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I remember most of my childhood via music so from time to time I hear a song and I can even recall what had to eat that day if it think and focus as to what where and how I came to be in a certain place and position and on what day. When I first heard the vocals of BILLY OCEAN I was sitting on the wall across from our local PUB (public house) or club as other countries may see them. The song was RED LIGHT and whoever kept playing it on the duke box must have loved it as for the next month or so it was all I could here, and yes I liked it. Fast forward about five years to 1981; the man had been a bit quiet yet as soon as heard NIGHTS FEEL LIKE GETTING DOWN I knew it was him that song just reached out and grabbed my dancing feet (and believe it or not I could dance back then) LOL .Born Leslie Sebastian Charles in Trinidad 21st January 1950 he moved to England when he was 8years old in 1958 approx.By his teens he was singing in the clubs and pubs by 1972 he would release his first single using is then name Leslie Charles on sparkle records .In 1975 he would take on the name BILLY OCEAN and the hits would start to roll in LOVE ON DELIVERY ,and LOVE REALLY HURTS WITHOUT plus the above mentioned track. I guess to some soul purest this was pop music but this young dude living in the west midlands was getting all he could. It would be in 1981 when I would really start to listen to his music. It’s safe to say that BILLY OCEAN carved the way for other artist residing here that it could be done, although he had hits here It seems that he was more received across seas than he was here in both sales and respect. In 1984 I was busy searching for a job whilst listen to the radio when his latest release came out it was entitled EUROPEAN QUEEN later changed to CARIBEAN QUEEN taken from the album SUDDENLY .The song would prove to be a huge hit worldwide for the man it had that MICHAEL JACKSON BILLY JEAN VIBE to it yet remained BILLY OCEAN all the way through. He won a GRAMMY AWARD for BEST MALE R&B VOCAL for that song. As if to show how much he was loved and respected by those in the USA. He would go one to have more success with songs like WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH a song written for the movie THE JEWEL OF THE NILE. For who can still remember this song it wasn’t one of BILLIES finest yet the song hit the dizzy heights for the man, and as if to show how far he had gone the video would feature stars such as DANNY DeVITO and MICHEAL DOUGLAS. His later material would not scale the heights of some of of the earlier material yet I can’t help but wonder why some of was rather funky LOVE ZONE although lyrically it was well HMMM but the song was a dam! Fine .When BILLY travelled to Chicago to hook up with R.kelly (WHO SIGNED TO JIVE RECORDS BILLIES LABEL) he was surprised to find out that KELLY was a long time admires of his work. When I think back to 1981 NIGHTS FEEL LIKE GETTING DOWN always comes to mind as a great foot stomping sound .BILLY OCEAN made a great contribution to British soul music although I do feel it has been very understated and overlooked he made those outside this country stand up and start to notice we did have home grown British acts who could kick it with the best ,sure it wasn’t all pure soul but soul based and for this dude back then this was enough to make me take note but to also to look back at the soul greats like SAM COOK ,OTIS READING PERCY SLEDGE JAMES BROWN and alike. BILLY OCEAN has embarked on his first tour approx 15years check him out he is worth seeing. Also i here that there alos could be a new album on horizon WELCOME BACK BILLY .
for tour dates click HERE