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Hugh Cornwell

Hugh Cornwell

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Hugh Alan Cornwell is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 musician and songwriter, best known for being the vocalist and guitarist for the punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

/new wave group
New Wave music
New Wave is a subgenre of :rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, disco and 1960s...

, The Stranglers
The Stranglers
The Stranglers are an English punk/rock music group.Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning five decades, the Stranglers are the longest-surviving and most "continuously successful" band to have originated in the UK punk scene of the mid to late 1970s...

, from 1974 to 1990.

Career


Cornwell grew up in Tufnell Park
Tufnell Park
Tufnell Park is an area of north London, England which straddles the border of the London Borough of Islington and the London Borough of Camden.-Origins:...

 and Kentish Town
Kentish Town
Kentish Town is an area of north west London, England in the London Borough of Camden.-History:The most widely accepted explanation of the name of Kentish Town is that it derived from 'Ken-ditch' meaning the 'bed of a waterway'...

 and attended William Ellis School
William Ellis School
William Ellis School is a United Kingdom secondary comprehensive school for boys in Highgate, London.-Admissions:It is a specialist Language College. The School's motto is 'Rather Use Than Fame'. The school is over-subscribed, usually an indicator of a popular school. It is situated just west of...

 in Highgate
Highgate
Highgate is an area of North London on the north-eastern corner of Hampstead Heath.Highgate is one of the most expensive London suburbs in which to live. It has an active conservation body, the Highgate Society, to protect its character....

, where he played bass in a band with Richard Thompson, later a member of Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

. In the late 1960s, after earning a bachelor's degree in biochemistry
Biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

 from Bristol University, he embarked on post-graduate research post in Lund University
Lund University
Lund University , located in the city of Lund in the province of Scania, Sweden, is one of northern Europe's most prestigious universities and one of Scandinavia's largest institutions for education and research, frequently ranked among the world's top 100 universities...

 (Sweden). Not long after his arrival he formed the band Johnny Sox.

Cornwell returned to the UK in 1974 with Johnny Sox (minus Hans Wärmling
Hans Wärmling
Hans Wärmling was a Swedish musician and songwriter, and was a founding member and keyboardist of the British rock band, The Stranglers. His most notable achievement was as co-writer of the 1982 UK Top 40 release "Strange Little Girl"...

). Jet Black
Jet Black
Jet Black is an English drummer and founder member of punk rock / new wave band The Stranglers.-Early years:...

 then joined the band. At one stage it was just Cornwell and Black, who were then joined by Jean Jacques Burnel. Hans Wärmling
Hans Wärmling
Hans Wärmling was a Swedish musician and songwriter, and was a founding member and keyboardist of the British rock band, The Stranglers. His most notable achievement was as co-writer of the 1982 UK Top 40 release "Strange Little Girl"...

, on holiday from Sweden, joined the line-up towards the end of 1974. The Johnny Sox name was then dropped and the band toured under the name The Guildford Stranglers and eventually The Stranglers
The Stranglers
The Stranglers are an English punk/rock music group.Scoring some 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums to date in a career spanning five decades, the Stranglers are the longest-surviving and most "continuously successful" band to have originated in the UK punk scene of the mid to late 1970s...

.

Wärmling was soon replaced by Dave Greenfield
Dave Greenfield
Dave Greenfield is the keyboard player with English rock band, The Stranglers.-Biography:He is noted for his trademark style of playing rapid arpeggios...

, who joined in 1975 after answering an advertisement placed in the Melody Maker
Melody Maker
Melody Maker, published in the United Kingdom, was, according to its publisher IPC Media, the world's oldest weekly music newspaper. It was founded in 1926 as a magazine targeted at musicians; in 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.-1950s–1960s:Originally the Melody...

. Cornwell was the lead guitarist in the group, and he also sang the majority of songs.

By 1977 the group had secured a contract with the United Artists Records
United Artists Records
United Artists Records was a record label founded by Max E. Youngstein of United Artists in 1957 initially to distribute records of its movie soundtracks, though it soon branched out into recording music of a number of different genres.-History:...

