Sharrock's recording career began as a member of the Cherry Boys; he was the drummer on the band's first single, "Man to Man", released in January 1981. Sharrock then left the Cherry Boys for the Icicle Works, with whom he stayed until 1988, playing on the band's first four albums. He then left that band and briefly joined the La's, drumming on their hit single "There She Goes". He left the La's shortly thereafter, and drummed on the Wild Swans' second album in 1990.
Sharrock subsequently joined World Party as an official member in the mid 1990s, followed by a stint in the Lightning Seeds. In 1994, he was a member of "Terry and the Lovemen", a one-off recording project that was actually the band XTC appearing on their own tribute album under a pseudonym. Sharrock also played drums on Del Amitri's 1995 album Twisted, but was not an official member of that band. By 1998, Sharrock was the drummer in Robbie Williams' band, a position he held for the next 8 years.
Sharrock joined Oasis in 2008 after previous drummer Zak Starkey left the group. Chris did not play on the band's 2008 album, Dig Out Your Soul, but played on the subsequent tour. Noel Gallagher said in an interview for MOJO, regarding the appointment of Oasis' new drummer, "Liam is still not happy about Chris Sharrock, because he's Robbie Williams' drummer. I went home and thought about it and it was just too much of a temptation to piss Robbie Williams and Liam off in one phone call." Sharrock made his live debut with Oasis on 14 August 2008, in front of 150 Oasis fan club members.
On the appointment of Sharrock as Oasis' new drummer, Noel suggested that he "shouldn't get too comfortable", joking that they (Oasis) were "trying to break Spinal Tap’s record" for the number of drummers. This in reference to the grisly ends met by Spinal Tap's long list of drummers. Noel also stated on the 2009 UK Stadium Tour "This is our new and final drummer." Considering that Oasis broke up only a few months later, this statement was indeed correct.
Sharrock became well-known to Oasis fans for his drum solo during the song "The Shock of the Lightning" which he performed several times whilst touring with Oasis during 2008 and 2009. As well, he was noted for his flamboyant tricks with his drumsticks, including twirling them during the intro to "Morning Glory" and throwing them up in the air now and again, much to the crowd's enjoyment.
In an interview given during the South American tour of 2009 (posted by Noel on the Official Oasis Blog), Noel Gallagher, asked to compare the drumming prowess of Chris Sharrock and Zak Starkey, stated that they are both the same. Starkey and Sharrock have an extremely similar history, very often taking over from each other; Sharrock was Starkey's predecessor as the drummer for both the Icicle Works and the Lightning Seeds.