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Paul Hardcastle Biography


Home > Music > P > Paul Hardcastle > Biography


Birth Name: Pauli Hardcastle
Born: 1957/12/10
Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1982–present
Genres: Dance-pop, House, Freestyle Music, Smooth Jazz, New Wave


Paul Hardcastle (born 10 December 1957, London, England) is an English composer and musician, specializing in the synthesizer. Hardcastle is best known for the Dance hits "Rain Forest" and "19."

He achieved some acclaim for his early singles, notably the Electro-funk Hip-Hop instrumental classic, "Rain Forest" (1984), but came to greater prominence in 1985 with the international hit "19," a song about America's involvement in the Vietnam War and the effect it had on the soldiers who served, using sampled dialogue from a USA television documentary about the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by veterans.

Hardcastle enjoyed several further hits in the UK, including "Don't Waste My Time" (with vocals by Carol Kenyon) (UK #8) and the now-classic "The Wizard," a UK #15 hit that became the theme tune from BBC Television's “Top of the Pops.” He also had a hit with "Just For Money," which reached #19 in the UK and featured Bob Hoskins and Sir Laurence Olivier. Earlier, he had cut a cover version of D-Train's most influential hit "You're the One For Me," segued with his own compositions "Daybreak" and "A.M." Hardcastle also wrote the theme tune for “Saturday Live,” a popular entertainment show which ran from 1985-1987.

After 1986, Hardcastle started to specialise in television soundtracks and remix work, for artists as such as Five Star, Barry White, Third World, Sinitta, Johnny Logan, Hiroshima and Ian Dury.

Hardcastle has also recorded several synth jazz albums, alternating releases under the artist names Kiss The Sky, The Jazzmasters, and Paul Hardcastle. Working regularly with vocalist Helen Rogers, Hardcastle has recruited several saxophonists including Gary Barnacle (on the first album), Snake Davis, Phil Todd and Tony Woods. All these albums have been played on smooth jazz radio in the United States, where some of the most played tracks include "Northern Lights," "Lost in Space," "Desire," "Shine" and "Serene."

In 1988, Hardcastle released the concept album, “No Winners,” which focuses on the potential negative effects of the Cold War arms race. He won the Billboard Smooth Jazz Artist Of The Year award for 2008. 2010 Jazzmasters 6 track "Touch and Go" featuring his son Paul Jr on sax made number 1 on the USA Billboard Jazz songs chart, his 10th Number 1 on the Smooth Jazz charts in total.