Chris Farlowe (born John Henry Deighton, 13 October 1940) is an English rock, blues and soul singer. He is best known for his hit single “Out of Time”, which rose to #1 in the UK Singles Chart in 1966, and his association with Colosseum and the Thunderbirds. Outside his music career, Farlowe collects war memorabilia.
Farlowe was born in Islington, North London. His musical career began with a skiffle group, the John Henry Skiffle Group, in 1957, before he joined the Johnny Burns Rhythm and Blues Quartet, in 1958. He met guitarist Bob Taylor in 1959 and, through Taylor, joined the Thunderbirds, who went on to record five singles for the Columbia label. On Island’s Sue label, he released a version of “Stormy Monday Blues” under the pseudonym Little Joe Cook, which perpetuated the myth that he was a black singer.
Farlowe moved to Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate label and recorded eleven singles, five of which were cover versions of Rolling Stones songs including “Paint It, Black”, “Think”, “Ride On, Baby”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, and “Out of Time”, which reached no. 1 (1966) in the UK Singles Chart. He recorded four more singles, the best known of which is Mike d’Abo’s “Handbags and Gladrags”. and “My Way Of Giving”, a cover of a Small Faces album track written by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane.
He began an association with the jazz rock group Colosseum in September 1970, recording a live album and two studio albums including, Daughter of Time (1970). Later from Colosseum reunion in 1994 he appeared on all Colosseum albums released.
In February 1972 he joined Atomic Rooster, and is featured on the albums Made in England (1972) and Nice ‘n’ Greasy (1973).
He sang vocals for the theme music written by Greenslade for the BBC Television series Gangsters. In 1978 he had a part in a play produced by BBC Birmingham, Curriculee Curricula, first shown on BBC Two and shot in its entirety on video at the University of Birmingham campus, with Magnus Magnusson as the narrator. Farlowe and Greenslade provided the music. He also sang on two tracks from Jimmy Page’s Death Wish II soundtrack (1982), as well as the tracks “Hummingbird”, “Prison Blues” and “Blues Anthem” on Page’s album Outrider (1988).
Chris Farlowe toured for a long time with Hamburg Blues Band, mainly in Germany.
In 2009, Farlowe toured as a featured artist with Maggie Bell and Bobby Tench as part of the “Maximum Rhythm and Blues” tour of 32 UK theatres.
On 30 July 2016, Farlowe appeared at Wembley Arena, performing his 1966 hit “Out of Time” as part of a show marking the 50th anniversary of the England football team’s victory in the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final.
Since 1999 Farlowe has appeared on stage a number of times alongside Van Morrison. (by wikipedia)
And here´s a damn good live album, recorded in 1985:
No, Chris Farlowe can no longer remember Schauburg in Bremen. But when he heard the recording from the 7 October 1985 concert, the brain of the “Thunderbirds” was astonished and impressed: “I didn’t know how good we were!” Not only was the 5-piece band in peak form, but so was the singer. Due to its sharp quality the Radio Bremen recording was just as impressing. The Repertoire was a magnificent mix of blues, rock, and rock ‘n roll, given how enthusiastic the audience’s resonance was.
For the first time an entire Thunderbirds show will be released as an impressive double album. Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds consisted at the time of keyboarder Tim Hinkley, guitarist Mo Witham, bassist Tex Corner, drummer John “The Figure” Palmer, and saxophonist Martin Winner. Aside from the instrumental “Time is Tight” by Booker T., the repertoire consists of vocal performances honoring his voice acrobatics. His a capella version of Randy Newman’s “I Think it’s Going to Rain” sounds just as impressing as the interpretations of the classic “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” “Watch Your Step” or “Shakey Ground.” After an hour and a half of the Thunderbirds one can only say: “The thrill is not gone, Mr. Farlowe!”
