Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Discovering Material That Was Overlooked

Don't know about anyone's personal listening habits and not aware of everyone's favorite genre of music, but no doubt mine is kind of unusual. Not in a bad sense of course. After all, I spent the past 40+ years around the darn music business. Having been around the block a time or two, I figured my listening habits are indeed peculiar but exhibit a consistent pattern. In any event I don't mind sharing my idiosyncrasies with others. As crazy as they are, here's the deal. About every month or so I'll get turned-on to a new song, or new album, or new artist and play that sombitch over and over again until I literally burn the grooves off the disk. No kidding. I listen to every note, every lyric, and enthrall myself into the recording artist's entire discography until I reach some kind of narvonic moment. At that point, I then move-on to rediscover still another new song by another new artist and repeat the same cycle over again. Weird huh? Kind of like a coach watching game film and analyzing every play after a big event.

So, several weeks ago I woke-up one morning to my clock radio playing a song I'd never heard before. Since I only live about 65 miles from the Canadian border, I got into the habit of listening to a radio station located in Victoria, B.C. The Ocean CIOC 98.5 to be exact. They have a powerful signal and actually comes-in stronger at my residence than most Seattle stations. Anywho, over the next week and after listening to several plays of this outstanding song, I looked-up the song title on their on-line playlist and discovered it was by an artist who's been around for years. His name is Chris Rea and the title of the song was, "Driving Home For Christmas." Holy Toledo, upon that discovery I was blown away. The song was imprinted deeply into my consciousness and I couldn't forget the tune for days on end. In the meantime, I found myself doing exactly the same thing that Chris Rea was singing about in the song, stuck in traffic during the Christmas holidays. That only intensified my desire to hear it again. My interest peaked when I went on YouTube and listened to everything he's ever done. No exaggeration. And that experience was indeed a pleasant journey also. Come to find out, Chris Rea is a British artist who started out in the 1980's and experienced enormous success in the U.K. and Western Europe. Plus, he had several big hits in the U.S. including "Fool If You Think It's Over," and "The Road To Hell." But you probably knew that already, right? Yet for me, it's never too late to investigate an artist and I was just now catching-up with his body of music. You see, my man-crush on Chris Rea was just beginning. His graveled voice and bottleneck guitar was only heightened by his sterling songwriting and his classic arrangement and production. But I simply had to have more. Next, I went to Amazon and purchased his greatest hits CD titled, "The Very Best Of Chris Rea." No disappointment there either. In my continuing thirst for knowledge about this fine artist, I discovered that he too was a lefthander (who plays guitar right handed) and also born under the birth sign of Pisces. Two outstanding qualities I might add. Plus, he had additional songs of delight such as, "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" and my bluesy favorite, "Texas." Those songs have played over and over and serenaded all my neighbors for weeks now and I'll bet they already know the lyrics to each song. Additionally, Rea's Wikipedia page observed the fact that he was married and a family man and personified a conservative demeanor. And you know what? That sealed the deal for me. So, in closing, and as a long time promoter and music industry archivist, I'm going to spread my personal Chris Rea pilgrimage to everyone as I post one of his greatest songs that is featured behind an incredible landscape video. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you, Mr. Chris Rea and his fine song "Nothing To Fear."

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you knocked it out of the ballpark again phil. keep em coming. russell

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the Blog! Loved the story and info. Curiosity got me and I had to take a look at artists material. ( Specifically th U.S. Hit) Remember it fondly.( Rick didn't, remember it I mean) Anyway, enjoyed both the story and the music. Thanks for the kick in another direction!!


Dawne

8:04 PM  
Blogger Malc said...

Chris has indeed recorded some great material over the years and, being a fellow Brit, I've been aware of it since he first appeared. Indeed, I remember seeing him as the support act for the 1980s Beach Boys show at Wembley ! Always loved song "Whatever happened to Benny Santini"... :-)

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta love Chris’s slide guitar. Cool video.



Paul.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Enjoyed the fear video and the song. RT

12:15 PM  
Anonymous june said...

I love this blog post, Phillip. I found myself nodding in agreement and smiling all the while I was reading it. A joy to read, from start to finish.

What you've written and so brilliant expressed here - about discovering music that's new (to you) that has you so excited and enthralled - is absolutely *exactly* the same way I feel about discovering the amazing and incredible music of Robert Palmer. I was rapt while reading about your memories of Robert from his early days with Vinegar Joe and throughout his career.

The other thing that made me smile in your post on Chris Rea here was that, for quite a long time, I have to confess that I used to mistakenly confuse Chris with Robert, for I found their vocals were similar, and when I first heard 'Drivin' Home for Christmas' (when it first came out years ago), I thought it was RP. Okay...I agree that Chris' vocals are more on the raspy side compared to Robert's, but ohhh...RP could get raspy too when the song called for it.

I love your blog, and I love your writing style. I'm really hoping that you will put all these wonderful memories and anecdotes into a book (a HUGE book!). Speaking of books, would you know if anyone is planning on writing a biography on Robert? Next to Malc's bio on bread (one of my all-time favourite, if not my very favourite band), a biography on Robert Palmer would not only be met with a huge 'thank you', but also an even bigger 'YES! FINALLY!'

7:27 PM  

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