BMG has announced it has acquired the catalog of singer-songwriter Chris Rea.
His evergreen “Driving Home for Christmas” track is a hit yet again, sitting in the Top 10 Spotify charts in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Norway. The song was released as a B-side in 1986, but has since become a seasonal perennial in the UK every year since 2007. In the first chart week of 2022, it reached number 10 on the Official UK Singles Chart. That’s the highest position the track has achieved since it was released 34 years ago.
The acquisition includes his royalty interests in 17 studio albums, including hit tracks such as “Driving Home for Christmas, “On the Beach,” “Road to Hell,” and “Fool (If You Think It’s Over).” It also builds on Chris Rea’s existing relationship with BMG, which published his 2017 album Road Songs for Lovers–his highest-charting album in 20 years.
“Chris Rea’s integrity as a musician and his commitment to his art is legendary,” adds Alistair Norbury, BMG President Repertoire & Marketing UK. “BMG is proud to become the custodian of his music interests. Chris’s work is one of the foundation stones of British blues rock and sits happily among BMG’s peerless blues catalogue, including the work of John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, and Gary Moore.”
Chris Rea is recognized as one of rock’s greatest exponents of the slide guitar. His debut album, Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?, was released in 1978 and produced the breakout single, “Fool (If You Think It’s Over),” which reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Rea built a career throughout the ’80s in the UK and Europe, breaking through with his tenth album The Road To Hell. It reached #1 in the UK and was certified six times platinum. Its 1991 successor Auberge also reached #1 on the Official UK Albums Chart and was a hit across Europe.