Chris de Burgh: Wikis


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Chris de Burgh

Background information
Birth name Christopher John Davison
Born 15 October 1948 (1948-10-15) (age 61), Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe Province, Argentina
Origin Argentinian, British and Irish
Genres Soft rock, pop rock, rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Years active 1974-Present
Labels A&M Records, Ferryman Productions, Edel Records

Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John Davison on 15 October 1948) is an Argentinian-born Irish singer-songwriter[1], perhaps most famous for his 1986 love song "The Lady in Red". He does, however, write in a wide variety of genres, and is a trained instrumentalist.


Early life

Chris de Burgh was born in Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe Province, Argentina to Colonel Charles Davison, a British diplomat, and Maeve Emily de Burgh, an Irish Secretary. His father had substantial farming interests, and he spent much of his early years in Malta, Nigeria and Zaire, as he, his mother and brother accompanied Colonel Davison on his Diplomatic and Engineering work.

The Davisons finally settled in Bargy Castle, County Wexford, a twelfth-century castle in Ireland bought by his maternal grandfather, General Sir Eric de Burgh, (KCB, DSO, OBE) - a former Chief of the General staff, Indian Army, and from a distinguished Irish/Norman family. The de Burgh family claim to have traced their roots to Hubert de Burgh, a noble under King John[2]. The castle was converted into a hotel where Chris gained a lot of early experience performing to the guests and he later assumed de Burgh as his stage name.

After attending Marlborough College in Wiltshire, England, de Burgh went on to graduate from Trinity College, Dublin with a Master of Arts degree in French, English and History. He took his mother's maiden name as his professional pseudonym.

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 début, 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 1975. That July, he released a single from the album called "Flying". It failed to make an impression in the UK, 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 ballad "The Lady in Red" in late 1986; the single became a number one hit in the U.K. (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 Christmas 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 following around the world. This is mainly due to inactivity of his previous recording label A&M Records U.K. division in U.S.[3].

In December 2007, Iranian authorities allowed de Burgh to play with Iranian group, Arian Band, in a concert which made de Burgh the first western act to perform in Iran since after the [[Iranian Revolution.[4] Chris de Burgh said in a press conference in Tehran: "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy (to visit Iran)....I am not here for any political reasons." [5][6] In the mid 1980s he actually brought on a stripper on the stage for the song "Patricia the Stripper" Even though de Burgh is based in Ireland the Irish press are less than generous in their praise for him. In a rare moment of public anger de Burgh wrote a letter of reply to the Irish Times Newspaper after a scathing review. " I wonder what they have in mind for you in your dotage? Searing critiques of Primary School Christmas plays perhaps, or judging knife sharpening competitions in Sligo?)."[7]

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 Diana, Princess of Wales 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 the funny-spirited "Patricia the Stripper", the mythological "Spanish Train", the medievally evocative The Tower, and "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.

He has been a guest performer several times on the Lebanese Star Academy finals. He is most famous in Lebanon and the Arab world for his collaboration with Lebanese diva Elissa entitled 'Lebanese Nights'. "My Father's Eyes", from The Storyman, was another hit that featured an Egyptian, Hani Hussein.

He has recently released the song 'Live for the day' a duet with Lebanese Star Academy 4 contestant Tina Yamout.

Chris de Burgh’s latest album "Footsteps" was released in Germany, Switzerland and Austria on the 21st November 2008 and is now out in the UK, featuring a bonus track unavailable anywhere else.

Personal life

Chris de Burgh has been married to his wife Diane since 1977. They have two sons, Hubie and Michael, and a daughter, Rosanna , who won the Miss World competition in 2003 for Ireland. He is an avid Liverpool F.C. supporter as is Rosanna and they often attend matches at Anfield.

In 1994, Chris had an affair with the family's 19-year-old nanny Maresa Morgan while Diane was in hospital with a broken neck from a horse-riding accident. The ensuing scandal destroyed the singer's Nice-Guy image and threatened to rip the family apart. However, he and Diane eventually patched things up and retreated into a quiet life with daughter Rosanna.[8]


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.

Studio Albums

Compilation Albums

Live Albums

  • High on Emotion: Live from Dublin, 1990 (#15)
  • Live in South Africa, 1997
  • The River Sessions, 2004
  • Live In Dortmund, 2005
  • Live In Moscow, 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)
  • The Words I Love You - Feat Arian Band (HD Quality 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)

Band Line-Up

  • 1977-1978 - Jeff Philips, Glenn Morrow, Ken Allardyce, Colin Vallance (joined in 1978)
  • 1979-1982 - Tim Wynveen, Jeff Philips, Glenn Morrow, Al Marnie, Ian Kojima
  • 1983-1994 - Danny McBride (not to be confused with Daniel "Dirty Dan" Hatton McBride), Jeff Philips, Glenn Morrow, Al Marnie, Ian Kojima
  • 1997-2001 ("Love Songs" and "Quiet Revolution" Tour) - Neil Taylor, Peter Oxendale, Tony Kiley, Dave Levy, Al Vosper
  • 2002-2004 ("Timing Is Everything" Tour) - Gary Sanctuary, Tim Cansfield, Dave Levy, Tony Kiley, Al Vosper
  • 2006-Present ("The Storyman" Tour) - Ebbe Ravn, Al Vosper, Dave Levy, Tony Kiley, Nigel Hopkins


External links

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