She wished she was your lover, even when she was ‘right beside you’, but what good did that do Sophie B. Hawkins?
Sophie Ballantine Hawkins was born in New York City in 1964 and made her debut in 1992 with the single “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”, which reached No.5 in the US and charted top ten from Australia to Norway, although it peaked at No.14 in the UK. It was the first track to be lifted from her debut album “Tongues And Tails” which would become a moderate hit around the world, attaining Gold status in the US and Canada for sales of 500,000 copies. Two further singles would chart less well, “California Here I Come” and her version of Bob Dylan’s 1966 hit “I Want You”.
Sophie released her second album “Whaler” in 1994, which was preceded by the single “Right Beside You”, a top ten hit in many parts of Europe and in Canada, a high of No.13 in the UK and stopping at No.56 in America. “Whaler” equalled its predecessor in gaining a Gold certification in The States and in Canada. The single “Don’t Don’t Tell Me No” reached No.36 in the UK and “Only Love (The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty)” made No.49 in the US. By far the biggest hit from the album was “As I Lay Me Down” which gave Sophie her second and, to date, last top ten entry on the singles chart as well as making No.24 in the UK and No.7 in Australia.
Sophie released the albums “Timbre” in 1999, “Wilderness” in 2004 and most recently “The Crossing” in 2012, together with a “Best Of” in 2002, although these were much less successful and were only appreciated by her own fanbase, as well the accompanying singles. Sophie formed her own label Trumpet Swan Productions in 2000 having experienced an unhappy ending with Sony Records, with whom she had released her first two albums. The story goes that Sony delayed the release of “Timbre” as they were “unhappy with the quality of the product” and ordered Hawkins to ‘rethink’ the musical content of the album. This she did begrudgingly, eventually reissuing the album as it should of been in 2001 with additional new songs, demos and remixes.
Away from recording, Sophie starred as Janis Joplin in a 2012 stage production entitled Room 105 and appeared as herself in a 2013 episode of the TV series Community, where she performed “Damn” and “As I Lay Me Down”. In 2019 she appeared on the German TV show Night Moves, performing and talking about her career. Sophie continues to play live sets across America as well as infrequent gigs in other parts of the work. As yet, there has been no inkling that Sophie will return to the studio to write or record new music in the near future.
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