Gilbert O'Sullivan

Dressed in his early days as a quintessential schoolboy in cap, short trousers, pudding bowl haircut and toothy smile, Gilbert O'Sullivan was an odd addition to the UK's pop scene of the early 1970s. Yet the strange image belied a very real talent for writing wittily catchy pop hits, characterised by his clear vocals and piano arrangements. Born in Waterford, Ireland but mostly raised in the English town of Swindon, Raymond Edward O'Sullivan's music career began as a drummer with Rick's Blues, formed by Rick Davies, later of Supertramp, and it was Davies who reputedly taught him to play piano. At Swindon College of Art he continued his musical education with the bands The Doodles and The Prefects, buying a piano from his first songwriting advance which resulted in him being signed by CBS Records and adopting the name Gilbert O'Sullivan, as a play on the name of light opera composers Gilbert & Sullivan. He was subsequently discovered and signed by Gordon Mills, manager of the two biggest UK balladeers of the day, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, adopting the schoolboy gimmick and getting his first hits 'Nothing Rhymed', 'We Will' and 'No Matter How I Try' on Mills's MAM label. It was 'Alone Again (Naturally)' in 1972 which established his reputation internationally, breaking the American market with the sentimental 'Clair', by which time he'd moved on from the schoolboy image. Other hits included 'Get Down', 'Ooh Baby' and 'I Don't Love You But I Think I Like You', before he became involved in a legal dispute with Gordon Mills over royalties. O'Sullivan has continued to play and record, finding exceptional success in Japan and his profile raised again in 2011 when he released the album 'Gilbertville'. He followed this with 'Latin ala G!', an homage to Peggy Lee, in 2015 and 'Gilbert O'Sullivan' in 2018.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Gilbert O'Sullivan

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.