Jim Diamond was on the cutting edge of British rock for more than a quarter of a century. A former member of Scottish band Gully Foyle in the early '70s, the Alexis Korner Band and Bandit in the late '70s, and PhD (formed with ex-members of the Jeff Beck Band) in the early '80s, Diamond reached his peak as a soloist. He scored with three substantial hits -- "I Won't Let You Down" in 1982, "I Should Have Known Better" in 1984, and "Hi Ho Silver" a year later. His final Top Ten hit in 1986 served as the theme song to popular ITV detective show Boon.
Playing music professionally since his teens, Diamond first attracted attention as a member of Gully Foyle. Although he left to form a new band, Bandit, and sign with Arista, their debut album was met by commercial indifference and the group disbanded. Accepting an invitation to join Alexis Korner's group, Diamond remained with the band for two years, appearing on the 1978 album Just Easy. Temporarily moving to Los Angeles, Diamond worked with veteran David Bowie and Rod Stewart session musicians. He formed a short-lived group, Slick Diamond, with guitarist Earl Slick and drummer Carmen Appice. Returning to England, Diamond joined with ex-Jeff Beck Band members Tony Hymas and Simon Phillips to form PhD. Their self-titled debut album included the multi-million-selling hit "I Won't Let You Down." Another single, "I Don't Know," was recorded with Beck playing electric guitar.
The momentum of PhD's early success was interrupted when Diamond contracted hepatitis. Prevented from touring by his illness, the group disbanded. Stepping into the spotlight as a soloist, Diamond struck gold. His first solo single, "I Should Have Known Better," co-written with Benny Gallagher of Gallagher & Lyle, reached the top position on the British pop charts. Diamond's 1993 self-titled album, co-produced by Graham Lyle, included new recordings of "I Should Have Known Better" and "Hi Ho Silver." Jim Diamond died at his home in London in October 2015 at the age of 64. ~ Craig Harris