Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Death Of The Day Black, 53, British singer-songwriter ("Wonderful Life"), head injuries sustained in a traffic collision

Black (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black
Colin- Vearncombe.jpg
Vearncombe in Birkenhead, March 2007
Background information
Birth nameColin Vearncombe
Born26 May 1962
OriginLiverpoolEngland
Died26 January 2016 (aged 53)
CorkIreland
GenresPop[1]
Years active1981–2016
LabelsWEA Records
A&M Records Ugly Man
Nero Schwarz Records
Colin Vearncombe (26 May 1962 − 26 January 2016), known by his stage name Black, was an English singer-songwriter. He emerged from the punk rock music scene and went on to achieve mainstream pop success in the late 1980s, most notably with the international hit single "Wonderful Life" in 1987.[1][2] William Ruhlmann of AllMusic described Vearncombe as a "smoky-voiced singer/songwriter, whose sophisticated jazz-pop songs and dramatic vocal delivery place him somewhere between Bryan Ferry andMorrissey".[3] Michael Hann of The Guardian described his voice as a "slightly frayed baritone".[2]

Career[edit]

Black in the 1990s
Black's first release was the single "Human Features" on Rox Records in 1981. At this time, Black consisted of Vearncombe, Dane Goulding (formerly of Blazetroopers) on bass and another school friend on drums. The single was followed by another independent release in 1982 "More than the Sun". It was then that Colin formed a friendship with Dave "Dix" Dickie of the Last Chant and the two became musical collaborators and signed for WEA Records.
In 1982 Black played with the Thompson Twins on their "Quick Step and Side Kick" tour and also supported Wah! on a UK tour. The live sound of synth/percussion/guitar and the use ofreel-to-reel tapes got them noticed.
Black signed for WEA in 1984 and the next single was "Hey Presto" (1984), which got Vearncombe noticed outside the UK: the video for the song featured on the satellite music channel Music Box, and the single was also released in Australia. The second WEA single was a re-recording of "More than the Sun". After this, Black was dropped from the record label and Vearncombe and Dix went their separate ways
1985 was a gloomy year for Vearncombe, causing him to write the ironically entitled minor key song "Wonderful Life". At first released independently through Ugly Man Records, the track got Black noticed by A&M Records who signed Vearncombe and launched his international career. At first, the single "Everything's Coming Up Roses" flopped, but the follow-up, "Sweetest Smile" became a UK top-10 hit. The third single, a re-release of "Wonderful Life", was a massive hit worldwide. The album of the same name, released in 1987, had similar success, reaping commercial and critical acclaim.[citation needed]
Black then went on to sell over two million records worldwide with Comedy (1988) and Black (1991). In the meantime, Vearncombe married Swedish singer Camilla Griehsel, formerly from the band One 2 Many. Disillusioned with having to deal with a big record company, Vearncombe founded the independent label Nero Schwarz (which is the word "black" in Italian and in German, respectively), and released one album Are We Having Fun Yet? (1993).
After a prolonged hiatus, Vearncombe returned in 1999 to release a string of recordings under his own name. Vearncombe returned to the name "Black" to release a new recording entitled Between Two Churches in November 2005. On this album he included a song mocking the success of his hit "Wonderful life", where he poignantly re-asked the question, "Are you having a wonderful life?".
2009 saw two album releases. The Given was issued on 4 July, initially available as a free download under Vearncombe's name; and Water On Stone on 17 November, the first Black studio album in four years. In September 2011, the album Any Colour You Like was released through Black's website.[4]
In April 2014, he started a pledge fund (via the dedicated music crowd-funding site PledgeMusic) for a new album. This was the first time Vearncombe participated in a crowd-funded project. The project significantly exceeded its funding goals and he regularly expressed his surprise and gratefulness through video updates on the PledgeMusic site.[5]His experience with the process also contributed to the name of the album: Blind Faith. The album was released on April 13, 2015.
In November 2015, he recorded a Catalan version of Wonderful Life as a fundraiser for the Catalan telethon La Marató de TV3. Vearncombe himself sings a Catalan translation of the original lyrics.

Personal life[edit]

On Sunday 10th January 2016, he was involved in a serious car accident near Cork Airport in Ireland and placed in a medically-induced coma after sustaining serious head injuries. Vearncombe died from his injuries at the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital on 26 January 2016 at the age of 53.[6] Vearncombe left a widow and three children.[7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

YearAlbum NameCredited asLabelUK Albums Chart[8]WW sales mil.
1987Wonderful LifeBlackA&M RecordsNo. 31.5
1988ComedyBlackA&M RecordsNo. 320.5
1991BlackBlackA&M RecordsNo. 420.2
1993Are We Having Fun Yet?BlackNero Schwarz Records & Various
1999The AccusedColin VearncombeNero Schwarz Records & East Central One
1999Abbey Road LiveColin VearncombeNero Schwarz Records
2000Water On SnowColin VearncombeNero Schwarz Records
2001Live At The BasslineColin VearncombeNero Schwarz Records
2002Smoke Up CloseColin VearncombeNero Schwarz Records
2005Between Two ChurchesBlackNero Schwarz Records
2009The GivenColin VearncombeNero Schwarz Records
2009Water On StoneBlackNero Schwarz Records
2013Wonderful Life (Expanded & Remastered)BlackA&M Records
2015Blind FaithBlackNero Schwarz Records

Compilation albums[edit]

YearAlbum NameLabelUK TopWW sales mil.
1996Master SeriesA. & M. Records
2000Millennium EditionA. & M. Records
2000The Collection[9]Spectrum Music
2007Black: C.V.Nero Schwarz Records
2011Any Colour You LikeNero Schwarz Records

Singles[edit]

YearSinglePeak positionsAlbum
UK
[10]
IREFRAITANEDBEL
(FLA)
GERAUTSWIAUSNZ
1981"Human Features"singles only
1982"More Than The Sun"
1984"Hey Presto"
"More Than The Sun" (WEA)
1986"Wonderful Life"72Wonderful Life
1987"Everything's Coming Up Roses"76
"Sweetest Smile"88408741
"Wonderful Life(re-release)8729106212
"I'm Not Afraid"78
1988"Paradise"38
"Everything's Coming Up Roses" (GER only)118
"Sweetest Smile" (FRA only)38
"Wonderful Life(AUS only)7
"The Big One"542343Comedy
"You're A Big Girl Now"86
1989"Now You're Gone"66
"I Can Laugh About It Now" (SPA only)
1991"Feel Like Change"5672Black
"Here It Comes Again"70
"Fly Up To The Moon" (feat. Sam Brown)
1993"Don't Take The Silence Too Hard"Are We Having Fun Yet?
"Wishing You Were Here"
"Just Like Love"
1994"Wonderful Life" (re-issue)4230single only
2005Two Churches EPBetween Two Churches
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

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