; they went on to become the highest selling band to emerge from the UK punk scene, with numerous hit singles
Hit parade
A hit parade is a ranked list of the most popular recordings at a given point in time, usually determined by sales and/or airplay. The term originated in the 1930s; Billboard magazine published its first music hit parade on January 4, 1936...

 and record album.

By the time Cornwell reached his thirties, the British punk scene had started to fade, and this was instrumental in prompting him to begin a solo career. He recorded his first album away from the group, Nosferatu, in collaboration with the Captain Beefheart
Captain Beefheart
Don Van Vliet January 15, 1941 December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter and artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12...

's Magic Band's drummer, Robert Williams
Robert Williams (drummer)
Robert Williams is a drummer and solo artist who has worked with Captain Beefheart, Hugh Cornwell, John Lydon and Zoogz Rift as well as recording solo.His albums include:*Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band:...

, in 1979.

In 1990 he decided that the band could go no further artistically. He recorded the album 10 with the band before leaving after sixteen years.
Since leaving The Stranglers, Cornwell has released several solo albums including Wolf (1988) produced by Ian Ritchie, Wired (1993), Guilty (1997), Hi Fi (2000), Footprints in the Desert (2002), Mayday (2002), In the Dock (2003), and Beyond Elysian Fields (2004). Wired, Guilty and Hi Fi were released under different names, and with slightly different track listings, in the United States. Beyond Elysian Fields was initially released by Track Records
Track Records
Track Records is an English record label founded in London in 1966 by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, then managers of hard rock band The Who. The most successful artists whose work appeared on the Track label were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Thunderclap...

 in the UK, followed by Invisible Hands Music
Invisible Hands Music
Invisible Hands Music is an independent record label based in London's Camden Town neighbourhood. The label was founded by musician Charles Kennedy. The company name first appeared on cassettes sold at gigs by Kennedy's first band Night World in 1987. The first CD release was Fretwork Southeast, a...

 in the rest of the world, with expanded artwork. In 2006 a live album in two forms appeared: People Places Pieces, a triple CD box set, accompanied by a simultaneously released mass-market highlights disc, Dirty Dozen. The 12-track highlights disc, Live It and Breathe It, was released in 2005 in advance of the box set.
In December 2006, Cornwell toured with Blondie
Blondie (band)
Blondie is an American rock band, founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the early American New Wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s...

 in the UK, and in September 2007 with Robert Williams. Three new songs were previewed, "Bangin' On", "Please Don't Put Me On A Slow Boat To Trowbridge" and "Delightful Nightmare". After this tour, the drum stool was taken over by Chris Bell, completing the current trio along with bassist Caroline Campbell.

In June 2008, Cornwell followed in the footsteps of Radiohead
Radiohead
Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke , Jonny Greenwood , Ed O'Brien , Colin Greenwood and Phil Selway .Radiohead released their debut single "Creep" in 1992...

 and Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

 by offering his new album Hooverdam as a free download on his website. Hooverdam was recorded at Toe Rag Studios
Toe Rag Studios
Toe Rag Studios is an analogue recording studio located in Hackney, London, UK.-History:The studio was founded in 1991 by Liam Watson and Josh Collins in the Shoreditch area of London. In 1997, the business relocated to Hackney due to rising overheads...

 with record producer, Liam Watson
Liam Watson
Liam Watson is a Grammy Award-winning British record producer and owner of Toe Rag Studios. Watson is perhaps best known for his work engineering and mixing the White Stripes' Elephant, receiving the 2004 Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album...

. The album was accompanied by a film, Blueprint, which depicted the recording process of the album. Cornwell explained that the film was partly motivated by the risible quality of DVDs accompanying contemporary CD releases. Blueprint was described as "an engrossing film that borrows from Godard's "Sympathy For The Devil" and Jewison's The Thomas Crown Affair". The film had a limited theatre release in June 2008, with Cornwell attending each screening and taking part in a Q&A session at the end of the film. In February and March 2009, with the rhythm section of Campbell and Bell, Cornwell took Hooverdam on a tour of the UK and France, playing the whole album in order, followed by a mix of older solo and Stranglers material. On 26 June 2009, they played at the Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

.

