Indeed, whatever happened to Benny Santini? The name that Magnet Records were considering using for their new solo signing but instead he went with his real name of Chris Rea, and Deltics was his second album after Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? and his first to reach the charts, althoug it didn't make much of an impact, only peaking at number 54 in the spring of 1979 – not the best time for an introspective singer/songwriter to crash the charts. Named after the British Rail class 55 of diesel locomotive trains that were built in the early '60s and were just about to be withdrawn from service, Rea showed his interest in various forms of transport that would continue throughout his recording career.
WEA International's Platinum Collection features 15 cuts from English singer and guitarist Chris Rea, nearly all of which have seen the light of day on previous compilations such as The Best of Chris Rea, The Very Best of Chris Rea, and Heartbeats: Greatest Hits. All the late-'80s/early-'90s radio hits like "Road to Hell, Pt. 2," "On the Beach," "Auberge," and "Looking for Summer" are here, making it a smart buy for the casual listener.
Best known for his string of late-'80s MOR blues-pop hit singles, Middlesbrough's biggest musical export Chris Rea has spent the best part of the noughties reinventing himself as a Tom Waits-esque troubadour with a series of ambitious and often gargantuan-sized albums focusing on the vintage slide guitar blues sounds that influenced his hugely successful 30-year career. More up to date than 1994's The Best Of and more extensive than 2005's Heartbeats, Still So Far to Go is the husky-voiced guitarist's first hits collection to place as much emphasis on his later more revered and prolific output as his more familiar and commercial airplay staples…
Herzklopfen (German for "Heartbeat") is an early compilation of a number of excellent Chris Rea tracks. German only release by Polygram Records, Germany. Includes "Josephine," "On The Beach," and more.
Water Sign is the fifth studio album by British singer-songwriter Chris Rea, released in 1983. The album reached #64 position on the UK album charts. "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat" was released as a single, initially peaking on the UK singles chart at #60 in 1983, while the re-recorded new version for his New Light Through Old Windows compilation album, reached #74 in 1988.
Chris Rea remained one of the best-kept secrets in the music industry, releasing five albums between 1979 and 1983, none of them reaching even the Top 50 in the charts. All were very well received by both the critics and the public who knew the secret. His secret was a brand of late-night rock that had an element of class, not dissimilar at this stage of his career to the early-'80s Dire Straits albums, but totally out of step, and proudly so, with the music of the time – new romantic, power and synth pop. He opened the album Water Sign with the song "Nothing's Happening by the Sea," which was so far laid back it was almost horizontal, with a harmonica instrumental break, and the album closed with a nod to synth pop on the track "Out of the Darkness." "Love's Strange Ways" was a similarly slow-moving Dire Straits-style number with an acoustic guitar picking out some notes throughout the song. "Let It Loose" had a driving rock beat, as did "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat," the only single taken from Water Sign.
Chris Rea is not alone in the company of musicians who found fame later in life – think Jarvis Cocker, Leonard Cohen – and indeed it is interesting to note that he didn’t achieve UK Top Ten single status until the release of The Road To Hell (pt2), a record that was actually his eighteenth chart entry. Artist and painter, blues aficionado and self-confessed motoring nut, filmmaker and Italian-influenced classical music composer, eclectic and maverick are two terms that hardly come close to describing a man who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide for just being himself. Road Songs For Lovers is beautifully nuanced and a record that regularly tugs at the heartstrings and is arguably Rea’s best album to date. The album, Road Songs For Lovers, continues Rea’s obsession with travel and motion…