Chris Rea

  • Chris Rea

About Chris Rea

Middlesbrough’s finest son and one of the world’s best slide guitarist, Chris Rea, released his first record in 1978 after signing a deal with Magnet Records.

Whatever Happened To Benny Santini? gave Chris one of his biggest hit singles in the US when Fool (If You Think It’s Over) reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also resulted in a Grammy nomination for Song Of The Year.

Deltics followed in 1979 as Chris began to focus his attention on continental Europe, releasing eight albums in the 1980s including Tennis (1980), Chris Rea (1982), Water Sign (1983), Wired To The Moon (1984), Shamrock Diaries (1985), On The Beach (1986) and Dancing With Strangers (1987).

It wasn't until 1985's Shamrock Diaries and the songs Stainsby Girls and Josephine that UK audiences began to take notice of Chris and on 5 July 1986 he played in front of 95,000 people at Slane Castle, Ireland, as support act for Queen on their Magic Tour.

On The Beach and Dancing with Strangers were big UK hit records before the New Light Through Old Windows compilation album in 1988 brought Chris further chart success and recognition.

Two UK No.1 albums followed – the seminal The Road To Hell (1989) and Auberge (1991) bringing Chris chart success both in the UK and in Europe.

After Auberge, Chris released God's Great Banana Skin (1992) which reached Number 4 in the UK. The album was a return to the harder rock territory of Road to Hell and the single Nothing to Fear delivered another Top 20 hit.

Espresso Logic (1993) followed hitting the UK Top 10 and Julia written about his second daughter gave Chris his 11th UK Top 40 hit record.

La Passione (1996) was followed by The Blue Café (1998) ,The Road To Hell: Part 2 (1999) and the new millennium saw the release of King Of The Beach (2000) to both critical acclaim and commercial success.

Following a severe bout of pancreatitis, and a predicted fifty percent chance of survival after an operation called a Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) in 2001, Chris promised that if he recovered, he would return to his blues roots.
"It’s not until you become seriously ill and you nearly die and you’re at home for six months, that you suddenly stop to realize that this isn’t the way I intended it to be in the beginning. Everything that you’ve done falls away and you start wondering why you went through all that rock business stuff.”

In 2002, Chris returned to his blues roots, releasing the album Dancing Down The Stony Road following recording sessions in France and the UK. The album was followed by a DVD of the same name, comprising a "Making Of" documentary and footage from a concert in Cologne.

Chris set up his own JazzeeBlue label in 2003 and since then he has released the blues albums Blue Street (Five Guitars) (2003) and then The Blue Jukebox (2004) and he has also worked with David Knopfler on two albums Wishbones (2001) and Ship of Dreams (2004).

Blue Guitars was released in 2005 - this 11 CD collection of 137 blues inspired tracks was recorded in just 18 months and included his own paintings as album covers.

The Return Of The Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes (2008) album featured 38 new tracks on three CDs and two LPs and was accompanied by an extensive European & UK tour.