Chris de Burgh


Chris de Burgh
Chris de Burgh
Background information
Birth name Christopher John Davison
Born 15 October 1948 (1948-10-15) (age 63), Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe Province, Argentina
Origin Argentinian, Irish and British
Genres Soft rock, pop rock, rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Years active 1974–present
Labels A&M Records, Ferryman Productions, Edel Records
Website http://www.cdeb.com

Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John Davison, 15 October 1948) is a British/Irish singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1986 love song "The Lady in Red".

Contents

Early life

De Burgh was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, to Colonel Charles Davison, a British diplomat, and Maeve Emily de Burgh, an Irish secretary. His father had substantial farming interests, and he spent much of his early years in Malta, Nigeria and Zaire, as he, his mother and brother accompanied Colonel Davison on his diplomatic and engineering work.

The Davisons finally settled in Bargy Castle, County Wexford, a twelfth-century castle in Ireland bought by his maternal grandfather, General Sir Eric de Burgh, a former Chief of the General Staff, British Indian Army, and from a distinguished Hiberno-Norman family. The castle was converted into a hotel where Chris gained much early experience performing to the guests and he later assumed de Burgh as his stage name.

After attending Marlborough College in Wiltshire, England, de Burgh went on to graduate from Trinity College, Dublin with a Master of Arts degree in French, English and History. He took his mother's maiden name as his professional stage name.

Performing career

Chris de Burgh signed his first contract with A&M Records in 1974, and supported Supertramp on their Crime of the Century tour, building himself a small fan base. His début album, Far Beyond These Castle Walls, was a folk-tinged stab at fantasy in the tradition of the Moody Blues that failed to chart upon its release in February 1975. That July, he released a single called "Turning Round" from the album, released outside the UK and Ireland as "Flying". It failed to make an impression in the UK, but it stayed on top of the Brazilian charts for 17 weeks. This became a familiar pattern for the singer/songwriter, as every one of his '70s albums failed to chart in the UK or US while they racked up big sales in European and South American countries. In 1981, he had his first UK chart entry with Best Moves, a collection culled from his early albums. It set the stage for 1982's Rupert Hine produced The Getaway, which reached number 30 in the UK charts and number 43 in the US, thanks to the eerie single "Don't Pay the Ferryman". Chris de Burgh's follow-up album, Man on the Line, also performed well, charting at 69 in the US and 11 in the UK.

Chris de Burgh had an across-the-board success with the ballad "The Lady in Red" in late 1986; the single became a number one hit in the UK (number three in America) and its accompanying album, Into the Light, reached number two in the UK. (number 25 in the U.S.). That Christmas season, a re-release of de Burgh's 1976 Christmas song "A Spaceman Came Travelling" became a Top 40 hit in the UK. Flying Colours, his follow-up to Into the Light, entered the British charts at number one upon its 1988 release, yet it failed to make the American charts. De Burgh never hit the US charts again and his commercial fortunes began to slide slightly in Britain in the early '90s, yet he retained a following around the world. This is mainly due to inactivity of his previous recording label A&M Records UK division in U.S.[1]

In the mid 1980s he actually brought on a stripper on the stage for the song "Patricia the Stripper" Even though de Burgh is based in Ireland the Irish press are less than generous in their praise for him. In a rare moment of public anger de Burgh wrote a letter of reply to The Irish Times after a scathing review: "I wonder what they have in mind for you in your dotage"? Searing critiques of Primary School Christmas plays perhaps, or judging knife sharpening competitions in Sligo?." [2]

In December 2007, Iranian authorities allowed de Burgh to play with Iranian group, Arian Band, in a concert which made de Burgh the first western act to perform in Iran after the Iranian Revolution.[3] Chris de Burgh said in a press conference in Tehran: "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy (to visit Iran)....I am not here for any political reasons." [4]

Famous songs

Chris de Burgh's most famous song is "The Lady in Red" from the 1986 album Into the Light. In a recent interview, de Burgh revealed how the late Diana, Princess of Wales came to see him perform at a private concert; and how after the performance, Diana approached him backstage to thank him for writing the song "The Lady in Red". Apparently, Diana was under the impression that the song was written for (or dedicated to) her, since she was known for loving to wear the colour red. De Burgh was honoured for the compliment and admiration, but he revealed to her the real story behind the song. Speaking on the BBC series This Is Your Life in the 1990s, de Burgh said that the song was inspired by the memory of meeting his wife Diane, and how men so often cannot even remember what their wives were wearing when they first met. His own website's FAQ puts it this way:

