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Robert Hazard

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Biography

Robert Hazard didn't even sing on his biggest hit. In 1982, Cyndi Lauper covered Hazard's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," a track that he originally wrote and recorded on a 1979 demo. Hazard's version was never released. Hazard's follow-up, the 1981 new wave classic "Escalator of Life," became a radio favorite in Philadelphia, Hazard's hometown. Combining David Bowie's deep, brooding vocals with Gary Numan's futuristic synthesizers, "Escalator of Life" was tailor-made for the "rock of the '80s" radio format gaining steam at the time. Hazard and his group, the Heroes, then recorded a self-titled EP, selling over 100,000 copies in the Philadelphia area. Also featuring Michael Pilla (guitar, vocals), Jerry Weindel (keyboards), Ken Bernard (drums), John Lilley (guitar), and Rob Miller (bass), the Heroes were one of Philadelphia's most popular rock bands; however, their local success never expanded to a national level, not even after RCA Records signed them and re-released the EP. Hazard replaced Lilley and Miller in late 1982 and dropped the Heroes' name. Hazard's debut LP, Wing of Fire, appeared in 1984, but it only sold 89,000 copies; consequently, he was dumped by RCA. Hazard formed another group called the New Heroes in 1986 for his second album, Darling. While the record wasn't a flop, it still didn't fulfill the commercial potential hinted at by "Escalator of Life." Hazard reunited and performed with the Heroes in 1991 at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia. In 1998, he recorded Howl and formed the Hombres. Working solo again as the 21st century opened, he released a pair of albums in 2004, Blue Mountain and Seventh Lake, before signing with Rykodisc for 2007's Troubadour. Hazard passed away on August, 08, 2008 of pancreatic cancer. ~ Michael Sutton

Top Albums

Born:

21 August 1948 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporaries