Famed for fronting huge 70’s hit band Smokie, Chris Norman has gone on to carve a successful solo career since leaving the band in 1986, when his first single ‘Midnight Lady’ became a massive hit throughout Europe including holding the German No.1 slot for 6 weeks!
Now, with over 20 solo albums to his name, he’s back with a brand-new collection and sounding better than ever. It is an eclectic mix of new and original recordings that have that his unmistakable sound. The tracks are hallmarks of a true singer-songwriter with timeless melodies and memorable harmonies that soar. The single ‘Crawling Up the Wall’ is an instant classic highlighting Chris’ unique and instantly recognizable voice.
Chris Norman was destined for show business after coming from a family with connections reaching back two generations. His Grandparents toured their own concert party around England during the First World War and their daughter Pat (Chris’s mother) joined a dance troupe when she left school. Pip Norman, (Chris’s Dad) was part of a dancing/comedy act called ‘The Four Jokers’ and worked all over Europe in the 1930s/40s and had a British Royal Variety Performance to their credit. He got his first guitar at the age of seven and his early musical influences were Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Lonnie Donegan. Later the 60’s beat groups, in particular The Beatles, and the folk singer Bob Dylan, were a huge influence on Chris.
He formed a band at school and played all over the UK in the late 60s and early seventies.
By 1974 the group had developed their own sound reflecting their close three part harmonies and Chris’s distinctive vocal sound wrapped up in a guitar rock sound, a sort of mixture between Crosby, Stills & Nash and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band changed their name to ‘Smokie’ and their first album ‘Pass it Around’ was released in 1975 on Micky Most’s RAK records.
Smokie had started as an album orientated rock act and their many live experiences had given Chris and Smokie a good grounding in all the tricks of the Rock ‘n’ Roll trade. Chris remembers: “We weren’t so much interested in pop singles at first. That’s why the back cover of our first LP ‘PASS IT AROUND’ was designed in a way that made us look kind of folk/rocky instead of a Glamrock band.”
Nevertheless, by the summer of that year they had their first hit single with ‘If you think you know how to love me’. This was followed by a string of 15 hit singles including ‘Living next door to Alice’, ‘I’ll meet you at Midnight’, ‘Lay back in the arms of Someone’, etc. Plus, the very successful duet with Suzi Quatro, ‘Stumblin’ in’ which gave Chris his first taste of success outside the group. Following his departure from the group and a string of successful solo hits, in 1994 Chris was awarded ‘International video Star of the Year’ by CMT Europe for the videos ‘Jealous Heart’, ‘The Growing Years’ and ‘Red Hot Screaming Love’. Over the last 20 years Chris has been busy touring with his live band and releasing a new album every couple of years.