Q. Is the song "The Lady In Red" written about Diane, Chris' wife?

A. There are a lot of different answers to this that Chris has apparently been heard to say. However, the real answer is that this song was inspired by a moment when Chris saw Diane across a crowded nightclub, without at first realising it was her. As a result he realised that often people never quite appreciate that the most important person in their lives is taken for granted, and how after a while you fail to notice the things that brought you together. This was the basis of the song but it wasn't written either for or about Diane.

Other notable songs include the funny-spirited "Patricia the Stripper", the mythological "Spanish Train", the medievally evocative "The Tower", and "A Spaceman Came Travelling". Some of his songs deal with death "Don't Pay the Ferryman" (with its background quote from The Tempest), whereas others like "Missing You" plainly deal with romance; "Borderline" and "Say Goodbye To It All" deal with themes of war, and its futility. The latter is based loosely on Hemingway's novel A Farewell To Arms. In 2001, he travelled to Germany and recorded "Separate Tables" in a new duet version with Vicky Leandros. His songs have appeared in films as diverse as Arthur 2, American Psycho and Dodgeball and his records have reported sales of more than forty million units internationally. For the album Timing is Everything, he teamed up with Lebanese singer Elissa for the recording of his single "Lebanese Night", which became a big hit in Lebanon. His CD release The Storyman contains the title track "The Storyman" which — in its lyrics — lists 30 of his most famous tracks.

He has been a guest performer several times on the Lebanese Star Academy finals. He is most famous in Lebanon and the Arab world for his collaboration with Lebanese diva Elissa entitled 'Lebanese Nights'. "My Father's Eyes", from The Storyman, was another hit that featured an Egyptian, Hani Hussein.

Band line-up

  • 1977–1978 – Jeff Philips, Glenn Morrow, Ken Allardyce, Colin Vallance (joined in 1978)
  • 1979–1982 – Tim Wynveen, Jeff Philips, Glenn Morrow, Al Marnie, Ian Kojima
  • 1983–1994 – Danny McBride (not to be confused with Daniel "Dirty Dan" Hatton McBride), Jeff Philips, Glenn Morrow, Al Marnie, Ian Kojima
  • 1997–2001 ("Love Songs" and "Quiet Revolution" Tour) – Neil Taylor, Peter Oxendale, Tony Kiley, Dave Levy[disambiguation needed ], Al Vosper
  • 2002–2004 ("Timing Is Everything" Tour) – Gary Sanctuary, Tim Cansfield, Dave Levy[disambiguation needed ], Tony Kiley, Al Vosper
  • 2006–Present ("The Storyman" Tour) – Ebbe Ravn, Al Vosper, Dave Levy[disambiguation needed ], Tony Kiley, Nigel Hopkins

Personal life

Chris de Burgh has been married to his wife Diane since 1977 and lives in Enniskerry, County Wicklow in Ireland. They have two sons, Hubie and Michael, and a daughter, Rosanna, who won the Miss World competition in 2003 for Ireland. He is an avid Liverpool F.C. supporter as is Rosanna and they often attend matches at Anfield.

In 1994, he was found to have had an affair with his children's 19 year old Irish nanny, Maresa Morgan, who was assisting the family while de Burgh's wife, Diane was recuperating in the hospital from a broken neck during a horse-riding accident. His daughter Rosanna, a model, indicated during an interview with The Irish Independent that she held little sympathy for Morgan, regarding the latter's portrayal of herself as a victim as "pathetic" and hoped "she pays" for her mistake". She forgave her father for his affair.[5] Ms. Morgan was so traumatised, she moved to France following Davison's comments.[6]

De Burgh has pursued and won 16 defamation actions.[7]The Irish Independent said he has always been a bit prickly about criticism. Peter Crawley, a theatre reviewer at The Irish Times, found this out the hard way when he wrote a less than sympathetic review of de Burgh's show in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre in September 2009. Crawley noted: "He departs the stage for 'Lady in Red', invading boxes and draping himself over audience members . . . Certain toes will never uncurl after this experience, but it is almost admirable how unaltered de Burgh has remained by the flow of time." In a lengthy, much-publicised reply to the critic, de Burgh made his feelings known, particularly in the postscript:-

"We were wondering by way of explanation and, as you seem to portray yourself as a bitter and unfulfilled man, were you much teased by your school chums in the schoolyard and called 'Creepy Crawley'?" De Burgh wrote.[8]

Discography

Albums and compilations

Chris de Burgh was signed to A&M Records for many years (1974–2004), but he now has his own label, Ferryman Productions. His recent albums are released by German label, Edel Records.

