One of the great British R&B voices, this year Chris Farlowe celebrates 50 years in the business! He has worked with Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Eric Burdon and remains a favourite special guest of Van Morrison’s live shows and is most famous as a solo artist for his massively successful 1966 number one single Out Of Time.
Born John Deighton in Essex on 13 Oct. 1940, Chris Farlowe began his musical career with The John Henry Skiffle Group (inspired by his hero Lonnie Donegan) but after adopting a new name the band soon evolved into the R’n’R combo Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds (Farlowe being a nod to guitarist Tal Farlowe). The band recorded 5 singles on EMI’s Columbia Records but success came only after a move to Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label. Accordingly Farlowe got to record a lot of Jagger/Richards compositions including Think and his huge hit single Out Of Time with Jagger even sitting in as occasional producer. Also recorded on Immediate was the original Handbags And Gladrags, written by Manfred Mann’s Mike d’Abo for Chris. During 1965-1970 Farlowe was Immediate’s most prolific singles artist. Subsequent years saw him play with prog rockers Colosseum and the acclaimed Atomic Rooster before reforming The Thunderbirds. Chart success was achieved once again in ’75 with the re-release of Out of Time and the 80s, 90s and 2000s saw Chris guest on albums such as Jimmy Page’s celebrated Outrider as well as release his own albums The Voice, Glory Bound and 2003’s Farlowe That.
Hungary For The Blues was recorded live at the Gastroblues Festival Parks, Hungary on June 18th 2000, while tracks 13 & 14 were recorded live at Charlys Musickkneipe, Oldenburg on October 8th 2004. Joining Chris on Hungary For The Blues are Norman Beaker (Guitar), John Price (Bass), Paul Burgess (Drums, ex-10cc), Lenni (Saxophones) and Dave Baldwin (Keyboards), except for tracks 13 & 14 which feature Damian Hand (Saxophone) and Andy Kingslow (Keyboards).
Out of the Blue marked Chris Farlowe’s return to American soul music and blues, after a decade-long hiatus caused by a road accident injury and a series of gigs with other players. It was as though he’d picked up right where he’d left off at Immediate Records in 1970, without skipping a beat — opening with Willie Dixon’s “I Ain’t Superstitious,” he sounds so American and so black that listeners could still do double-takes after 20 years in the spotlight for the singer. “The Thrill Is Gone” and “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” are among the best cuts, but the whole album is worthwhile and then some.
When Chris Farlowe had a chance meeting with legendary record producer Mike Vernon (John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac and many more), he hadn’t made an album of new material for over ten years. So with a new Thunderbirds lineup of Mo Witham on guitar, Tim Hinkley on Keyboards, Big George Webley on bass, Feelgoods drummer The Big Figure on drums and Steve Gregory playing saxophones he entered Mike’s studio in Chipping Norton to record what was to become this album, Out of the Blue. Ex Thunderbird guitarist Albert Lee also makes an appearance here and there. The bonus tracks featured here were recorded in New York in late 1969 for Polydor Records in the USA but were never released. They have been previously released on the “Rock n Roll Soldier Anthology,” which is no longer available. This is Chris Farlowe doing what he does best, singing the blues.
It’s always a thrill going through hundreds of songs for a new album. Listening to material from Johnny Burnett to Delbert McClinton and Doris Day to Johnny Ray, I hope you like the final choice as much as I had choosing and recording them. Many thanks to my Band, Norman, John, Paul, Lenni, Dave and Damian and special thanks to Miller Anderson, The Chanter Sisters and my friend Leigh Blonde from Holland for their contributions. Also very special thanks to Van Morrison for writing and singing with me on ‘Sitting on Top of the World’. Not forgetting Adrian and Pam for all things web, Trevor for looking after the shop, Kris my manager and Kenny for the production, Ziggy for non-stop coffee, Renate Wagner for Ziggy, Fritz Lang for the beers, Judith Lanzendorf for the cheesecake, Mike Durschimdt for the tours, my fans and of course my Mum who without her, all this would not be possible.Can’t wait to do the next album.
Chris Farlowe February 2003