Hugh Cornwell is an English musician & songwriter, best known for being the vocalist, guitarist and original founder of the British punk/new wave group The Stranglers, 1974?90. Cornwell was born in London, England in 1949 - growing up in Tufnell Park and Kentish Town - and attended William Ellis School in Highgate, where he was friends with Richard Thompson, later a member of Fairport Convention.
Cornwell was born in London, England in 1949 - growing up in Tufnell Park and Kentish Town - and attended William Ellis School in Highgate, where he was friends with Richard Thompson, later a member of Fairport Convention. In the late 1960s, having obtained a degree in biochemistry from Bristol University, he embarked on postgraduate research post in Lund University, southern Sweden. Not long after his arrival he formed a band, Johnny Sox.
Cornwell did not complete his doctorate and returned to the UK, in 1974. Soon after, he formed The Stranglers with Jet Black, Hans Warmling and Jean Jacques Burnel. By 1977 they had secured a deal with United Artists records and become the highest selling band on the UK punk scene and had several hit singles and albums.
By the time Cornwell reached his thirties, the British punk scene had died down and he was prompted to start a solo career in case the Stranglers broke up. He recorded his first album away from the group, Nosferatu, in collaboration with the Captain Beefheart's Magic Band's drummer, Robert Williams, in 1979.
Shortly before his 41st birthday Cornwell decided that the band could go no further artistically. He recorded the albums 10 and Saturday Night/Sunday Morning before leaving after sixteen years in the band. He described life with the Stranglers as brilliant, but he felt he had a dark coat over him. His biographical writing attest to many conflicts within the band, particularly between Cornwell and Burnel.
Since leaving the Stranglers his solo career has continued. He has released 11 solo albums, Wolf (1988), Wired (1993), Guilty (1997), Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit (1999), First Bus To Babylon (1999), Hifi (2001), Footprints In The Desert (2002), Mayday (2002), In The Dock (2003), Beyond Elysian Fields (2004), Dirty Dozen (2006) and three collaborations, Nosferatu (1979) featuring Robert Williams, CCW (1992) featuring Roger Cook and Andy West and Sons Of Shiva (2002) featuring Sex W Johnston.
Cornwell's book, The Stranglers: Song by Song, was published in November 2001 by Sanctuary Publishing. In it he explains for the first time the real stories behind the Stranglers extensive catalogue of songs. In October 2004 Cornwell's autobiography A Multitude of Sins was published by Harper Collins.
The Stranglers' most successful song, Golden Brown, featured on the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie's Hollywood blockbuster Snatch; whilst Peaches was used as the opening sequence of the hit film Sexy Beast as well as in a Nike TV ad for 2002's Football World Cup.
A triple live album, People Places Pieces containing 45 tracks spanning the whole of Cornwell's career has been released in 2006. It spans his time with the Stranglers from 1974 to 1990, plus his critically acclaimed solo career to date and features remarkable performances of old and new standards.
Hugh Cornwell has completed his new album Hooverdam and first film Blueprint in Toerag Studios with producer Liam Watson (White Stripes 'Elephant'). The whole ?Hoover Dam? album is available to download completely FREE as high quality DRM-free MP3s from www.hughcornwell.com ? and Hugh's site is now in twelve languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin and Japanese).
This initiative has brought Hugh's music to a massive new audience ? a fact borne out by his barnstorming show at the Glastonbury Festival which was overflowing with people wanting to catch the performance. The CD version of ?Hoover Dam? includes a DVD containing feature-length documentary ?Blueprint?, and vinyl LP sales have also been very strong. ?Hoover Dam? has been also making a splash abroad, with fantastic US concert dates throughout September, and shows in Germany, Holland, Lithuania, France and England.