Studio albums

  • Far Beyond These Castle Walls, 1975 (#1 Brazil)
  • Spanish Train and Other Stories, 1975 (#78 in 1985)
  • At the End of a Perfect Day, 1977
  • Crusader, 1979 (#72 in 1986)
  • Eastern Wind, 1980 #1 Norway
  • The Getaway, 1982 (#30 UK, #1 Germany, #43 US)
  • Man on the Line, 1984 (#11 UK, #1 Germany, #69 US, #1 Switzerland)
  • Into the Light, 1986 (#2 UK, #2 Germany, #1 Ireland, #25 US)
  • Flying Colours, 1988 (#1 UK, #1 Ireland, #1Germany)
  • Power of Ten, 1992 (#3 UK, #1 Germany, #3 Switzerland)
  • This Way Up, 1994 (#5 UK, #4 Germany)
  • Beautiful Dreams, 1995 (#33 UK, #29 Germany, #24 Switzerland)
  • Quiet Revolution, 1999 (#23 UK, #6 Germany, #10 Switzerland)
  • Timing Is Everything, 2002 (#41 UK, #12 Germany, #18 Switzerland)
  • The Road To Freedom, 2004 (#75 UK, #5 Germany, #22 Switzerland, #18 Netherlands, #39 Austria, #42 Belgium)
  • The Storyman, 2006 #38 UK, #8 Germany, #28 Switzerland, #18 Netherlands)
  • Footsteps, 2008 (#4 UK, #9 Germany (Platinum [9]), #22 Switzerland, #12 Denmark, #22 Ireland, #38 Austria, #40 Poland, #55 Sweden)
  • Moonfleet & Other Stories, 2010 (#25 UK, #33 Ireland, #3 Germany (Gold [9]), #31 Switzerland, #42 Austria, #100 Canada)
  • Footsteps 2, 2011 (#38 UK, #10 Germany, #19 Switzerland)

Compilation albums

  • Best Moves, 1981 (#65 UK, #5 Germany, #4 Norway)
  • The Very Best of Chris de Burgh, 1984, (#6)
  • Spark to a Flame: The Very Best of Chris de Burgh, 1989 (#4 UK, #2 Germany)
  • The Love Songs, 1997 (#8 UK, #51 Germany)
  • The Ultimate Collection, 2000
  • Notes from Planet Earth - The Ultimate Collection, 2001 (#19 UK)
  • Gold, 2007
  • Much More Than This (Box Set) 2007
  • Now and Then, 2008 (#12 UK)

Live albums

  • High on Emotion: Live from Dublin, 1990 (#15)
  • Live in South Africa, 1997
  • The River Sessions, Recorded Live at the Glasgow Apollo, 8 November 1981 – double CD 2004
  • Live In Dortmund, 2005 #39 Germany
  • Live In Moscow, 2007

Videos and DVDs

  • Chris de Burgh - The Video, 1983 (Video)
  • The Munich Concert, 1985 (Video)
  • High on Emotion: Live from Dublin, 1990 (Video)
  • Beautiful Dreams, 1995 (Video and DVD)
  • Benefit for Volendam, 2001 (Video and DVD)
  • The Road To Freedom - Live in Concert (DVD)
  • The Words I Love You – Feat Arian Band (HD Quality DVD)
  • Footsteps – Live In Concert – With Band. (2010 DVD), features unreleased songs such as "The Diary of Mary Rose"

