 1972’s Alone Again (Naturally) that sealed his fame, topping the USA charts for six weeks and garnering three Grammy nominations. Soon after, he got his first three British number one hits with Clair, Get Down and LP Back to Front. Gilbert was named “Songwriter of the Year” at the 18th Ivor Novello Awards, embarked on an 18-city UK tour and a USA tour, performed sold-out concerts, clocked another UK Top 10 hit with Why Oh Why Oh Why and in 1974 won a third Ivor Novello award.
A few years later, Gilbert parted company, due to musical differences, with his manager, and following new representation teamed up with Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, Chris Rea) as a producer for his next album. The critically acclaimed Off Centre released by CBS in 1990 produced the international hit What’s In A Kiss. Litigation with former manager and record company prevented him from releasing any new product for a number of years. However, even during this period he never stopped writing. That to him is the key to everything he does as an artiste. As Gilbert says ”Without the songs, there is no artist.”
1990 saw the release of the album In the Key of G, producing a minor hit So What Whilst recording his second album in the 90’s, Sounds of the Loop, which contains the now classic Peggy Lee duet Can’t think straight, he was involved in another law suit, this time against rapper Biz Markie for sampling Alone Again (Naturally) without permission. Gilbert’s win set a new benchmark for protection against copyright infringement.
2016 would see Gilbert O Sullivan’s sell out venues up and down the UK and beyond, plus a special concert for BBC Radio 2 with a 60 piece BBC Concert orchestra, and ther release his double CD The Essential Gilbert O Sullivan which reached number 11 in the UK charts.
“Gilbert is still writing, recording, performing and touring with success. His lasts concerts received rave reviews for his undiminished voice and “…the enduring quality of his work – the sheer tunefulness, lyrical gymnastics and wit” – Daily Post
Gilbert O’Sullivan will be performing at this years Proms in the Park 9th September, and he will play alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe; also performing on the day are Ray Davies, Texas, Elaine Paige, Texas, and Sir Bryn Terfel. Presented by BBC Radio 2’s Michael Ball, Britain’s largest outdoor classical music event is a rousing finale to two months of the finest music-making at the BBC Proms culminating in a live big-screen link-up to the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional Last Night sing-along.
Rescheduled March tour dates postponed due to illness:
Wed 6 Sept – Cheltenham Town Hall
Sun 10 Sept – Ipswich Regent (01473 433100 / apps.ipswich.gov.uk)
Wed 20 Sept – York Grand Opera House
Thu 21 Sept – Newcastle City Hall
For more information and the latest news please visit: www.gilbertosullivan.co.uk