Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
He found the way to Amarillo - eventually
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 04/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tony is a British singer who, for a long time, struggled to make a significant impact in his own country. He was far more popular in mainland Europe, especially Spain, where he eventually set up home.
As far as his UK chart history goes, he began in 1971 with Las Vegas, which just missed the top twenty. He then made number two with I did what I did for Maria. However, his third hit of 1971, Is this the way to Amarillo (a song written by Neil Sedaka), only just made the UK top twenty although it was number one in several European countries. Some people have joked that Brits bought the record when they visited Spain rather than buying it at home, but Tony's subsequent career suggests this is not so. In any event, Tony never actually got to Amarillo back then.
After those three hits, Tony had two minor UK hits in the seventies - Avenues and alleyways (originally from the TV series The protectors, the song was also used in a movie, Love honor and obey) in 1973 and Drive safely darling in 1976. He then disappeared completely from the UK charts for many years.
Despite his modest UK chart success, he eventually returned to the UK charts via some influential British fans. First to the rescue came Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp) who wrote Walk like a panther, which gave Tony his second UK top ten hit - twenty-eight years after his first.
Tony only had to wait six years for his next big UK hit, when another fan, Peter Kay, used one of his old songs (Is this the way to Amarillo) in Phoenix nights. The song was given a further boost when released as a UK charity single in 2005. Suddenly, the song that the British public had given a lukewarm response to in 1971 was being played everywhere and gave Tony his first UK number one hit. Everybody wanted to know about Amarillo and the Texas city got plenty of enquiries from Brits. Tony finally made that trip to Amarillo. Whether the woman he originally sang about is still waiting for him, I doubt as thirty-four years have passed since he first asked the question.
This compilation contains all of Tony's UK hits up to April 2005, together with some new recordings (will one of these provide a follow-up hit?) and a selection of older recordings.
Apart from his own hits, you can hear Tony's covers of Solitaire (a Neil Sedaka song that became a UK hit for both the Carpenters and Andy Williams), Most beautiful girl (Charlie Rich), The way we were (Barbra Streisand), You've lost that loving feeling (Righteous brothers) and Home loving man (Andy Williams).
Tony sounds a bit like Tom Jones, whose career also revived in the late nineties. If you enjoy the music of Tom Jones, give Tony a chance."
Powerful vocal pop
Pieter | Johannesburg | 04/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Th UK singer Tony Christie first made the charts in 1971. With his powerful voice and choice of good tunes, he falls into the Tom Jones/Engelbert Humperdinck category of balladeer.
If not quite country, his early songs all had an American Western flavour, like the dramatic power ballad Las Vegas, the tragic story song I Did What I Did For Maria and the flowing Is This The Way To Amarillo which was a UK hit again recently.
His minor hits from the 1970s like Avenues And Alleyways are still quite enjoyable too. In 1978 Christie returned with the beautiful ballad On This Night Of A Thousand Stars from the original studio soundtrack to Evita. The sequence of hits is not strictly chronological, but they do fit into a pattern of the 70s stuff first and the very latest music last.
This collection also contain his more than adequate cover versions of classic songs from that era such as Home Loving Man, Solitaire, You've Lost That Loving Feeling, The Way We Were and Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast. Walk Like A Panther is a hit from the late 1990s, and the compilation includes some brand new tracks.
If you like dramatic and tuneful power ballads, you'll find much to appreciate in the work of Tony Christie. The music has aged surprisingly well.