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Artist: Albert Hammond
Album: It Never Rains In Southern California (Mums)
Writers: Albert Hammond, Mike Hazelwood
It Never Rains in Southern California, believe it or not, was written by an Englishman in rainy London. I wouldn’t have pegged it as a number a hit in the U.S., where it hit number five in 1972 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it would have been hard to predict what England thought of it. It turns out they didn’t care for it. The English don’t give a whit about whether it rains in California. Of course, they should have noted the contradiction in the lyrics: It never rains in Southern California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?… It pours.
When I Need You, A Hit By Leo Sayer
Albert Hammond would perhaps be better known for composing the music for Leo Sayer’s “When I Need You,” if songwriters were typically remembered for songs recorded by other artists. The lyrics for that song, by the way, were written by Carole Bayer Sager, who also wrote “Groovy Kind of Love,” among others. Hammon recorded the song, originally, for his 1976 album When I Need You, and it was this recording that served as the prototype for Sayer’s version. Listen to both below.
The Air That I Breathe and Creep by Radiohead
On the same album as “It Never Rains” was Hammonds “The Air That I Breathe,” which was made a hit in 1974 by the Hollies and was later covered by many others, including Julio Iglesias, Hank Williams Jr., Olivia Newton-John, and many others. The song “Creep” by Radiohead was alleged by Hammond and co-writer Mike Hazlewood to have been plagiarized due to some of its melody being very similar (the chord progression is similar too). They sued in 1992 and won, forcing a settlement. The similarity is unmistakable and while it constitutes only a part of the melody in Creep, this melody constitutes much of the verse melody in The Air That I Breathe.
To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, a Hit by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias
Albert Hammond also wrote the music for the song “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, with Hal David writing the lyrics. He recorded the song in 1975 for his 99 Miles from L.A. album, but it was made famous almost 10 years later by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson.
Father of Strokes Member, Albert Hammond Jr.
Albert Hammond also contributed to the world one member of The Strokes, Albert Louis Hammond III, aka Jr., who was born in 1980. He is the band’s rhythm guitarist, background vocals, and sometime keyboardist.