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Chris Rea

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Middlesbrough, England (1978 – present)

Christopher Anton Rea (pronounced Ree-ah), born 4 March 1951, is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Middlesbrough, England.

Rea’s recording career began in 1978. Although he almost immediately had a US hit single with “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)”, Rea’s initial focus was on continental Europe, releasing eight albums in the 1980s. It wasn’t until 1985’s Shamrock Diaries and the songs “Stainsby Girls” and “Josephine,” that UK audiences began to take notice of him. Follow up albums On The Beach and Dancing With Strangers became UK hits and then the New Light Through Old Windows compilation album in 1988 cemented his reputation. His next full album was to be his major breakthrough: The Road to Hell (1989) enjoyed massive success and became his first number one album in the UK. These successes could not be mirrored in the U.S., however, where it failed to chart. The follow-up album, Auberge, also enjoyed massive European success, reaching the top spot in the UK.

After Auberge
After ‘Auberge’ Chris Rea released ‘God’s Great Banana Skin’ which managed to reach Number 4 in the UK. The album returned Rea to the rockier sound of ‘Road To Hell’ and the single ‘Nothing To Fear’ gave him another Top 20 hit. A year later ‘Espresso Logic’ hit the Top 10 and ‘Julia’, written about his second daughter, gave him his 11th Top 40. A period of ill health meant his next album did not appear until 1998. Despite no singles being released and little promotion, ‘The Blue Cafe’ still made the UK Top 10. However it proved to be Rea’s last. In 1999, 10 years after ‘Road To Hell’ Rea released ‘Road To Hell’ Part 2. Many felt Rea had begun to lose his way, the album received no promotion and as a result never made the Top 40.

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