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 Chris Rea

British singer-songwriter






Chris Rea

Deltics - Magnet Records 1979 - 5

Recorded before Rea became the superstar that he once was, Deltics relies more on basic rock riffs than his later work. By turn this is both extremely tuneful and effective but also at times ordinary and mundane. It does have a certain charm, however. Every Rea album seems to have at least one glorious ballad and to me "Raincoat and a Rose" is one of the most poignant and beautiful songs he has ever written. I still remember hearing him play it live, seated at a piano at Derby Assembly Rooms when he was virtually unknown and supporting Lindisfarne. Overall Deltics is rather bitty but there are several hints of a growing songwriting talent and the impressive and lavish guitar work which was to play a part in later albums such as Road to Hell and Auberge.


Tennis - 1980 - 3.5

Sadly this did very little to enhance Rea's reputation. It's almost as if it's written to a formula with Rea mixing instrumentals with up tempo numbers and the occasional ballad that makes the whole thing sound disjointed rather than together. It's almost as if he's marking time and trying to find a style. The album is only memorable for the beautiful and wistful Distant Summers. There's a Springsteen feel to "Stick It" but the whole things is disjointed and at times the lyrics are embarrassing as on the aforementioned "Stick It" and the title track with the chorus "do you like tennis, do you like tennis, do you like tennis, yes I do."