Chris Norman

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About Chris Norman

Known both for his solo hits in the '80s as well as his hits with the band Smokie in the '70s, Chris Norman is a British soft rock singer with an international following whose career spans several decades. A few years after the success of his 1978 Suzi Quatro duet, "Stumblin' In," he parted ways with Smokie and found solo success with his second album, 1986's Some Hearts Are Diamonds. In the decades that followed, Norman proved himself to be surprisingly prolific, delivering a new studio album every two or three years and maintaining a large fan base in Germany, where his chart success continued into the 2000s. Following a 2004 resurgence and Top Ten German hit with "Amazing," he continued releasing new material as well as career-spanning collections like 2009's The Hits! From His Smokie and Solo Years and its live companion album. Born on October 25, 1950, in Redcar, North Yorkshire, England, Norman began his musical career in the band Smokie. Originally founded in 1965, the band changed its name several times before ultimately deciding upon Smokie in the mid-'70s. Comprising Alan Silson (lead guitar, vocals), Terry Uttley (bass, vocals), and Pete Spencer (drums) in addition to Norman (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Smokie made their album debut in 1975 with Pass It Around. Their second album, Changing All the Time (1975), broke them into the pop mainstream not only in the United Kingdom but also in parts of Western Europe, where the album's single, "If You Think You Know How to Love Me," was a Top Ten hit. Subsequent albums Midnight Cafe (1976), Bright Lights and Back Alleys (1977), and The Montreux Album (1978) were also international hits. Moreover, Norman scored an international Top Ten hit single in 1978 with "Stumblin' In," a duet with Suzi Quatro. As Smokie's popularity trailed off around the turn of the decade, Norman split from the band and made his solo album debut in 1982 with Rock Away Your Teardrops. While his debut album was fairly unsuccessful, his second full-length effort, Some Hearts Are Diamonds (1986), was another story, spawning the international Top Ten smash hit single "Midnight Lady." Norman's popularity was greatest in Germany, where he racked up several additional hits during the late '80s, among them "No Arms Can Ever Hold You," "Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)," and "Broken Heroes." While Norman released a new album every couple years from the mid-'80s onward, his popularity waned in the '90s, and not until after the turn of the century did he start hitting the charts again. Once again, his popularity was greatest in Germany, where he had a banner year in 2004 with the compilation The Very Best of Chris Norman, the new album Break Away, and the Top Ten hit single "Amazing." Subsequent albums including One Acoustic Evening (2005), Million Miles (2006), and Close Up (2007) were also well received in Germany, while the career-spanning compilation The Hits! From His Smokie and Solo Years (2009) was an international success. While touring in support of the compilation, Norman recorded a 2009 performance in Berlin, yielding the concert album/DVD set The Hits! Tour: Live from Berlin later that year. Norman remained active in the studio at the start of the next decade and, beginning with 2011's Time Traveller, once again managed a new album every couple of years. Subsequent releases included There and Back (2013), Crossover (2015), and Don't Knock the Rock (2017). ~ Jason Birchmeier

Redcar, North Yorkshire, England
October 25, 1950

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