A short clip of Herbert Guðmundsson's Eighties Monsterhit "Can't walk away".
The song became is included in the Superhits of the 80's Hitbox.
Herbert in Wikipedia
Herbert was born 15. December 1953 in Reykjavík. When he was 12 years old he began his music career by joining the band "Raflost". Only 17 years old he was the singer of "Tilvera". Herbert played with many bands over the next years for example "Eik", "Pelican" and "Sólskin" (Sunshine). Herbert also took part in the play Jesus Christ Superstar.
With the band "Eik" he played in the Icelandic television station RÚV. There they played some popular songs like "Kung Fu Fighting" and more. This footage was shown again in 2003 when a TV show about Herbert's life was broadcasted in RÚV.
Herbert left the music for a while and began working as a chef in Icelandic fishing ships. He worked at the sea for 8 years. He was a chef at the sea, he once said that he would never cook fish on a ship. Along with cooking for the sailors he had his guitar and wrote some songs so he didn't quit altogether in music at that time.
When he had had enough at working at the sea he moved to Bolungarvík in Vestfirðir (West Fjords) and joined the band KAN. With "KAN" Herbert made the album "Í ræktinni" (In the gym) and the band was a big hit in Iceland. "KAN" only sang in Icelandic and was therefore only well known in Iceland. KAN was the biggest band in Vestfirðir at that time. The album Í ræktinni was released in 1984 and Herbert was the main man behind the decision of making the album. Their popularity in Vestfirðir were huge and people at all ages bought their album.
He wrote the biggest part of the songs and some became very popular. The song "Ertu í Ræktinni?" (Are you in the gym?) became very popular and was played much in the radio. The album was mixed with great party songs and gentle ballads. Herbert re-released two KAN songs in 2001 in a new version with his solo-album "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu". The songs were "Megi Sá Draumur" (May the Dream) and "Steypa og Gler" (Concrete and Glass).
KAN made a comeback in April 2006 in the music festival Aldrei Fór Ég Suður which is held in Ísafjörður in Vestfirðir. KAN didn't play more than just this one gig but the reactions to the band were amazing. The reunion got a lot of attention and Kastljós the biggest TV-Show in Iceland talked to the band and showed some live footage from their performance.
Herbert left "KAN" and moved to Reykjavík. There he began his solo career. He decided to sing in English because he had high hopes of becoming a big star outside of Iceland. In December 1985 he made the song "Can't Walk Away". The song became a huge hit when it was released in the album The Dawn Of The Human Revolution, but it was released in 1986.
"Can't Walk Away" Success
The success of Can't Walk Away was amazing and Herbert became well known in the world. Later the song was included in the Superhits of the 80's hitbox. The song tells the story of how we shouldn't just walk away from the world's problems. We should face them and solve them. The lyrics are quite deep, especially for a pop song.
Herbert said the following words in an interview way after Can't Walk Away was released:
"Then [when Can't Walk Away was released] did only Channel 2 and the "Steam" exist, so the whole country [Iceland] knew that a heavy-mega-hit from Hebbi had been released. When I woke up the day after the song reached the first place the kids in Breiðholtsskóli had written "We love you Hebbi" in the snow outside my apartment in Breiðholt.
Let's Help Them
In 1986 after Herbert had released his major solo-title, The Dawn Of The Human Revolution, he took part in a recording session to help poverty in Africa. All the biggest stars in Icelandic music at that time helped and made the song Hjálpum Þeim (Let's Help Them). Herbert sang both as a lead singer and as a backing singer in the song. It became very popular in Iceland.
Herbert kept on going and made some new songs after the major success of Can't Walk Away. He made the song "Hollywood", which became popular but not as popular as Can't Walk Away. The song Hollywood tells the story of how hard it is to become a success in the big world when you come from a small place like Iceland. Hollywood was released in the album Being Human in 1993. Herbert shot the video for Hollywood in Hollywood and because of that some Icelanders became angry with Herbert and said that he was trying to be a big shot by going to Hollywood and shoot a video there. Herbert answered them by saying that the video wouldn't be the same if he would do a bluescreen video home in Iceland.
After releasing Being Human album he stepped out of the spotlight and was not very active musically speaking for a few years. He moved to Sweden and learned how to be an ice cream master in Italy.
Back in action
In 1997 Herbert became again a very popular singer in Iceland when a new radio station FM957 began playing Can't Walk Away. Herbert came back to Iceland and was again a big star. He decided to release all his biggest hits in a Best Of CD which he called Faith. Faith was released in 1998 and contained Can't Walk Away, Hollywood, I Believe In Love and many other hits. I Believe In Love was a new song from Herbert and it was clear that Herbert had left the 80's feeling and moved on into the techno. The song became very popular and Glitnir (a big Icelandic bank) used the song in its commercials. Herbert also included two remixes of Can't Walk Away in Faith.
