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Famous Like Me > Composer > R > Chris Rea

Profile of Chris Rea on Famous Like Me

Name: Chris Rea  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 4th March 1951
Place of Birth: Middlesborough, Cleveland, England, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Christopher Anton Rea (4 March 1951) is a successful British singer-songwriter, from Middlesbrough. He is best known for his 1989 album The Road to Hell. His father owned an ice-cream parlour just outside Middlesbrough, in Guisborough, but previously had parlours throughout the area. Locally, "going to Rea's" (pronounced "Ree-a's") meant going out for ice-cream.


Early career

Rea took over from David Coverdale in the band Magdalene, going on to win a national talent contest in 1975 but never being able to sign a record contract. He left the band to pursue a solo career achieving great success when he signed to the Magnet label and recorded the album Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? in 1978 ("Benny Santini" being rumoured to have been a stage name Rea considered). With the help of single Fool (If You Think It's Over) the album went gold in the U.S..

European breakthrough

Rea began to focus his attention on Europe, releasing eight albums in the 1980s. The New Light Through Old Windows compilation album in 1988 brought Rea great success but his next full album was to be his major breakthrough. The Road to Hell enjoyed massive success, not least of which was becoming the 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.

After Auberge

Since 1991's Auberge album Rea has continued to release albums at least every other year. While not as successful as his two breakthrough albums he still records and tours.

In 2001 a remix of Rea's 1986 On The Beach single by York was released and enjoyed moderate dancefloor success.

Fighting with cancer and back to the blues

Following a severe cancer (and only a 50-50 chance to survive after an operation), Rea promised to himself that if he could make it out after the operation, he would be returning to the Blues roots. This is what he did in 2002, releasing the album Dancing Down The Stony Road following recording sessions in France and the UK. (An abridged version of the album was later released with the title Stony Road.) The album was followed by a DVD of the same name, comprising a "Making Of" documentary and his performance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. Rea set up his own JazzeeBlue label in 2003 to free himself from the pressure of record companies and their illogical expectations. Since then he has released the blues albums Blue Street (Five Guitars) (an instrumental jazz-blues effort with impressive guitarwork by Rea) and the recently released The Blue Jukebox (another jazz-blues influenced album released to critical acclaim). The bluesy Rea showcases a musician who has stayed true to his roots. He has recently worked with David Knopfler for two albums, Wishbones (2001) and Ship of Dreams (2004). He is a true supporter of charity organizations and a master painter in his own right. In the words of one of his songs, he is still "dancing down the stony road".


As can be seen at IMDB Rea has also dabbled seriously in film, playing lead in the 1999 comedy "Parting shots" against such notables as John Cleese, Bob Hoskins and Joanna Lumley. Rea plays a man who's told cancer gives him six weeks to live, and decides to kill off the people who've done him wrong in life.



  • 1978 Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?
  • 1979 Deltics
  • 1980 Tennis
  • 1982 Chris Rea
  • 1983 Water Sign
  • 1984 Wired to the Moon
  • 1985 Shamrock Diaries
  • 1986 On the Beach
  • 1987 Dancing with Strangers
  • 1989 Road to Hell
  • 1991 Auberge
  • 1993 God's Great Banana Skin
  • 1994 Espresso Logic
  • 1996 La Passione
  • 1998 The Blue Cafe
  • 1999 The Road to Hell: Part 2
  • 2000 King of the Beach
  • 2001 The Very Best of
  • 2002 Stony Road
  • 2003 Blue Street (Five Guitars)
  • 2003 Hofner Blue Notes
  • 2004 The Blue Jukebox
  • 2005 Blue Guitars (130 tracks on 11 CDs, plus associated paintings, to be released 17th October)


  • 1988 New Light Through Old Windows (an album of re-recordings of his best known tracks)
  • 1994 The Best of Chris Rea
  • 2001 The Very Best of Chris Rea
  • 2005 Heartbeats - Chris Rea's Greatest Hits

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chris Rea