UK and world top 200 singles

  • Hold on (1974 -#)
  • Flying/Turning Around (1975 – #1 in Brazil 17 weeks)
  • A Spaceman Came Travelling (1976 – #1 in Ireland, #3 France)
  • Just Another Poor Boy (1977 – #8 in South Africa)
  • The Devils' Eye (1979) – #)
  • The Traveller (1980)- #106 US)
  • Sailor (1981 – #16 in Ireland)
  • Waiting for the Hurricane (1981 – #)
  • Don't Pay the Ferryman (1982 – #48 UK, #5 Australia, #9 Ireland, #24 Germany, #34 US, #29 US Rock, #7 Canada, #6 France, #19 Poland)
  • The Getaway (1982 – #8 Norway, #24 Ireland)
  • Ship to Shore, (1983 – #71 US, #69 Germany, #4 France)
  • Where peaceful Waters Flow (1983 – #17 Ireland, #52 Germany)
  • Borderline (1983 – #12 Ireland)
  • High On Emotion (1984 – #44 UK, #1 France, #12 Germany, #44 US, #3 US ROCK #5 Ireland, #5 Switzerland, Austria # 12, Canada #11, )
  • Ecstasy Of Flight (I Love The Night) (1984 – #80 UK, #20 Ireland, #49 Germany, #29 Switzerland, France #1, Poland #17)
  • Sight and Touch (1985 – #)
  • Fire On The Water (1986 – #88 UK, #19 Ireland, #46 Germany, #16 Switzerland)
  • The Lady in Red #1 in 15 Countries (1986 – #1 UK, #3 US, #1 Ireland, #5 Germany, #18 Switzerland)
  • Fatal Hesitation (1986 – #44 UK, #7 Ireland, #20 US Adult Contemporary)
  • A Spaceman Came Travelling/The Ballroom Of Romance (1986 – #40 UK, #15 Ireland)
  • One Word (Straight from the Heart),( 1987 -#60 Germany, #4 France)
  • The Simple Truth (A Child Is Born) (1987 – #55 UK, #10 Ireland, #31 Germany )
  • Love is my decision (1988 – #36 US (Adult Contemporary))
  • Missing You (1988 – #3 UK, #38 US (Adult Contemporary), #1 Ireland, #3 Germany, #20 Switzerland, #17 Poland)
  • Tender Hands (1989 – #43 UK, #18 Ireland, #10 France, #40 Poland, #70 Japan)
  • Sailing Away (1989 – #78 UK, #9 Germany, #56 Switzerland, #8 France)
  • This Waiting Heart (1989 – #59 UK, #13 Germany, #15 Ireland, #27 Switzerland)
  • Diamond In The Dark (1989 – #95 UK)
  • Don't Pay The Ferryman (live) (1990 – #84 UK)
  • The Simple Truth (1991) (1991 – #36 UK re-issue)
  • Separate Tables (1992 – #30 UK, #14 Ireland, #39 Germany, #25 Switzerland, #9 France, #46 Poland)
  • By My Side (1992 – #15 Germany)
  • Making the Perfect Man (1992 – #30 UK, #4 France)
  • Shine on ( 1992 – #)
  • Blonde Hair Blue Jeans (1994 – #51 UK )
  • This Silent World (1994 #)
  • Here is Your Paradise (1994 #)
  • The Snows Of New York (1995 – #60 UK)
  • I'm not crying over you (1996- #78 UK)
  • Riding on a rainbow ( 1996- #49 Poland)
  • So Beautiful (1997 – #29 UK, #43 Poland, #64 Brazil)
  • Forevermore (1998 – #17 Latvia)
  • When I Think Of You (1999 – # UK 59)
  • A Woman's Heart (2000 – #50 Poland)
  • The Same Sun, (2000 – #)
  • Two Sides to Every Story (2001 #172 UK)
  • Lebanese Night (2002 – #1 Lebanon)
  • Guilty Secret (2002 – #121 UK, #48 Poland)
  • Five Past Dreams (2004 – #)
  • Patricia the Stripper (2005– #3 Ireland)
  • One World (2006 – #99 Germany)
  • A Spaceman came travelling (2007- #UK 151)
  • A Spaceman came travelling (2009- #UK 167)
  • The Bells of Christmas/You'll Never Walk Alone (2009 – #UK)
  • Everywhere I Go (2010 – #34 UK airplay chart)
  • A Spaceman came travelling (2010 - new recording #187 UK)
  • Lonely Sky – Ben & Jamie Hazelby feat Chris De Burgh (2010 – #36 UK Singles Chart 26/12/2010, #4 UK itunes chart)
  • Go Where Your Heart Believes (2011)
  • S.O.S (2011)

Filmography

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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