Christie (band)

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OriginLeeds, West Yorkshire, UK
GenresRock, pop rock, soft rock
Years active1965–1976, 1990–present
LabelsCBS (UK)
Epic (US)
MembersJeff Christie
Simon Kay
Adrian Foster
Past membersVic Elmes
Mike Blakley
Paul Fenton
Lem Lubin
Terry Fogg
Roger Flavell
Danny Krieger
Tony Ferguson
Roger Willis
Kev Moore

Christie is an English soft rock band that formed at the end of the 1960s. They are best remembered for their UK chart-topping hit single "Yellow River", released in 1970,[1] which hit number one in 26 countries that year.[2]


In addition to Jeff Christie (born Jeffrey Christie, 12 July 1946, Leeds, Yorkshire, England)[3][4] their vocalist, bassist and songwriter; they initially included guitarist Vic Elmes[4] and drummer Mike Blakley (born Michael Blakley, 12 January 1947, Bromley, Kent, England, brother of Alan Blakley).[4]

Jeff Christie had initially worked with several bands, including The Outer Limits, who released "Just One More Chance" / "Help Me Please" (1967) and "Great Train Robbery" / "Sweet Freedom" (1968).[5]

In 1970, Jeff Christie offered his composition "Yellow River" to The Tremeloes.[3] They recorded it to release as a single but changed their minds as they were going more progressive as the seventies started. At the same time Tremeloes member Alan Blakley's brother Michael had a little group called the Epics and Alan wanted to give his brother a break.[6] They decided to get Jeff Christie to come down from Leeds and let him use the Tremeloes' backing track. The Epics became Christie with Jeff as the lead vocalist and the result was a UK number one hit in June 1970, and subsequently No. 23 in the US, also accumulating more weeks (23) on the Hot 100 than any other entry on that chart completely inside 1970. It was a worldwide hit and was number one in 26 countries with global sales of over 30 million.[3]

The follow-up single from October 1970, "San Bernadino" (misspelled if referring to, for example, San Bernardino, California), reached UK Number 7[5] and Number 1 in Germany, but only US No. 100. Both tracks became flash songs on their eponymous debut album of that year, and it stayed on US Billboard 200 chart for ten weeks. But the trio failed to sustain a lasting career, and Blakley was replaced by Paul Fenton (born 4 July 1946, Huddersfield, Yorkshire) just before the release of the band's second album, For All Mankind (1971).

Lem Lubin (ex-Unit 4 + 2) was added to the line-up after the release of Iron Horse (1972),[7] but the title track proved to be the band's final hit single. The departure of Fenton and Lubin hastened the demise of the original line-up, but Jeff Christie returned with new members Terry Fogg (drums) (born Terrence George Fogg, 25 September 1945, Chesterfield, Derbyshire), Roger Flavell (bass), and Danny Krieger (guitar). A 1974 single "Alabama" / "I'm Alive" failed to resurrect the band's fortunes, and new members Tony Ferguson (guitar) and Roger Willis (drums) were brought in to join Christie and Flavell. "JoJo's Band", written by Elmes, was a major hit for Christie in Argentina and Brazil, while the last Christie hit, "Navajo", was Number 1 in Mexico.[5] In 1982 Vic Elmes enlisted Mick Blakley and Peter Morrison of NYPL, to tour Germany on a package tour. At the end of the tour, the band folded. The band recorded an Elmes song, Deep in the Night, produced by Alan Blakley.

Jeff Christie reformed the band in 1990 with members of UK band Tubeless Hearts, Kev Moore, Simon Kay and Adrian 'Fos' Foster. Tubeless Hearts tried to represent United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1991 with a Jeff Christie song, "Safe in your Arms", but were unsuccessful.[5] They continued to tour for a further 16 years all over Europe, Russia and Israel, recording intermittently. Following the release of Jeff Christie's Floored Masters double album, the 1990 line-up of Christie embarked on a 2009 European Tour. In 2012, a Christie double album, No Turn Unstoned, was released, a collection of Christie demos and unreleased songs.[5]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Jeff Christie - vocals, bass (1969–1976, 1990–present)
  • Simon Kay - guitar (1990–present)
  • Adrian Foster - drums (1990–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Vic Elmes - guitar (1969–1973)
  • Michael Blakley - drums (1969–1970) [8]
  • Paul Fenton - drums (1970–1973)
  • Lem Lubin - bass guitar (1972–1973)
  • Terry Fogg - drums (1973–1974)
  • Roger Flavell - bass guitar (1973–1976)
  • Danny Krieger - guitar (1973–1976)
  • Tony Ferguson - lead guitar (1974)
  • Roger Willis - drums (1974–1976)
  • Kev Moore - bass guitar (1990–2003)



  • Christie (1970)
  • For All Mankind (1971)
  • Iron Horse – unreleased (1972)
  • Los Mas Grandes Exitos (1972)
  • Navajo [released in Mexico] (1974)
  • Christie Again – Greatest Hits and More (2004)
  • Jeff Christie – Floored Masters (Past Imperfect) (2009)
  • Christie – No Turn Unstoned (2012)


Jeff Christie with The Outer Limits
  • "When the Work Is Thru'" (1967)
  • "Just One More Chance/Help Me Please" (1967)
  • "Great Train Robbery/Sweet Freedom" (1968)
  • "Yellow River/Down the Mississippi Line" (1970) – UK No. 1, AUS No. 16[9]
  • "San Bernadino/Here I Am" (1970) – UK No. 7, AUS No. 42[9]
  • "Man of Many Faces/Country Sam" (1971) – Germany No. 2
  • "Everything's Gonna Be Alright/Freewheeling Man/Magic Highway" (1972)
  • "Peace Lovin' Man/Picture Painter" (SE Asia only) (1972)
  • "Iron Horse/Every Now and Then" (1972) – UK #47[1]
  • "Iron horse/Everything's gonna be alright" (1972)
  • "Fools Gold/Born to Lose" (1973)
  • "The Dealer (Down and Losin')/Pleasure and Pain" (1974)
  • "Alabama/I'm Alive" (1974)
  • "JoJo's Band/California Sun" (South America only) (1974)
  • "Navajo/Guantanamera" (1975) – Mexico No. 1
  • "Most Wanted Man in the USA/Rockin' Suzanna" (1976)
Jeff Christie solo
  • "Both Ends of the Rainbow/Turn On Your Love Light|Turn on Your Lovelight" (1980)
  • "Tightrope/Somebody Else" (1980)
  • "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)/Yuletide Lights" (1997)
  • "Hattrick of Lions (Come on England)" (2010)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Roberts 2006, p. 106.
  2. ^ "50 years from Yellow River, the song from Jeff Christie that sounds like The Beatles: interview". The Shortlisted. 1 November 2020. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Murrells 1978, p. 275.
  4. ^ a b c Murrells 1984, p. 303.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Jeff Christie". Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  6. ^ Interview with Band members from Christie: History of Yellow River
  7. ^ "Biography by Bruce Eder". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  8. ^ "Mike Blakley's departure made the news in all the music papers". Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 63. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

Reference bibliography[edit]

  • Murrells, Joseph (1984). "Christie". Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s: an illustrated directory. Batsford. ISBN 9780713438437.
  • Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  • Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]