Chris Rea

Bit of a surprise for some on the subject of my tastes in music – I am guilty of enjoying a bit of Chris Rea on a sunny evening!

Take tonight for instance, I’m currently typing this as the sun streams through the window, I’ve a nice cold drink to hand and I’m really looking forward to the summer.

Having such a raspy, warm voice, I find Chris Rea perfect music for evenings such as this, and have been a fan of his since I was around thirteen/fourteen.

I heard ‘The Road To Hell’ (the song) on an old record of my parents around about that time, and absolutely loved it – especially the fact that the song was in two parts. Although it’s a bit of a sell-out to say it, this remains my favourite of his songs and I can all too frequently be heard singing along to this at work hehe. I just can’t resist those opening chords…

Chris Rea – The Road To Hell [part II]

When I started to hunt out more of Chris Rea’s work, MusicZone was still around (now I feel VERY old) and they used to sell ‘old’ CD’s rather cheaply (for example, you could usually pick up a Queen CD for under a fiver!).

Surprisingly, I managed to pick up the ‘new’ Chris Rea album “The Road To Hell Part 2” for a reasonably small amount, mainly because I really liked the midnight blue colour of the back cover and artwork of the front cover! Well, this was ten years ago… I think this is when my fascination with pretty things began hehe!

I especially liked the play between the cover of 1989’s The Road To Hell album, and the cover of 1999’s The Road To Hell Part 2 album…

The Road To Hell

The Road To Hell (Part 2)

However, I bought quite a lot that day, and so this didn’t get listened to until one day when I was off school and feeling rather sick. I was lying in bed, trying to get to sleep, and thought that I’d try listening to some music to see if that’d work. Perhaps not the best conditions to listen to music to – even to this day, I still associate feeling ill with this album! Weird!

That said, I would count this as one of my favourite albums of the ’90’s.

To me, the album, at the time, had such a funky almost 80’s-esque futuristic sound, whilst still staying true to how I considered his ‘sound’ to be – for a time, I just couldn’t get enough of this CD.

Some of my favourite songs on this album are:

  • New Times Square
  • E
  • Marvin
  • Can’t Get Through
  • Good Morning
  • I’m In My Car
  • Keep On Dancing

Remarkably, this album seems to have been perhaps one of his least successful – I cannot find a clip of any song from the album on YouTube and doesn’t have any music tracks from this album either.

I have read online that he was slated for the album with many people saying that Rea had lost his way, something that I can understand as this album is a little ‘clubby’ in parts (though it’s these bits that I especially like!). The album deliberately received practically no promotion, and didn’t even make it into the UK Top 40. Very little information about this album appears online it would seem… though to me, it still remains his best album!

That said, stores such as Amazon do still retail the album as new (in addition to listing resales), though most of the high street retailers, such as HMV, don’t even stock it on their websites any longer. Amazon resellers seem to do it quite cheaply, so for anyone interested, it’s definitely worth a punt in my opinion…!

My other favourite Chris Rea song is ‘Windy Town’, which comes from 1987’s Dancing With Strangers album (such a lovely name for an album I thought), which again came with some nice artwork.

So there you have it; I’m no longer a closet Chris Rea fan! 😛

About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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