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Jim Diamond
Jim Diamond, 1985.
Jim Diamond, 1985.
Background information
Birth nameJames Aaron Diamond
Born(1951-09-28)28 September 1951
Glasgow, Scotland
Died8 October 2015(2015-10-08) (aged 64) (Pulmonary Edema )
London, England
GenresPop rock, new wave, blue-eyed soul, synthpop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1969–2015
LabelsBradleys, A&M, Teldec, PolyGram, Polydor, Righteous, River, Hypertension, Cherry Pop (Reissue label), Camino Records
Associated actsThe Method, Gully Foyle, Jade, Bandit, Bacco, PhD, Alexis Korner, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett, Snake Davis

James Aaron "Jim" Diamond (28 September 1951 – 8 October 2015) was a Scottish singer-songwriter, best known for his three Top 5 hits. The first was "I Won't Let You Down" (1982), as the lead singer in the trio PhD, with Tony Hymas and Simon Phillips. His solo performance, "I Should Have Known Better", was a United Kingdom No.1 in 1984.[1] The third track was the theme song from Boon, "Hi Ho Silver" which reached No.5 in the UK Singles Chart in 1986.[1] He has also featured as a vocalist on the charity No.1s "You'll Never Walk Alone" with The Crowd and "Let It Be" with Ferry Aid. His last UK chart success was with "Young Love (Carry Me Away)" in 1986.

Early years[]

He started his music career at the young age of 15 with his own band, The Method. This was discovered through a recent interview with Jim Diamond.[2] Diamond, at age 16, also fronted a Glasgow band called Jade.[3] That line-up included bassist Chris Glen who went on to play with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Jim Lacey on lead guitar who later went on to join The Alan Bown!. Jade played many pub, club and college gigs in London in 1969, playing at Brunel University, West London College in Cricklewood, The Pied Bull in Islington, West Hampstead Country Club, another college in Virginia Water and many more in 1969. They also supported The Move on their Scottish tour with The Stoics in the same year.

He later toured Europe with Gully Foyle.[4] Rare recordings of his performances with Gully Foyle were recently discovered on the internet.[5]

Diamond was discovered by Alexis Korner.[6] He spent the next couple of years as part of Korner's band. He provided additional and backing vocals on many of Korner's songs. Most of which would appear on The Lost Album.

In 1976 Diamond left Korner to form Bandit. The line-up included AC/DC band member Cliff Williams. They were soon signed up by Arista Records and released their début album, Bandit. They failed to reach the chart. In 1979 Diamond was lead vocalist for a Japanese band called BACCO. The debut album was Cha Cha Me.

Diamond went to Los Angeles, California to form Slick Diamond with Earl Slick.[7] He spent some time touring and recording and provided music for a film soundtrack.

In 1978, Jim married Christine Bailey (born 1951, Wellington, New Zealand). The couple had a daughter, Sara Rosaline Diamond (b. 1978 in Hammersmith and Fulham, London) and, a son, Lawrence James Diamond (b. 1984 in Hammersmith and Fulham, London).

Big break[]

1981 would be Diamond's big break into the public eye when he formed PhD (Phillips, Hymas and Diamond), with pianist/keyboard player Tony Hymas and drummer Simon Phillips. They were signed by WEA Records and had a hit single with the multi-million selling "I Won't Let You Down".

Diamond contracted hepatitis and the band later decided to part ways. In 1984, he decided to go solo and was signed to A&M Records. He had a number one hit with "I Should Have Known Better" and also was number one in Latin America. He scored another hit soon after with the theme song from Boon, "Hi Ho Silver". It reached No.5 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1986. Diamond is also known for some guest vocals on two Genesis band members' solo outings including:

  • "You Call This Victory" (From the movie Starship) on the album Soundtracks by Tony Banks in 1986.
  • "Days of Long Ago" on the album Darktown by Steve Hackett in 1999.

The 1999 compilation The Best of Jim Diamond compiles singles and B-sides from his short time with A&M Records.

Later years[]

In the late 1990s, Diamond teamed up with saxophonist Chris "Snake" Davis, who is known for his work with soul outfit, M People.[8] The pair were known as The Blue Shoes, but were later billed as Jim Diamond and Snake Davis.

In 2005, Diamond released his first studio album in eleven years. Souled and Healed also gave Diamond the single releases "When You Turn" and "Blue Shoes".

Diamond's son Lawrence has followed in his father's musical footsteps. He is the keyboardist of the UK indie pop group, Citizens![9] and the former bass player of Official Secrets Act.

