View Full Version : "Describe the Chris the B" ... Urgh!

11-07-2007, 08:57:35
Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John Davison on October 15, 1948) is an Irish musician and songwriter. An art rocker who occasionally writes pop-oriented material, Chris de Burgh has never been as popular in his native Britain or the United States as he was in other areas of the world. In America, he's only managed two Top 40 hits 1983's "Don't Pay the Ferryman" (number 34) and the number three ballad "The Lady in Red" (1986). In Britain, he's had the same number of Top 40 singles "The Lady in Red" was a number one hit and "Missing You" peaked at number three yet he's had a number of minor hits. Nevertheless, he has gained an astounding popularity in other countries, particularly Germany, Norway, Iran and Brazil.

1 Biography
2 Performing career
3 Famous Songs
4 Critical Responses
5 Discography
5.1 Albums and Compilations
5.2 Videos and DVDs
5.3 UK Top 100 Singles
6 Band Line-Up
7 References
8 External links

Chris de Burgh was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Charles Davison, a British diplomat, and Maeve Emily de Burgh, an Irish secretary. His father's career moved the family to numerous places around the globe such as Malta, Nigeria, and Zaire. When Chris de Burgh was twelve, the family returned home to live in Tomhaggard in County Wexford, Ireland, where his father bought the twelfth century Bargy Castle and converted it into a hotel.

Privately educated at the English public school Marlborough College in Wiltshire, de Burgh went on to graduate from Trinity College, Dublin. As a performer, he adopted his mother's maiden name as his stage name. The de Burgh family claim to have traced their roots to King Richard the Lionheart[citation needed].

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 debut, 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 of 1975. That July, he released a single from the album called "Flying". It didn't make an impression in the U.K., 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 U.K. or U.S. while they racked up big sales in European and South American countries. In 1981, he had his first U.K. 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 on the U.K. charts and number 43 in the U.S., 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 U.S. and 11 in the U.K.
Chris de Burgh had an across-the-board success with the languid ballad "The Lady in Red" in late 1986; the single became a number one hit in England (number three in America) and its accompanying album, Into the Light, reached number two in the U.K. (number 25 in the U.S.). That Christmas season, a re-release of de Burgh's 1976 holiday song "A Spaceman Came Travelling" became a Top 40 hit in the U.K. "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 U.S. charts again and his commercial fortunes began to slide slightly in Britain in the early '90s, yet he retained a devoted following around the world. This is mainly due to inactivity of his previous recording lable A&M Records in U.S..

Famous Songs
Chris De Burgh's most famous song is "The Lady in Red" from the 1986 album Into the Light. That album also included the song "For Rosanna," written to celebrate the 1984 birth of his daughter Rosanna Davison, who would later go on to win the 'Miss World' title in 2003. He also has two sons named Hubie and Michael by his wife Diane.

In a recent interview, de Burgh revealed how the late Princess Diana 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 funny-spirited "Patricia the Stripper", the mythological "Spanish Train", and the hopeful narrative "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, Chris de Burgh teamed up with Lebanese singer Elissa for the recording of his single "Lebanese Night," which became a big hit in Lebanon. His latest CD release The Storyman contains the title track "The Storyman" which in its lyrics lists 30 of his most famous tracks.

Critical Responses
His musical style, as well as his lyrics - which are full of sometimes saccharine romantic imagery - have often made him the subject of mockery by, amongst others, the comedian Bill Bailey, who refers to him as "the monobrowed purveyor of ultimate filth", lampooning his style in the song "Beautiful Ladies in Emergency Situations" (in which he describes saving all the beautiful women of the world from some unknown peril, then psychopathically slaughtering all the women he considers ugly), and a de Burgh-style version of "The Combine Harvester" by The Wurzels. "Lady in Red" is parodied with a hillbilly version ("Cousin In Red"), and West Country and Cockney versions.

Mark Lamarr has also been known to slate de Burgh - on one episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks a clip was shown of a de Burgh video, to which Lamarr responded by blindfolding himself and shouting "Die!" until the end of the clip.

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.

Far Beyond These Castle Walls, 1974
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
Best Moves, 1981 (#65)
The Getaway, 1982 (#30)
Man on the Line, 1984 (#11)
The Very Best of Chris de Burgh, 1984, (#6)
Into the Light, 1986 (#2)
Flying Colours, 1988 (#1)
Spark to a Flame: The Very Best of Chris de Burgh, 1989 (#4)
High on Emotion: Live from Dublin, 1990 (#15)
Power of Ten, 1992 (#3)
This Way Up, 1994 (#5)
Beautiful Dreams, 1995 (#33)
Live in South Africa, 1997
The Love Songs, 1997 (#8)
Quiet Revolution, 1999 (#23)
The Ultimate Collection - Notes from Planet Earth, 2001 (#19)
Timing Is Everything, 2002 (#41)
The Road To Freedom, 2004
Live In Dortmund, 2005
The Ultimate Collection, 2005
The Storyman, 2006
Gold, 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)

UK Top 100 Singles
Don't Pay the Ferryman (1982 - #48)
High On Emotion (1984 - #44)
Ecstasy Of Flight (I Love The Night) (1984 - #80)
Fire On The Water (1986 - #88)
The Lady In Red (1986 - #1)
Fatal Hesitation (1986 - #44)
A Spaceman Came Travelling/The Ballroom Of Romance (1986 - #40)
The Simple Truth (A Child Is Born) (1987 - #55)
Missing You (1988 - #3)
Tender Hands (1988 - #43)
Sailing Away (1989 - #78)
This Waiting Heart (1989 - #59)
Diamond In The Dark (1989 - #95)
Don't Pay The Ferryman (live) (1990 - #84)
The Simple Truth (1991) (1991 - #36)
Separate Tables (1992 - #30)
Blonde Hair Blue Jeans (1994 - #51)
The Snows Of New York (1995 - #60)
So Beautiful (1997 - #29)
When I Think Of You (1999 - #59)

11-07-2007, 08:59:19

11-07-2007, 08:59:36
That's a whole lot of copy & paste.

C.G.B. Spender
11-07-2007, 09:04:29
Interesting though

In 2001 he travelled to Germany and recorded "Separate Tables" in a new duet version with Vicky Leandros