Chris Rea – And You My Love
Christopher Anton “Chris” Rea ( born 4 March 1951) is an English singer-songwriter, recognisable for his distinctive, husky voice and slide guitar playing.The British Hit Singles & Albums stated that Rea was “one of the most popular UK singer-songwriters of the late 1980s. He was already a major European star by the time he finally cracked the UK Top 10 with his 18th chart entry; ‘The Road to Hell (Part 2)’.”By 2009, Rea had sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
He is well known for his 1978 hit song “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” that charted No.12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent three weeks at No.1 on the U.S. Billboard adult contemporary chart. The song was later covered by Elkie Brooks and was a top 20 hit in the UK.
Although Rea had limited success in the United States, two of his albums, The Road to Hell and Auberge, topped the UK Albums Chart. The book Guinness Rockopedia described him as a “gravel-voiced guitar stalwart”.
In November 2007, Rea announced a new tour and a new album featuring 38 new tracks on three CDs and two vinyl, which included a hardback book in the style of a slightly tatty 12″ vinyl sleeve. The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes (a dedication to the 1960s guitar of the same name) was released in February 2008. In writing the album, Rea dreamed up a band that had never existed — a pastiche instrumental group from the late 1950s called The Delmonts.
The release of the album was followed by a European tour. The band was introduced as “The Delmonts featuring Chris Rea”, and played in various venues across the UK, including the Royal Albert Hall in London.
His song “Driving Home for Christmas”, which originally reached No.53 in the UK chart when first released in 1988, re-entered at No.33 nineteen years later in December 2007, making it the first time the song had made the UK Top 40. In a live interview on the BBC Radio 4 programme Today on 16 December 2009 Rea said he wrote “Driving Home for Christmas” many years before he first recorded it. His wife, a vegetarian, had come down to London to drive him home to Middlesbrough in her Austin Mini to save money because it was cheaper to drive than travel by train. Inspiration for the song came as she and Rea were stuck in heavy traffic heading out of London with a long drive to Middlesbrough ahead of them. Rea said “Driving Home for Christmas” is a “car version of a carol”.
In October 2009, Rhino released a new 2-disc best of compilation. Still So Far To Go – The Best of Chris Rea contained some of his best known (and lesser known) hits over the last thirty years, as well as more recent songs from his “blues” period. Two new songs were included, “Come So Far, Yet Still So Far to Go” and the ballad “Valentino”, a song about his dog that had died. In actuality Chris had to give the dog to a friend as the dog was “loopy”. The album was Rea’s highest charting album in 15 years, reaching No.8 and staying in the Top 50 for four weeks. In 2010 Rea performed on a European tour called Still So Far to Go. His special guest on stage was Irish musician Paul Casey. The tour ended on 5 April in Belfast, United Kingdom.
In September 2011, Chris Rea released “The Santo Spirito Project” containing two feature-length films on DVD written and directed by Chris and two accompanying CDs of the soundtracks and one CD of songs.
In April 2014 it was announced that Rea will embark on a UK tour in December 2014 called The Last Open Road Tour to support his new album, set for release in September. The tour will commence on 1 December in Manchester and will end on 20 December in London. Rea also performed at the 2014 Montreux Jazz Festival for the first time since 2002.
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