The M.i.G. (Made in Germany) label expand their Chris Farlowe catalogue further by issuing a superb 1985 concert recording on CD for the first time. “Bursting Over Bremen” captures Chris and a line-up of The Thunderbirds live in Schauburg, Bremen on October 7th 1985 (this was the first time that Chris had played in Germany with this group of musicians). The show was broadcast by Radio Bremen, and the recording quality is first class!
According to the sleeve notes, Chris himself doesn’t recall the show but when he heard the recording he remarked “I didn’t know how good we were!” The Thunderbirds line-up at the time consisted of Tim Hinkley (keyboards), Mo Witham (guitar), Tex Comer (bass), one-time Dr Feelgood drummer John `The Big Figure’ Martin, and Martin Winning (saxophone). The band is in sparkling form throughout, with the set a diverse mixture of blues / R&B standards (but strangely no `Out of Time’!).
Four of the tracks had previously been recorded for Chris’s 1985 album “Out Of The Blue”, while `I’ve Been Born Again’ would appear on the following year’s “Born Again” (these albums have recently been issued as a twofer by M.i.G. – Out Of The Blue / Born Again ).
The show kicks off with Bob Dylan’s `Watching The River Flow’, followed by what Chris considers his favourite from this recording – Delbert McClinton’s `Jealous Kind’. The band really hit their stride with a funky take on the Charlie Feathers number `Satisfy Susie’, notable for some terrific sax from Martin Winning. There’s a sizzling and lengthy bluesy workout of the classic `Stormy Monday Blues’ and then a fiery version of Bobby Parker’s `Watch Your Step’ (which features some wonderful lead guitar work by Mo Witham).
Chris demonstrates why he’s known as “The Voice” with a magnificent a cappella solo rendition of Randy Newman’s `I Think It’s Going To Rain Today’, before he takes a well deserved break and leaves the band to showcase an instrumental classic – Booker T & The MG’s `Time Is Tight’.
CD2 opens with the Ray Charles number `I Haven’t Found Nothing Yet’ and the band then demonstrate their funkiness again with `Shakey Ground’ (co-written by Funkadelic’s Eddie Hazel, and originally a hit for The Temptations). Next up is `I’ve Been Born Again’, and then one of the great R&B / blues songs, `The Thrill is Gone’ (written in 1951 by Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell and recorded by, amongst others, BB King).
A classic double dose of rock’n’roll follows in the guise of Little Richard’s `Lucille’ and Chuck Berry’s `Sweet Little Sixteen’. There’s an atmospheric take on `Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’ (first recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland), before the set concludes with `I Believe In You’ (no writer credit for this one) and a lively `Going Back To Louisiana’ (another song made famous by Delbert McClinton).
The two CDs are housed in an attractive foldout digipak. There are a mixture of vintage and more contemporary photographs, and 4 pages of notes about Chris’s career written by Uli Kniep. Overall, this is an excellent release – sound quality is superb, and Chris and the band are on top form! (Jimbo Starr)
Tex Corner (bass)
Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Tim Hinkley (keyboards)
John “The Figure” Palmer (drums)
Martin Winner (saxophone)
Mo Witham (guitar)
01. Watching The River Flow (Dylan) 6.24
02. Jealous Kind (McClinton) 6.44
03. Satisfy Susie (Feathers) 7.01
04. Stormy Monday Blues (Walker) 13.43
05. Watch Your Step (Parker) 4.06
06. I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (Newman) 4.08
07. Time Is Tight (Jones/Cropper/Dunn/Jackson) 3.49
01. I Haven’t Found Nothing Yet (Charles) 3.47
02. Shakey Ground (Bowen/Hazel/Boyd) 5.49
03. I’ve Been Born Again (Davis/Dean) 5.52
04. The Thrill Is Gone (Hawkins/Darnell) 8.40
05. Lucille (Penniman/Collins) 6.24
06. Sweet Little Sixteen (Berry) 5.29
07. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City (Price/Walsh) 5.47
08. I Believe In You (unknown) 4.01
09. Going Back To Louisiana (Osborn) 3.26