Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Olsson's first album appearance was in the band Plastic Penny, which released the album Two Sides of a Penny on Page One Records in 1968. Nigel sang on only one song on that album -- "I Want You." Subsequently, he played drums and sang backing vocals on John's early 1970s albums, teaming with guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, and percussionist Ray Cooper to form what most rock fans regard as Elton John's classic backing band.
In 1971, Olsson produced and released the solo album Nigel Olsson's Drum Orchestra and Chorus on Universal Records, featuring Murray and early 70s Elton John guitarist Caleb Quaye. By 1975, Elton John retooled his sound, and Olsson, along with Murray, was released from the band. His second solo album, Nigel Olsson, appeared that year on John's Rocket Record label, and featured a mild hit in a cover of the Bee Gees' "Only One Woman". That song also featured the combination of Johnstone, Murray and Cooper. The album, produced by Robert Appere, contained few rock numbers and was mostly a bow to the emerging "Philly" sound of the mid-1970s.
He continued working as a studio musician, releasing another self-titled album that was produced by Paul Davis on Columbia in 1978. Although that album brought no Top 40 recognition, in 1979, he released the album Nigel and enjoyed some mild success as a solo artist, scoring a pair of Top 40 hits on the US Pop charts with "A Little Bit of Soap" and "Dancin' Shoes," the latter of which cracked the Top 20 at #18. "Dancin' Shoes" was originally written by Carl Storie, and first recorded by his band Faith Band.
In 1980, he released the album Changing Tides on CBS's Bang Records, but the album failed to achieve chart success. That same year, Olsson returned to Elton's band to begin a four-year tenure, working with John for sessions on albums such as 21 at 33 and The Fox. He re-teamed with band mates Dee Murray and Davey Johnstone for the tour behind Elton's 1982 album Jump Up!, and stayed with the reformed classic-era band through the next two albums and tours for Too Low for Zero (1983) and Breaking Hearts (1984). Following a lineup change, the band mates would rejoin only once more in 1988 for backing vocals on Reg Strikes Back prior to Murray's death in January, 1992.
Later, in 1991, Olsson reunited with former band mate Davey Johnstone to form Warpipes, though this group disbanded shortly after cutting its debut album. Olsson then spent the next few years relaxing in California with his wife Schanda and son Justin, and racing vintage cars for fun. He still lives in Los Angeles.
Olsson returned to Elton John's band for good in 2000 as part of his touring band, alternating between drums and backing vocals on certain songs. (The songs Olsson did not play drums on, typically the newer songs, were handled by Curt Bisquera.) Nigel took over the full-time touring drumming chores when Bisquera left to pursue other projects. Olsson, never seen on stage without his trademark headphones and gloves, has been said to have a soulful singing voice.
In the studio, he played and sang backing vocals on several tracks on Elton's Songs From the West Coast (2001). He then played all drums on Peachtree Road (2004) and The Captain & The Kid (2006), as well as continuing in the touring band, along with Johnstone, Bob Birch (bass), Guy Babylon (keyboards) and John Mahon (percussion).
Born on the 10th of February 1949 in Wallasey, Merseyside, England, Nigel Olsson is a rock and roll drummer who is perhaps best known for his work with Elton John. In the 1970s, he was part of what many consider to be John’s classic band, alongside Davey Johnstone on guitars, Dee Murray on bass, and Ray Cooper on percussion. In addition to playing drums on John’s albums of this period, he also sang back up vocals.
Nigel Olsson Top 70's Hits and
Lyrics From Project 70's
Nigel OlssonLyrics Dancing Shoes
In the middle of the decade, John decided to reinvent his sound, at which point Olsson and Murray were let go from the band. Nigel Olsson then pursued a dual career as a studio musician and a solo artist, scoring a minor hit in the year 1979 in the United States with “Dancin’ Shoes.” The following year, Olsson returned to John’s band. He would continue playing for another four years with John. In the year 1991, Olsson and Davey Johnstone would get together to form a group called the Warpipes. After recording a single album, the band broke up.
In the year 2000, John invited Olsson to join his touring band permanently. Olsson now alternates between back up vocals and drums. Olsson can be seen now on stage wearing his trademark gloves and a pair of headphones always.
In addition, Nigel Olsson was known for a brief time as being a member of the English hard rock group Uriah Heep. He played on the band’s debut album from 1970, Very ‘eavy…Very ‘umble.
1 Something Lacking In Me
2 Don't Break A Heart
4 Only One Woman
5 Get It Up For Love
6 Songs I Sing
7 When You Close Your Eyes
8 Girl, We've Got To Keep On
9 A Girl Like You
10 Give Me Something To Believe In
11 Just Another Lie
12 Can't You See
Posted by abominogjnr at 9:16 PM