In late 2009, Cornwell and his band toured the US and the UK playing Hooverdam and Rattus Norvegicus (album)
Rattus Norvegicus (album)
Rattus Norvegicus is the first studio album by The Stranglers, released on 17 April 1977. The album was originally to be entitled "Dead on Arrival" but was changed at the last minute...

albums back to back.

In an interview with www.ExclusiveMagazine.com conducted on 19 February 2010, Cornwell said that his upcoming new album will be titled 'Totem & Taboo', but no release date is yet agreed.

In October and November 2010, Cornwell toured the US with Steve Fishman on bass and vocals and Clem Burke
Clem Burke
Clem Burke is an American musician who is the drummer for the band Blondie. Recruited by Chris Stein and Debbie Harry when they were first forming Blondie, Burke remained with the band through its first stage and later returned for its late 1990s reunion and then its extensive 2009 tour.Following...

 from Blondie
Blondie (band)
Blondie is an American rock band, founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the early American New Wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s...

 on drums. At the Mercury Lounge
Mercury Lounge
The Mercury Lounge is a club/music venue, in the Lower East Side section, of New York City. The structure, at 217 East Houston Street, housed the servants to the Astor Mansion, connected to it by an underground labyrinth of tunnels...

 they were also joined onstage with Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler
Tim Wheeler is the Northern Irish guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for the rock band, Ash. He formed the band with Mark Hamilton and they were originally called Vietnam. Wheeler can be seen playing a Korina Gibson Flying V in almost all of Ash's music videos...

.

On 23 September 2011, Cornwell announced details of a new album, Totem & Taboo, via the direct-to-fan platform Pledgemusic
Pledgemusic
PledgeMusic is an online Direct-to-Fan / Fan-funded music platform utilising a Threshold Pledge System / Provision Point Mechanism, launched in August 2009, that facilitates musicians reaching out to their fan-base to financially contribute to upcoming recordings or other musical projects...

, which is available to pre-order along with a number of other exclusive, signed and unique items and experiences, many of which are designed by Cornwell. The album is scheduled for a full release in early 2012.

Films, theatre and television


Cornwell has an interest in acting, and has appeared in a number of productions including the 1987 Peter Richardson film Eat the Rich, the award winning BBC Screen Two series (renamed from Play for Today
Play for Today
Play for Today is a British television anthology drama series, produced by the BBC and transmitted on BBC1 from 1970 to 1984. During the run, more than three hundred programmes, featuring original television plays, and adaptations of stage plays and novels, were transmitted...

) and in the 1995 BBC production, Rumble. He has also appeared in a number of videos and short films, including Bertrand Fèvre's L'étoile de sang and Ben Thomas' Somewhere.

Cricket


A cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 fan
Fan (person)
A Fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fanbase or fandom...

, Cornwell appeared on the 'Jamie Theakston
Jamie Theakston
Jamie Theakston is an English television and radio presenter, producer and actor.-Education:...

 Cricket Show' on BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live is the BBC's national radio service that specialises in live BBC News, phone-ins, and sports commentaries...

 in 2001. He played a live acoustic
Acoustic music
Acoustic music comprises music that solely or primarily uses instruments which produce sound through entirely acoustic means, as opposed to electric or electronic means...

 version of "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" with the then England batsman and guitarist Mark Butcher
Mark Butcher
Mark Alan Butcher is a former English Test cricketer, who played county cricket for Surrey from 1992 until his retirement from the sport in 2009. He was a left-handed batsman, and occasional right-arm medium-pace bowler....

. Cornwell subsequently became a player with Bunbury Cricket Club, and has been a guest on 'A View From The Boundary' on BBC Radio Four's Test Match Special
Test Match Special
Test Match Special is a British radio programme covering professional cricket, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 , Five Live Sports Extra and the internet to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world...

and BBC Radio 5 Live's Yes It's The Ashes.

