Hazel O'Connor

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Hazel O'Connor
Hazel O Connor.jpg
Hazel O'Connor in 2010 at the Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham
Background information
Born (1955-05-16) 16 May 1955 (age 63)
Coventry, England
Genres New wave, alternative, folk, new-age
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, actress
Website www.hazeloconnor.com

Hazel O'Connor (born 16 May 1955 [1] ) is a British singer-songwriter and actress. She became famous in the early 1980s with hit singles "Eighth Day", "D-Days" and "Will You", as well as starring in the film Breaking Glass . [2]

<i>Breaking Glass</i> 1980 film by Brian Gibson

Breaking Glass is a 1980 British film starring Hazel O'Connor, Phil Daniels and Jonathan Pryce. It was co-produced by Dodi Fayed and written and directed by Brian Gibson.

Contents

Career

O'Connor was born in Coventry, England. She is the daughter of a soldier from Galway who settled in England after the Second World War to work in a car plant.

Coventry City and Metropolitan borough in England

Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Galway City in Connacht, Ireland

Galway is a city in the West of Ireland, in the province of Connacht.

Her film debut was in Girls Come First in 1975. [3] She became prominent as an actress and singer five years later in 1980 when playing the role of Kate in the film Breaking Glass , and performing its accompanying soundtrack.

I ran away from my home in Coventry when I was 16.....made and sold clothes in Amsterdam, picked grapes in France, joined a dance troupe that went to Tokyo then onto Beirut (escaping the start of the civil war by one month!) traveled West Africa, crossed the Sahara, sang with a dreadful singing trio for the U.S. troops in Germany and came home to "settle down". Through all this experience of life and the world I realized that singing always cheered me up. I decided to be a singer. Through strange turns of fate I ended up in a film called 'Breaking Glass' I also ended up writing all the songs for the movie.

Hazel O'Connor, introduction note of the program for a gig at "At My Place" in Santa Monica, CA, 1989 [4]

Her performance as Kate won her the Variety Club of Great Britain Award for 'Best Film Actor'. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music. The film's soundtrack album featured songs written and performed by O'Connor and reached number 5 in the UK Albums Chart. It had a 38-week chart run and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry. [5] Several tracks from the album were released as singles, the most successful being "Eighth Day" and "Will You" (with a notable saxophone solo by Wesley Magoogan [6] ) which both reached the UK Top 10. When O'Connor toured the UK to promote the album, the opening act were a then-unknown group called Duran Duran. It was the band's first opportunity to play to large audiences throughout the UK and gave them the exposure they needed to secure a recording contract.

This is a list of winners and nominees for the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music, which is presented to film composers, given out by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts since 1968.

<i>Breaking Glass</i> (album) 1980 soundtrack album by Hazel OConnor

Breaking Glass is the debut album by the English singer Hazel O'Connor. It is the soundtrack album to the film Breaking Glass, featuring songs written and performed by O'Connor who also stars in the film. It was released in 1980 by A&M Records.

The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on Fridays. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and published in Music Week magazine, and on the OCC website.

Subsequent albums released by O'Connor included Sons and Lovers (which featured the UK Top 10 hit single "D Days"), Cover Plus, Smile, Private Wars and Five in the Morning. O'Connor also collaborated with other artists, and made appearances in the video for Mick Karn's "The Sound Of Waves" and a cameo appearance in the 1983 Eurythmics video "Who's That Girl?".

Mick Karn Cypriot-British musician

Andonis Michaelides, better known as Mick Karn, was an English-Cypriot musician and songwriter who rose to fame as the bassist for the art rock/new wave band Japan. His distinctive fretless bass sound and melodic playing style were a trademark of the band's sound.

Eurythmics British music duo

Eurythmics were a British music duo consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart. Stewart and Lennox were both previously in the band The Tourists, who split up in 1980; Eurythmics were formed that year in Wagga Wagga. The duo released their first album, In the Garden, in 1981 to little fanfare, but went on to achieve global success with their second album Sweet Dreams , released in 1983. The title track was a worldwide hit, topping the charts in various countries including the U.S. The duo went on to release a string of hit singles and albums before they split up in 1990. By this time Stewart was a sought-after record producer, while Lennox began a solo recording career in 1992 with her debut album Diva. After almost a decade apart, Eurythmics reunited to record their ninth album, Peace, released in late 1999. They reunited again in 2005 to release the single "I've Got a Life", as part of a new Eurythmics compilation album, Ultimate Collection.

O'Connor donated her songwriting talents to Greenpeace First International Record Project released worldwide in 1985 as a response to the French bombing and subsequent sinking of the Rainbow Warrior . Her duet song "Push and Shove" with Chris Thompson leads off the second act of the album and accompanying video.

Greenpeace non-governmental environmental organization

Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 39 countries and an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Greenpeace was founded in 1971 by Irving Stowe, and Dorothy Stowe, Canadian and US ex-pat environmental activists. Greenpeace states its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity" and focuses its campaigning on worldwide issues such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues. It uses direct action, lobbying, research, and ecotage to achieve its goals. The global organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations, or political parties, relying on three million individual supporters and foundation grants. Greenpeace has a general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is a founding member of the INGO Accountability Charter, an international non-governmental organization that intends to foster accountability and transparency of non-governmental organizations.

<i>Rainbow Warrior</i> (1955) Greenpeace vessel bombed by French intelligence service operatives in Auckland harbour, refloated and scuttled as a dive site

Rainbow Warrior was a Greenpeace ship active in supporting a number of anti-whaling, anti-seal hunting, anti-nuclear testing and anti-nuclear waste dumping campaigns during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The ship was bombed in the Port of Auckland in New Zealand by operatives of the French intelligence service (DGSE) on 10 July 1985, sinking the ship and killing photographer Fernando Pereira.

