Sunday 4 March 2012

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to an old, husky voiced singer-song writer and brave survivor called Chris Rea

Chris Rea, singer-songwriter recognisable with husky voice and slide guitar who has sold moe than 30 million albums world wide, is 61 years old today.

Things you possibly didn't know about Chris, that  he :

* was  born in Middlesborough where his father, Camillo Rea owned an ice cream  factory and a string of caf√©s.

* left school, worked in casual labouring jobs, bought his first guitar at 22, joined the band 'Magdalene', replacing David Coverdale who later created Whitesnake, got a solo recording deal with Magnet Reocrds and released his first single, 'So Much Love', in 1974.

* released his first album in 1978  and saw 'Fool if you think it's over' become his  biggest hit in the USA :

with its beautiful lyrics :

A dying flame, you're free again,
Who could love and do that to you.
All dressed in black, he won't be coming back.
Well save your tears, you got years and years.
The pains of seventeen's,
Unreal they're only dreams.
Save your crying for the day.

Fool if you think it's over,
'Cos you said goodbye.
Fool if you think it's over,
I'll tell you why.
New born eyes always cry with pain,
At the first look at the morning sun.
Fool if you think it's over,
It's just begun.

Miss teenage dream, such a tragic scene,
He knocked your crown and ran away.
First wound of pride and how you cried and cried.
Well save your tears, you got years and years.

* produced the album 'On the Beach' in 1986 and 'Dancing with Strangers' the following year and sold out in stadium size venues for the first time across the world and had his big breakthough with 'Road to Hell' in 1989 :

*  in 2001 was diagnosed with pancreatitus, underwent an operation with a predicted 50% chance of survival and promised himself that if he recovered, he would return to his blues roots did so with 'Blue Guitars', which complete with his own paintings as album covers, was seen by him as his finest work to date.

*  said : "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 realise that this isn’t the way I intended it to be in the beginning. Everything that you’ve done falls away and start wondering why you went through all that rock business stuff."

* played the lead in the 1999 comedy film 'Parting Shots' alongside John Cleese, Bob Hoskins and Joanna Lumley as a character who, when told that cancer gave him six weeks to live, decided to kill those people who had badly affected his life.

More wonderfully evocative lyrics :
On the Beach 

Between the eyes of love I call your name.
Behind those guarded walls I used to go.
Upon a summer wind there's a certain melody,
Takes me back to the place that I know,
On the beach,
Yeah Yeah,
Down on the beach,

The secrets of the summer I will keep.
The sands of time will blow a mystery,
No one but you and I,
Underneath that moonlit sky,
Take me back to the place that I know,
On the beach,
Yeah Yeah,
Oh, down on the beach

Forever in my dreams my heart will be,
Hanging on to this sweet memory.
A day of strange desire,
And a night that burned like fire,
Take me back to the place that I know.
On the beach
Yeah Yeah

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