Books


Cornwell has written four books:
  • Inside Information (1980) tells of the time he spent in Pentonville prison for drug possession
  • The Stranglers – Song by Song (2001) guides the reader through all of The Stranglers catalogue
  • A Multitude of Sins (2004) is his autobiography.
  • Window on the World (July 2011) is a novel

Solo albums

  • Wolf
    Wolf (Hugh Cornwell album)
    -Release history:-External Links:* Another Kind of Love music video at .-Further Reading:* Cornwell, Hugh, A Multitude of Sins. London. Harper Collins Publishers, 2004. ISBN 0-00-719082-4...

    (1988)
  • Wired
    Wired (Hugh Cornwell album)
    -UK/European release:All tracks written by Hugh Cornwell-US release:The American edition retitled First Bus to Babylon dropped the track "Make It With You" and includes "Stone Free" and "My Kind Of Loving" .-Release history:-Musicians:...

    (1993) (US title: First Bus to Babylon, 1999)
  • Guilty (1997) (US title: Black Hair, Black Eyes, Black Suit, 1999)
  • Mayday (download: 1999, CD: Track
    Track Records
    Track Records is an English record label founded in London in 1966 by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, then managers of hard rock band The Who. The most successful artists whose work appeared on the Track label were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Thunderclap...

    , September 2002) (live album)
  • Solo (1999)
  • Hi Fi (2000)
  • Footprints in the Desert
    Footprints in the Desert
    Footprint in the Desert is Hugh Cornwell's 2002 album. This album, Cornwell's second "Lost album" compiles rare and unreleased tracks from the mid-nineties that were not part of a record deal...

    (Track
    Track Records
    Track Records is an English record label founded in London in 1966 by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, then managers of hard rock band The Who. The most successful artists whose work appeared on the Track label were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Thunderclap...

    , April 2002)
  • In the Dock (Track
    Track Records
    Track Records is an English record label founded in London in 1966 by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, then managers of hard rock band The Who. The most successful artists whose work appeared on the Track label were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Thunderclap...

    , 24 March 2003) (live acoustic album)
  • Beyond Elysian Fields
    Beyond Elysian Fields
    Beyond Elysian Fields is Hugh Cornwell's 2004 album, produced by Tony Visconti and released by Invisible Hands Music in 2004 in the UK, with a worldwide release in 2005.-Critical reception:...

    (Track, October 2004)
  • Beyond Acoustic Fields
    Beyond Elysian Fields
    Beyond Elysian Fields is Hugh Cornwell's 2004 album, produced by Tony Visconti and released by Invisible Hands Music in 2004 in the UK, with a worldwide release in 2005.-Critical reception:...

    (2008) (acoustic recordings of tracks of Beyond Elysian Fields, limited edition to buy on tour only)
  • People, Places, Pieces (2006) (3-CD box set, live recordings), a one-CD compilation of this box set was released as Dirty Dozen.
  • Hooverdam (2008)
  • New Songs for King Kong (2010) (live album)

Collaborations

  • Nosferatu (1979) (Hugh Cornwell with Robert Williams)
  • CCW
    CCW (album)
    CCW is an album by Hugh Cornwell of the New Wave group The Stranglers, with Roger Cook and Andy West . It was issued in 1992.-Track listing:#"Sweet Sister"#"She's Gone"#"Invisible"#"More Or Less"#"Psycho"...

    (1992) (Hugh Cornwell with Roger Cook and Andy West)
  • Sons of Shiva: Sons of Shiva (1999: download release, September 2002: CD Track Records
    Track Records
    Track Records is an English record label founded in London in 1966 by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, then managers of hard rock band The Who. The most successful artists whose work appeared on the Track label were The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Thunderclap...

    ) Sons of Shiva are Hugh Cornwell and poet Sex W. Johnston (actually John W. Sexton
    John W. Sexton
    John W. Sexton is an Irish poet, short-story writer, radio script-writer and children's novelist. He also writes under the pseudonyms of Sex W. Johnston and Jack Brae Curtingstall.- Life :...

    )

External links