I wouldn't mind betting there are those amongst you that have doubtless lost track of the days over recent weeks and have welcomed the arrival of my FRIDAY MUSIC SPOT, not just for the musical distraction but that it swiftly enables you to identify that the good old weekend is about to begin.
Hopefully you have also allowed yourself, as you click the link, a moment to wonder if this weeks jolly ditty would be a much loved long forgotten favourite or whether (as is often the case) something new was about to descend upon you and take your fancy, much in the way it did mine.
Which brings me, without further ado, to this week's Star Tracker, an artist that is in part both of the above options.
Chris Rea is a name you doubtless know, yet his music remains, for me at least, largely uncharted territory. Not that his records have actually 'uncharted' - 72 singles: 33 hits and 24 albums, two of which have been UK No.1s. And while this recognition has repeated itself in Europe, especially Germany, I can find very little evidence of much success in America. Even the yuletide perennial 'Driving Home For Christmas' single, which hits the road (and the UK charts) every December appears to have never actually left the parking lot in the US.
So something familiar and new coming up. Originally released in 1983 "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat", a three and half minute song, became a longer live track, with some nice solos: piano, fantastic slide guitar from Chris and saxophone ending. Taken from a German TV show recording:
This track would evolve over the years and a 'live' show from 2006 reveals an even longer and different version - almost a 'jam', minus the sax solo - plus Chris Rea's 'strat' is now older and a bit beat up. Worth a comparison > www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRK6QpajpXQ
Further recommended listening > 'Dancing with Strangers' 1987 album. Contains 'Let's Dance' among many more. And those UK No.1 albums: 'Road To Hell' & 'Auberge'.