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Saturday, 29 December 2012

LINK: Chris Thompson interview

One of a few singers on this planet whose voice is familiar to almost everyone, even to those who doesn't know his name, Chris Thompson is a musicians' musician. Having shot to worldwide fame with MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND in 1976, when they brought Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light" to the mass attention, Chris quickly established a reputation that, over the years, made such different artists as Brian May and Sarah Brightman call for his help. And then there was "You're The Voice", that he co-wrote but gave to John Farnham to chart with it. Twists and turns abound, Thompson is still, at 65, doing what he does best, and still delivers, to which his recent album, "Berlin Live", is a nice testimony. And still many people mix him up with another veteran of the same name. That's where our long conversation started.

- Chris, I see you're being mistaken for a folk artist named Chris Thompson too often...
(Tiredly.) Oh yeah. I saw him the other day, actually.
- Are you comfortable with that?
That's why I put "Chris Hamlet Thompson" on the first CD. It's unfortunate we both come from New Zealand. He's a very talented guy. We had a school reunion at the beginning of this year, and I saw him [there] and we were both complaining that our songs get mixed up. But I don't think there's many people confuse us anymore.
- You just have to look at Allmusic.com where you're not only mixed up with him but also with a female singer Chris Thompson! Still, coming out of New Zealand you were born in Great Britain, so at which point you decided you had to break it big back in the UK?
I didn't really think about doing anything else [than singing] and New Zealand just didn't offer me any kind of challenges any more. I was in the great band, and we were doing very well in New Zealand, but I didn't have anywhere to put the songs that I was writing. We were a covers band, and I didn't want to do that anymore, so the only thing to do was to go to England. Luckily, I had a British passport so I could go there and work and not worry about that.

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