Chris Thompson (English musician) English musician

Christopher Hamlet "Chris" Thompson is an English singer and guitarist known both for his work with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, specifically for his lead vocal on the classic hit "Blinded By the Light" and for his solo accomplishments.

She has made numerous television appearances, starring in Jangles on British television and in 1986 playing the lead role of Vivienne in Fighting Back as well as singing the theme tune. She also played a singer in an episode of Prospects on Channel 4 in 1986 resulting in the release of two spin-off singles alongside former Breaking Glass actor Gary Olsen.

Her theatre work included One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, Nightshoot at the Tricycle Theatre, London, Girlfriends at the Playhouse, London, Swing Out Sister, her own production, at the Riverside Studio, London, The Raven Beckons at the Riverbank Theatre, Dublin and The Cuchulain Cycle at the Riverside Studio, London.

In 1997 she recorded the studio album Five in the Morning with record producer, co-writer and guitarist, Gerard Kiely. The album included the song "Na Na Na". A live album, Live in Berlin, followed.

The turn of the century saw O'Connor tell her life story in a touring show entitled Beyond Breaking Glass, with harpist Cormac de Barra. The show was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1998 [7] and toured the UK, the Netherlands (twice), Australia and Canada.

She signed to Invisible Hands Music in 2002; this triggered a run of new releases and of deluxe re-issues of her 1990s work. A commercially available reincarnation of the previously mail-order Beyond the Breaking Glass was followed by a previously unreleased acoustic concert, Acoustically Yours.

In 2003, Invisible Hands Music released O'Connor's first-ever official best of compilation, A Singular Collection, which brought together her early hits from the Albion days, mid career work at RCA, and the best of the latter, DIY era. To add something new to the best of compilation, O'Connor recorded a cover of her friend George Michael's hit "One More Try", with a band that included drummer Carlos Hercules, who at the time was playing for Annie Lennox and Beverley Knight. Hercules joined George Michael's band in 2006. The track was released as a single, and generated extensive airplay and renewed interest in O'Connor – the following year saw her perform at the Glastonbury Festival.

Hidden Heart, produced by Martin Rushent and including duets with Maire Brennan and Rob Reynolds, was released in the UK in 2006, and her 1984 album Smile was reissued on CD in 2008.

In 2008, O'Connor performed for the second time at the Glastonbury Festival, playing an acoustic set on the Avalon stage.

In 2009, O'Connor performed as part of the '1980s Here and Now' tour at many venues including Wembley Arena.[ citation needed ] She continued to tour extensively with her own solo projects, 'Beyond the Breaking Glass' and 'Bluja Project'. In 2009 she was awarded her own star on Coventry's 'Walk of Fame'.

In September 2010, O'Connor performed in France with The Bluja Project featuring Clare Hirst and Sarah Fisher, and in Ireland in October with Cormac de Barra. She then performed 'Breaking Glass Live' throughout England, culminating in a show at the Leicester Square Theatre in London on 5 December 2010.

Personal life

O'Connor married artist Kurt Bippert in 1987. The ceremony took place on Venice Beach, California. It received coverage by Hello! magazine. The actor David Rappaport was best man, and Dave Wakeling from The Beat gave O'Connor away. Bippert and O'Connor divorced in 2000.

She had previously dated Hugh Cornwell [8] and Midge Ure. [9]

O'Connor is a vegetarian. [10]

Her brother Neil fronted the punk band The Flys, best known for their single "Love and a Molotov Cocktail", which she later covered.

O'Connor currently divides her time between living in Ireland and France. She is friends with BBC Radio London host JoAnne Good and singer Toyah Willcox, whom she narrowly beat for the lead role in Breaking Glass. [11]

Discography

Albums

Singles

Also featured on:

Filmography

YearFilmRoleNotes
1975 Girls Come First ClaireShort film (credited as Hazel Glyn)
1977 Double Exposure ShirleyMinor role (an assistant who acts as an erotic distraction to villains)
1980 Breaking Glass KateNominated — BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
1982JanglesJoanneTV series (7 episodes)
1983"Who's That Girl?"Music video (Eurythmics)
1986ProspectsBev ReidTV series (one episode)
1986 Car Trouble Maureen
1986Fighting BackViv SharpeMiniseries (5 episodes)
1990Alive and Kicking in L.A.Documentary
2005Hazel O'Connor Live in BrightonLive DVD including interview
2008Beyond The Breaking GlassA limited release documenting O'Connor's life story in the style of her stage show Beyond The Breaking Glass

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References

  1. Leggett, Steve. Biography of Hazel O'Connor at AllMusic . Retrieved September 2009.
  2. Rudden, Liam "Hazel O’Connor talks Beyond Breaking Glass" Edinburgh News, 20 August 2013.
  3. Girls Come First on IMDb
  4. "The Rescue Rooms archives: 2012, Hazel O'Connor live at The Rescue Rooms".
  5. BPI online database Archived 17 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "The little-known musicians behind some of music's most famous moments". The Guardian . 21 October 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  7. The Scotsman Theatre review: Beyond Breaking Glass 22 August 2013
  8. Cornwell, Hugh. A Multitude of Sins: The Autobiography, HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN   0007438249
  9. Midge Ure's autobiography, If I Was
  10. "Last Word – Hazel O'Connor" (PDF). The Vegetarian magazine. Vegetarian Society. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2007.
  11. "A life of walking on broken glass". Independent.ie. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  12. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 403. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.