Ray Wilson (musician)
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Ray Wilson at Leamington Spa 2006
8 September 1968 |
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica|
|Labels||InsideOut Music, Virgin|
Wilson started off in a band called Guaranteed Pure in the 1990, which featured himself along with Paul Holmes (keyboards), Steve Wilson (guitars), John Haimes (bass) and Chris Cavanagh (drums). They released an album called Swing Your Bag, the title track of which was included on a compilation album on the label of Fish entitled The Funny Farm Project : Outpatients '93. He then joined Stiltskin; they released one album and had a number one hit in the UK with the single "Inside".
Wilson is probably best known as the lead singer of Genesis from 1996 to 1998, after Phil Collins officially departed in March 1996. Founding Genesis members Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were handed a CD of the Stiltskin album The Mind's Eye from Virgin Records executives. They were very impressed with Wilson's vocal abilities and had their manager, Tony Smith, call him for an audition. Wilson was officially announced as the new lead singer of Genesis in early June 1997. Their only album with Wilson, ...Calling All Stations..., was released that September and became a top 10 hit worldwide, except for the US where it reached No. 54 on the Billboard 200 album charts. The album was re-issued in 2007. Genesis toured Europe in the winter and spring of 1998, but the American leg was cancelled due to low ticket sales. After the commercial failure of the album, the band announced they would go on an extended hiatus. In May 2001, during an exclusive interview with Dave Negrin for website WorldofGenesis.com, Wilson said:
They basically phoned me up and said, "Ray, we're not continuing." I've never really felt that I was out of the band as such; it's just that the band doesn't exist any more (laughs). When I heard that, it was just after the Cut tour, about a year and a half ago. I've read some articles saying that I was fired and stuff, but to be fair to them, they didn't phone me up and say, "Ray, you're fired. We're going to carry on and we're going to get somebody else to sing." Or, "We're going to carry on and get Phil back." There was never any of that. They just said, "We've decided not to continue because the market doesn't want us." I think they didn't want to completely close the door to ever doing anything again.
Wilson went on to release the album Millionairhead with a solo project called Cut_. It was re-released in 2007 (remastered) with an additional three songs added.
In 2003 he released a solo album under his own name titled Change. The next year he released another studio album entitled The Next Best Thing, which included yet another cover of "Inside". In 2006 he released another Stiltskin album called She, and in 2007 a Stiltskin live CD featuring (amongst others) 8 of the 12 songs from She. This live CD was recorded 25 October 2006, at Harmonie, Bonn, Germany.
DJ and trance producer Armin van Buuren has produced remixes of the songs "Another Day" (retitled "Yet Another Day") and "Gypsy" from Millionairhead. Both remixes have been released on van Buuren's own albums, and "Yet Another Day" was also released as a single.
In 2014, the first Ray Wilson biography, Gypsy, by journalist Mario Giammetti, was published in Italy (Edizioni Segno).
Concerts with Steve Hackett
In 2013 Wilson joined Steve Hackett for his "Genesis Revisited II" Tour as a guest singer. He was featured in a special edition of the "Genesis Revisited II" album on the track "The Carpet Crawlers". It was the first time since 1998 that Ray had worked with a Genesis member.
- Studio albums
- Change (2003) – No. 88 Germany
- The Next Best Thing (2004)
- Propaganda Man (2008)
- Chasing Rainbows (2013)
- Live albums
- Live and Acoustic (2002) (previously entitled "Unplugged")
- Ray Wilson Live (2005)
- An Audience and Ray Wilson (2006) (limited edition CD and download)
- Genesis Klassik (2009)
- Ray Wilson and the Berlin Symphony Ensemble, Genesis Classic (2011)
- Up Close And Personal - Live At SWR1 (2014)
- Genesis VS Stiltskin - 20 Years and More (2014)
- "Change" (March 2003)
- "Goodbye Baby Blue" (September 2003)
- "These Are The Changes" (June 2004)
- Studio albums
- Calling All Stations (1997) – No. 2 UK, No. 54 US
- "Congo" (September 1997) – No. 29 UK, No. 35 Austria, No. 31 Germany, No. 32 Switzerland, No. 25 US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks
- "Shipwrecked" (December 1997) – No. 54 UK, No. 82 Germany
- "Not About Us" (March 1998) – No. 66 UK, No. 81 Germany
- Studio albums
- Millionairhead (1999)
- "Another Day" (1999; Germany-only single)
- "Sarah" (1999)
- "Millionairhead" / "Sarah" (1999; radio promo)
- Swing Your Bag (1993)
- 2000 "Big City Nights" (with Scorpions) (Moment of Glory)
- 2002 "Love Supreme" Turntablerocker (Smile)
- 2003 "Good Time Love" (with Amanda Lyon) (A tribute to Frank Miller: various artists album)
- 2003 "Yet Another Day" (with Armin Van Buuren) (76) – No. 70 UK, No. 34 Netherlands
- 2005 "Gypsy" (with Armin Van Buuren) (Shivers)
- 2005 "Roses" (with RPWL) (World Through My Eyes)
- 2005 "Roses (live)" & "Not about us (live)"(with RPWL) (Start The Fire: RPWL Live)
- 2010 "Should I Wait" (with Twentyeight) (In The Beginning)
- 2013 "Carpet Crawlers" (with Steve Hackett) (Genesis Revisited II: Selection)
In 2007, after a concert in Poland, Wilson met the dancer Małgorzata Mielech. After a few months of dating, he left Edinburgh and moved to Poznań in September 2008. As of 2011, the couple were engaged.
- John Sakamoto (6 June 1997). "Genesis names new singer". Canoe. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- Wilson, R. (29 May 2001). Interview by Dave Negrin [Personal Interview]. Inside the mind's eye of ray wilson: An exclusive interview. Retrieved from http://www.worldofgenesis.com/RayWilson-Interview2001.htm
- "WYWIAD – Ray Wilson: Zamieniłem Edynburg na Poznań" (in Polish). Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Zostaję" (in Polish). wp.pl. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Ray Wilson zakochany w Polce!". Dzień Dobry TVN (in Polish). 2 October 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2013.