Chris Rainbow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chris Rainbow
Birth name Christopher James Harley
Born (1946-11-18) 18 November 1946 (age 68)
Glasgow, Scotland
Genres Pop, ambient music
Occupation(s) Singer, record producer, songwriter
Years active 1971–present
Labels Vital Spark Music
Associated acts Alan Parsons Project, Runrig, Camel

Chris Rainbow (born Christopher James Harley, 18 November 1946, Glasgow) is a Scottish[1] rock singer and musician[2] who had two hit songs, "Give Me What I Cry For" and "Solid State Brain" in the 1970s.

Apart from his solo career, he also made frequent vocal contributions to The Alan Parsons Project, starting on their 1979 Eve album through to their 1987 album Gaudi, and Eric Woolfson's Freudiana (1990) (an APP album in all but name).

Early life and name[edit]

He was born the son of James Harley and Pamela Clapham. He adopted the stage name "Rainbow" to avoid confusion with Steve Harley, saying:

"Steve Harley was at his peak and I didn't want any confusion. The name Rainbow was found one evening as me and some friends were watching TV and the reporter's name flashed on the screen as 'Christopher Rainbow', so that was that."

The Alan Parsons Project[edit]

Before joining the Project, Rainbow was involved in a band called Hopestreet, 1972-3. Following this he recorded first as Christopher Rainbow then Chris Rainbow and released three solo albums Home of the Brave in 1975, Looking Over My Shoulder in 1977, and White Trails in 1979. Tracks from the latter two albums are collected on The Best of Chris Rainbow, 1972–1980, which has appeared in single and double CD sets and included radio spots, and rare and unreleased material. At this time Rainbow received much wider recognition for his music through the support of Kenny Everett, then on Capital Radio in London, who featured his music extensively. Some of the jingles that Rainbow made for Capital at this time were later released on an album of out-takes, demos and unreleased material.[3]


Rainbow recorded and toured with Camel, including singing some lead vocals on studio albums The Single Factor (1982) and Stationary Traveller (1984). He worked with Camel keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel on his 1984 album Heart of the Universe in a duo format, performing five lead vocals.

More recently, Rainbow has produced several albums for the Scottish Gaelic rock group Runrig.[1]

Record studio[edit]

Rainbow also runs the Vital Spark Music Studio on the Isle of Skye.

Radio Jingles[edit]

Rainbow wrote, produced and recorded jingles for Capital Radio 95.8FM 1973 to 1984 for Kenny Everett, Mike Aspel, Tommy Vance, David Symonds, and others.[citation needed] The jingles were arranged for broadcast by Tommy Vance and Terence Dackombe.



  • 1975: Home of the Brave UK-LP/Jap-LP
  • 1978: Looking over My Shoulder UK-LP/Jap-LP
  • 1979: White Trails UK-LP/Jap-LP
  • 198?: The Instrumental Chris Rainbow UK mini-LP
  • 1985: Body Music (video)
  • 1993: Home of the Brave Jap-CD
  • 1993: Looking over My Shoulder Jap-CD
  • 1993: White Trails Jap-CD
  • 2001: The Chris Rainbow Anthology, 1974–1981 UK-CD
  • 2002: Unreleased & demo tracks, 1973–1983 Jap-CD
  • 2003: The Best of Chris Rainbow 1972–1980 Jap-CD
  • 20??: Heart of the Universe(guest vocals) Ned-LP/Jap-CD
  • 2008: Waves UK-CD
  • 2007: Home of the Brave Jap-CD (re-Mastered)
  • 2007: Looking over My Shoulder Jap-CD (re-Mastered)

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Biography: Chris Rainbow". Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  2. ^ Borack, John M. (2007). Shake some action: the ultimate power pop guide. Shake Some Action – PowerPop. pp. 184–. ISBN 978-0-9797714-0-8. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Chris Rainbow | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 

External links[edit]