Colonel Abrams moved with his family to New York City when he was ten years old due to his father (a construction worker) getting a job there. The family moved to the East Village in Manhattan on East 13 Street. From an early age, he began playing the guitar and piano. He was in several early bands, among them was Heavy Impact which he played both guitar and keyboards, Joe Webb (guitar), Lemar Washington (guitar), Marston Freeman (bass guitar), Ronald Simmons (drums), and Barbara Mills (saxophone). Later he formed Conservative Manor (mid-1970s), 94 East (the band featuring Prince on lead guitar), and the New Jersey band Surprise Package.
Hits in the mid-1980s including “Leave the Message Behind the Door” and “Music Is the Answer” established him as a solo artist, initially in Europe and later in the US. In 1985 he signed to Steven Machat”s Label/Production company, AMI. Machat, who was working with the New Zealand producer Richard Burgess and hired him against conventional wisdom to produce Colonel Abrams for his company the album Colonel Abrams. Machat then talked MCA into signing the Colonel recordings to have them released throughout the world. AMI also at this time had Ready for the World and the New Edition/Bobby Brown with MCA. This collaboration with the British producer Richard James Burgess produced the hits “Trapped“, “I’m Not Gonna Let You” and urban contemporary ballad “Table for Two”.
“Trapped” reached the top five and went gold in the UK Singles Chart and topped the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1985, followed by the Colonel Abrams album, which spent two weeks at number one the following year. It was estimated by the Phonographic Association that “Trapped” sold over 5 million copies worldwide by spring 1987. An electronic remix of “Trapped” was later released in 1995 by Boards of Canada under the pseudonym Hell Interface. A new version of “Trapped” (“Trapped 2006″) was released in the UK.
“I’m Not Gonna Let You” also spent a week at number one in the dance chart in 1986. The album peaked at number 75 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart and number 13 on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Abrams had a number of entries on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart in the 1980s and 1990s, including four entries that hit number one. In 1987 he had his fourth number-one U.S. dance hit with “How Soon We Forget“, the same year that he released his second album, You and Me Equals Us.
On January 9, 2007, Colonel Abrams released the single “Just When You Thought.” It became the third single released on his own record label, Colonel Records, the others being “Heartbreaker” and “Let Us All Be Friends”. On April 2, 2007, Colonel also released a dance smash called “Never Be”. In 2007, Abrams released “Just Like Mathematics” and “True Stories”. . June 2008 saw the release of his single, “Only a Few”. The Colonel will be performing at the 80s Reunion in August 2011.
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