Billy Ocean released his last album, “Because I Love You,” in 2008. And at this juncture, the British singer of the Grammy Award-winning “Caribbean Queen” and other ’80s hits, says he’s not hurrying to do another one.
“I’m more or less waiting for the dust to settle,” the Trinidad-born, London-based Ocean explains, “because now you can download and you can do this and you can do that. To me, nobody is quite sure what’s happening. The record companies have lost track of it, the publishing companies have lost track of it. There’s no record shops anymore ...
“And that’s how we live. If we’re not getting royalties or we’re being robbed of our royalties, we’re almost back to square one again. So touring’s probably where it’s at for me at this particular stage in life.”
Ocean, 61 (real name Leslie Charles) certainly has the goods to sustain himself on the road. His 1980s output left him with three No. 1 hits — “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On the Run),” “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)” and “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” — as well as the “Jewel of the Nile” film theme song “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.” Three of his albums made the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, and last year Ocean received a Lifetime Achievement honor at Britain’s MOBO Awards.
The key to durability, Ocean says, is not exactly rocket science.
“My father used to say, ‘Whatever you’re doing has to be worth doing well, because you don’t know how long you’re going to have to live with it,’ ” Ocean recalls. “So you try and do it to the best of your ability and make sure you don’t have any bum notes or something you have to live with for the rest of your life.
“I’ve been lucky that songs I recorded — even back in the ’70s as far as (England) — are still being played on the radio. You can listen to ‘Caribbean Queen’ now and think, ‘Yeah, that was all right,’ but that comes from putting the hard work into it to make it that way.”
Billy Ocean performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 6, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $33 and $38. Call 313-309-4700 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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