Monday, 26 March 2012
Featured artist Chris Rea
A compilation of tracks from Rea's '80s albums, “New Light Through Old Windows”, was released in 1988 and sold well in the U.K. and Europe and charted in the U.S. Rea followed it up with the critically acclaimed “The Road to Hell”, which many regarded as his best album. It and its follow-up, “Auberge”, went to the top of the U.K. album charts, but did not prove as successful in the U.S., where he has failed to chart with his subsequent releases.
After being diagnosed with pancreatitis, Rea underwent an operation called a Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy), with a predicted 50% chance of survival. In 2001, Rea promised himself that if he recovered, he would be returning to his blues roots. This near brush with death was the catalyst for a change in musical direction and motivation.
In 2005 he released “Blue Guitars”, an eleven CD collection of 137 blues-inspired tracks recorded in eighteen months, complete with his own paintings as album covers. It is seen by himself as his finest work to date.
The fun “The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Blue Notes” appeared in 2008, and he released “The Santo Spirito Blues” in 2011.