TILT Music Blog – Tony Christie (Made In Scheffield – 2008)
A casualty of destiny got the music of this artist right on my lap. One of those invites that one tends to ignore on the myspace social network, only this time I just went ahead and listened to Tony Christie’s music. I must say it’s been a while since I’ve heard something like this without looking for it.
This guy is no new kid on the block (pun intended) by a longshot. The career of Tony Christie goes back to the seventies where he was a regular in the now laughable vintage attire club and had a nice set of hits. Unfortunately I was not around here to know if his music made it to the United States at that time, but I do know he had been working for a while. Now thanks to the globalization features of the Internet, I can come across music from anywhere out there.
What I came across this time thru his myspace was his most recent work called “Made In Scheffield” released this year. It is a fantastic album with lot of reminences from the old days, lots of country influence and a little zoot here and there. What makes this album is Christie’s voice which in my opinion is highly comparable to that of the late Mr. Cash. Specially this album I can compare to “American IV: The Man Comes Around“, which also had special guests and Johnny made covers of other current artists such as “Hurt” from Nine Inch Nails. I know they come from two different worlds, both in music and in location, but similarities are there now in their later days.
This particular album from Tony Christie counts with a particular story of interest to some. A long time fan of him, Richard Hawley, sent him a demo of a song a while back, but he never got a hold of it. Later it was Tony who got hooked with Hawley’s music. Finally they met and Tony invited him to participate in the recording of a song, but as it turns out, Richard Hawley and friend Colin Elliot co produced the entire album.
Among the songs that hit you right away is the first one “The Only Ones Who Know“, a song by The Artic Monkeys that Christie makes his own in a more sutle way opening up with some orchestral string arrangement. The second song in the album is “Perfect Moon” and it has a 50’s crooner sound to it with sone nice arpegio guitars in the background. The third song “Born To Cry” which happens to be the current single for the album is just the most beautiful arrangement of a song i’ve heard in a long time. From the slow start, to the crescendo, to the screeching guitar instances that occur and most than anything the great range of the vocals. And if I keep this up I would probably review all of the songs, so I’ll just mention quickly three more that I think are worth listening from “Going Home Tomorrow” with a country feel to it, “Louise” which is a version of The Human League with a sad tone and a piano that reminds me a bit to Bon Jovi’s “Always” and to finally, “Coles Corner” that song that Richard Hawley had send him years back.
So in the end this album is just a sweet find that I feel lucky to come across. Not only does it expand my musical knowledge but I was able to find a singer that has been making great music for a while. From what briefly I have been able to find, his music was more commercial with hits such as “avenues and alleways” in the seventies, but the result of this album and the people involved in it, makes it memorable. It is a great voice that more people should get acquainted with.
Video for “Born To Cry” 2008
Video for “Avenues And Alleways” 1973