Early-'70s hit-maker Gilbert O'Sullivan is gearing up for his next string of North American dates. The singer/songwriter is set for a nine-city March run, hitting Houston, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
O'Sullivan is best remembered for his five Top 40 hits, including 1973's Top Ten favorite “Get Down,” the previous year's Top Two smash, “Claire,” and his six-week 1972 chart-topping classic — “Alone Again” (Naturally).” He's recently wrapped production on his 20th studio set, tentatively titled Driven, with producer Andy Wright — best known for his work behind the boards with Simply Red and Simple Minds.
Gilbert O'Sullivan's signature U.S. hit “Alone Again (Naturally)” topped the American charts for a whopping six weeks, displacing yet another monster 1972 classic “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers, which enjoyed a three-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.
In America, at least, “Alone Again (Naturally)” will always remain O'Sullivan's most beloved hit. He recalled to us how the record initially broke: “'Alone Again,' obviously it means more to Americans than it does to any country in the world, which is fantastic, and stuff, because it's a success there. All I hoped was a good song, 'took about five weeks to break in the UK and it took about two months to break in America. As you know, the way these things work — there's a DJ in a particular part of the country; if it had been you, you would've listened to it and decide 'I love this' and you would put it on your program — and then it kind of spread from there.”
O'Sullivan, who's never stopped writing, told us that inspiration needs to come from steady influence of new sounds: “I think you're born with an ability to do good lyrics, but you're not born with the ability to write melodies. That comes when you're young and you're hugely influenced by what you hear on the radio and the records you buy. Now, it may be like George Harrison said. George Harrison said in the '80s, he didn't like anything he heard on the radio. So, that's interesting, because you think about it, when he was 17, 18, 19, 20 years of age, he would've loved everything he heard on the radio. So, the key to coming up with a melody is to search for melody. You need to hear good melody to be able to continue to write melody.”
UPDATED: Gilbert O' Suillivan tour dates (subject to change):
March 4 – Houston, TX – Main Street Crossing
March 7 – Philadelphia, PA – City Winery
March 8 – New York, NY – City Winery
March 10 – Boston, MA – City Winery
March 11 – Chicago, IL – City Winery
March 14 – Nashville, TN – City Winery
March 15 – Atlanta, GA – City Winery
March 17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Mint
March 18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Mint
March 20 – Washington D.C. – City Winery