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One Acoustic Evening

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Album Review

Chris Norman's band Smokie scored only a single Top 40 hit in the U.S. In their native Britain, though, they were stars, batting a dozen 45s into the Top 20 between 1975 and 1980. An impressive record, but nothing compared to their status on the Continent, where the group grew to godlike proportions. Inevitably, Norman launched a solo career which, while not nearly as impressive, was still successful. In more recent years, the singer/guitarist's star had somewhat dimmed, until he stormed back to fame on the German TV show Comeback. And come back Norman did with a vengeance, in the wake of the show scoring a German Top Ten hit with "Amazing." Amazingly, though, Norman didn't include that number in his set list for his DVD concert, which was recorded live in Germany. This CD is an audio record of that show. It's billed as One Acoustic Evening, and it is indeed that, but as the concert proceeds, Norman and his band get into the groove — rocking, rolling, snapping, crackling, and popping through a miasma of Smokie hits, well-chosen covers, and more. This is no soft rock night on the town, and even the most laid-back numbers have a surprising energy — so much so that when Smokie plugged their instruments in for a concert in Vienna that same year, the energy level was just about the same. That show, featured in full on the bonus disc, contains surprisingly little overlap with the first disc, just a couple of Smokie smashes, and even the medley is different. Then again, Norman had a slew of singles and album tracks to pick from, so why just play the same ones over and over? Even if you've bought the DVD, you'll want this CD set for the fabulous Vienna show bonus. In all: two superb shows, 29 excellent tracks, and a performer raring to reach new heights.


Born: 25 October 1950 in Redcar, North Yorkshire, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Known for his solo hits in the 1980s as well as his hits with the band Smokie in the '70s, Chris Norman is a British soft rock singer with an international following whose career spans several decades. Born on October 25, 1950, in Redcar, North Yorkshire, England, he began his musical career in the band Smokie. Originally founded in 1965, the band changed its name several times before ultimately deciding upon Smokie in the mid-'70s. Comprised of Alan Silson (lead guitar, vocals), Terry Uttley (bass,...
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One Acoustic Evening, Chris Norman
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