He made his first solo-album in Icelandic in 2001 "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu" (new steps in Icelandic). There was a song that became a big hit called "Svaraðu" (Answer), the song was about a guy who couldn't find the girl that he loves. He is looking everywhere for her and is calling out for her but doesn't get an answer. He shot the music video for Svaraðu in Canary Islands. In "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu" was "Svaraðu" in three different versions. The normal one, original mix and Dance Superfly Guy Mix (remix).
Herbert held a big concert in Iceland to celebrate the release of his first solo-album in Icelandic. It was sold out and the reactions to the concerts were good. The music in the album is much more relaxed than the music he made in the 80's. He included two KAN songs in the album (as mentioned in the article about KAN) but he changed the name of "Megi Sá Draumur" (May the Dream) into "Draumurinn" (The Dream) but it was still the same song.
Like every Icelander, Herbert was a part of the Icelandic National Church when he was born. When he had grown up he discovered that he didn't feel right in the Icelandic National Church and decided to leave the church. He joined the world of Buddha and today he is like an ambassador for Buddhism. Everytime Herbert goes into an interview he talks about the world of Buddhism. In the TV program Sjálfstætt Fólk (Independent People) Herbert showed how he meditates, he meditates each day.
HG Records and Ice Cream
Herbert owns his own record company, "HG Hljómplötur" (HG Records). HG stands of course for Herbert Guðmundsson. He has released his own material since he started with "HG Hljómplötur". Faith and "Ný Spor Á Íslenskri Tungu" were released by "HG Hljómplötur".
After releasing Being Human, Herbert decided to move to Sweden and step away from music for some time. He went to Italy and learned how to be an Ice Cream Master. After he had become an Ice Cream Master he decided to open up an Ice Cream Shop in Sweden. Business was hard so he decided to work as a bookseller in Iceland at the same time. So he was constantly traveling from Iceland to Sweden. Finally he decided to move back to Iceland but when he was leaving the Ice Cream business was becoming more successful.
He opened an Ice Cream Shop in Reykjavík when he got back to Iceland. He opened up in Síðumúli 35 and the store was called "Stikkfrí". Herbert made his own Ice Cream recipe so his Ice Cream was one of a kind. A newspaper in Iceland called DV (Dagblaðið Vísir) made some research in the Ice Cream business in Iceland and found out that Herbert was the best Ice Cream seller in the country. He sold the biggest Ice Cream and his Ice Cream was the cheapest. His Ice Cream was very good and had a retro taste to it, you could really taste the cream in it.
Along with selling Ice Cream in "Stikkfrí" Herbert sold his CDs in the store. The shop was successful and Herbert's wife, Svala Jóhannsdóttir, served the customers while Herbert made the Ice Cream. But in 2006 the store was bankrupt. A shop was opened not far from "Stikkfrí" and gave away Ice Cream for free. This was clearly an attempt to take Herbert out of the market and it was a success. Herbert later said that he got into the "Ice Cream Mafia" and he couldn't compete against them.
Herbert is still popular in Iceland and sometimes he makes some new songs that are played in the radio but he hasn't found the great touch that he had when he made Can't Walk Away, Hollywood or other of his classics. It's quite popular to get Herbert to sing for you and your friends and Herbert is always up for the task.
Today he lives with his wife, Svala Jóhannsdóttir, but they met when Herbert lived in Bolungarvík and played with KAN.
Recently Herbert started work on a untitled solo album, and he has already recorded three demo tracks. Wile recording the song "I Believe In Love" on the album Faith, Herbert got the opportunity to work with a gospel choir and he has stated that he wishes to do so again. It is rumored that two of his youngest sons will be participating and playing the electronic keyboard and drums. No release date has been announced, but Herbert is known for not releasing anything until he is absolutely satesfied with the end product.
In 2003 when Herbert appeared in the TV show "Jón Ólafs" (show hosted by Jón Ólafsson, where he talks to famous musicians) Herbert played along with Jón Ólafsson a new song written by Herbert Guðmundsson. The song was called "Magic Feeling" and is about that old Hippie feeling. A key line in the text is "What a magic feeling, you can get inside". Herbert often sings about how you should feel or act so the lyrics are ideal for Herbert's music. The song hasn't been released.
In the summer of 2005, Herbert played in Rás 2 along with Lokbrá. They played live in the radio. They played some well know songs such as I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles. But the biggest part was the fact that they played a new song made by Herbert, called "Driving Wild". The song is about a man who is so down that he is driving fast to try and forget his problems. Later that day Herbert went into an interview in Rás 2 where he decided to play the song "Driving Wild" himself only with his own guitar. The song hasn't been released, although you can download the live performance with Lokbrá at www.rokk.is and search for Herbert.