Jim Diamond's last album, City of Soul, released by Camino Records in 2011, featured, among others, Wet Wet Wet drummer Tommy Cunningham and Greg Kane of Hue & Cry.[10] All proceeds from this album of soul music covers benefited the children's charity Radio Clyde Cash for Kids.[11]

Diamond was a friend of Father Ted star Dermot Morgan and was present at the small dinner party in which Morgan died suddenly in 1998. [12]


On 10 October 2015, the BBC News website announced Jim Diamond's death at the age of 64. According to Jim's daughter, Sara, the cause of death was a pulmonary edema. His family said that he "passed away suddenly but peacefully in his sleep".[13][14] He is survived by his wife Christine and their two children.


Albums (solo)[]

Year Album Label
1985 Double Crossed A&M
1986 Desire for Freedom A&M
1988 Jim Diamond Teldec
1993 Jim Diamond PolyGram / Polydor
1994 Sugarolly Days Righteous / Total
1999 The Best of Jim Diamond Spectrum Music
2005 Souled and Healed Hypertension
2011 City of Soul Camino

Singles (solo)[]

Year Title B-Side / Bonus tracks Album UK Singles Chart
1975 "Clean Up the City" "Back on the Line" Bradleys
1984 "I Should Have Known Better" "Impossible Dream" Double Crossed # 1 A&M
1985 "I Sleep Alone at Night" "Caledonia" Double Crossed # 72 A&M
1985 "Remember I Love You" "Rock 'n' Roll" Double Crossed # 42 A&M
1986 "Hi Ho Silver" "Hi Ho Silver" (instrumental) Desire for Freedom # 5 A&M
1986 "Young Love (Carry Me Away)" "Blue Songs" Desire for Freedom # 92 A&M
1986 "Desire" "Together" Desire for Freedom A&M
1986 "So Strong" "You'll Go Crazy" Desire for Freedom A&M
1987 "Shout It Out!" "The Message of Childwatch" TML
1988 "Broadway" "Second Chance" Jim Diamond (1988) Teldec
1988 "The Last Time" "Miracles" Jim Diamond (1988) Teldec
1993 "Not Man Enough" "Child's Heart" / "If You're Gonna Break My Heart" Jim Diamond (1993) PolyGram / Polydor
1994 "Sugarolly Mountains" Sugarolly Days Righteous / Total
1994 "Caledonia (Heartland)" Sugarolly Days Righteous / Total
2005 "When You Turn" "When You Turn" (album version)" / "Rhythm of the Radio" Souled and Healed Hypertension
2006 "Blue Shoes" "I Won't Let You Down" (live) / "Blue Shoes" (live) / "My Girl" (live)
/ "I Should Have Known Better" (live) / "Wonderful World" (live)
Souled and Healed Hypertension
2011 "Morning Glory" City of Soul Camino

Charity singles featuring Jim Diamond[]

Year Song / Album
1985 "You'll Never Walk Alone" (with The Crowd)
1987 "Let It Be" (with Ferry Aid)
1990 "Sailing" (with Rock Against Repatriation)

Television appearances[]

Year Television programme
1977 Supersonic (performing "Ohio" with Bandit)
1982–86 Top of the Pops (performing "I Won't Let You Down" with PhD (1982), "I Should Have Known Better" (1984), "Hi Ho Silver" (1986)
1985 The Keith Harris Show
1994 Pebble Mill (performing "I Should Have Known Better", "Skye Boat Song")
2001 Stars in Their Eyes (guest appearance to congratulate contestant)
2003 True Lives, The Real Father Ted, A Portrait of Dermot Morgan
2010 I Migliori Anni (performing "I Should Have Known Better" and "I Won't Let You Down")
2010 Concerto Dell'Epifania (performing "I Should Have Known Better")


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 153. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. "". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  3. at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 October 2009)
  4. "The Gully Foyle Years". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2015. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  5. Gully Foyle.
  6. "Liner Notes "The Lost Album"". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  7. "Jim Diamond's Official Website – Biography". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  8. Sweeting, Adam; MacAskill, Ewen (12 October 2015). "Jim Diamond obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  9. "My London: Lawrence of Citizens!". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  10. "City Of Soul UK". Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  11. City of Soul: Motown album recorded for children's charities. STV News. 15 April 2011
  12. 44:25
  13. "Singer-songwriter Jim Diamond dies". BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  14. The Diamond Family: We are very sad to say that Jim passed away on Thursday, unexpectedly, but peacefully in his sleep. In:, 10 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.

External links[]

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  • Jim Diamond on Facebook
  • Fan Site