This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Also known as||Chris Dee|
|Occupation(s)||Entrepreneur / record producer / songwriter & musician / pastor|
|Instruments||Keyboards / piano / guitar|
|Years active||Mid 1960s – present|
|Associated acts||John Kongos, Mike d'Abo, Cat Stevens, David Bowie|
Chris Demetriou born in Paphos, Cyprus, is a musician, songwriter, record producer and media entrepreneur. One of his songs "Step On" appears in Q Magazine's top hundred singles of all time, and the original version was eventually cited by The Guinness Book of Records as being the first sample ever used on a record. "Step On" was also used in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. From 200 million members, Demetriou had one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012 and is currently ranked higher than 80% of users with over 10,000 connections.
Demetriou began his professional music career in his teens playing keyboards for the Johannesburg R&B group John E Sharpe & the Squires. He appeared on the group's most successful singles, including covers of The Kinks' "Stop Your Sobbing" and Paul Simon's "I Am A Rock", as well as their Maybelline album.
Demetriou left South Africa for London with fellow musician John Kongos and the pair formed the psychedelic rock group Floribunda Rose. However, the band soon changed its name to Scrugg and recorded a number of singles on the Pye label with producer John Schroder and new drummer Henry Spinetti. Scrugg enjoyed limited success, with their double A-side "One Way Street" and "Linda Loves Linda" receiving significant airplay but failing to perform well in the charts. The songwriting partnership of Kongos/Demetriou proved to be more successful than the groups they were in – with two songs reaching the top five in the UK charts and another, sung by Bond girl Daliah Lavi, reaching number one in Germany and Switzerland. Some of their early work, including recordings by Floribunda Rose and Scrugg, were released on the compilation Lavender Popcorn in 2001. They also wrote the music for the British cult film A Promise of Bed directed by Derek Ford and starring John Bird, Victor Spinetti and Dennis Waterman.
Demetriou's most notable songwriting credit is for "Step On", recorded by the Happy Mondays. It was listed at number 77 in "The Top 100 Greatest Singles of All Time", published in the February 1999 edition of Q magazine. Daily Mail readers ranked it on their "500 Greatest Songs Ever". Under the original title and version by John Kongos, "He's Gonna Step on You Again", the song made it into the UK Singles Chart, where it remained for 14 weeks – reaching No. 4 in May 1971. Other than the recordings by Def Leppard and Happy Mondays, "He's Gonna Step on You Again" has been covered by numerous artists in many different music genres. These include The Party Boys in 1987, when it got to number 1 in Australia, the Chantoozies in 1989, and John Swan in 2007. The song was also featured on the Soundtrack of the 2006 video game Test Drive Unlimited. Demetriou again collaborated with Kongos on his follow-up single, "Great White Lady" but it did not enter the UK top twenty chart.
In 1970 Demetriou started to work with Tony Defries at Gem Productions and then with MainMan on David Bowie's material. He later teamed up with Tony DeFries in 1990 to assist with the negotiations for David Bowie's back catalogue to be distributed by EMI and Rykodisc. Demetriou was responsible for introducing the legendary sound engineer Ken Scott to David Bowie – who went on to co-produce some of Bowie's most successful recordings. After establishing himself as a notable songwriter, Demetriou changed direction in 1972 and became a full-time record producer. One of his first recordings was a single with the group Milkwood. After quitting the New Seekers, Laurie Heath, Chris Barrington and Sally Graham formed Milkwood and they released three singles for Warner Bros., two of which Demetriou produced. Barry Krost signed the young record producer to BKN Management and Demetriou started working with Mike d'Abo formerly of Manfred Mann, producing "Down at Rachael's Place" and "Little MissUnderstood." As a result of being signed to the same management company, Demetriou collaborated with Cat Stevens in the recording of the album Buddha and the Chocolate Box. During these early years, Demetriou produced ten albums and over a dozen singles, including five albums for A&M Records (see Discography).
Top session musician, writer and producer Mo Foster who has played on over 350 recordings cites Demetriou as giving him his first break. Paul Travis also remembers doing countless sessions for Demetriou as a singer and as a guitarist. Demetriou was instrumental in getting Travis a job with Decca Records, and it was during this period that he discovered Judy Tzuke. Unfortunately Decca turned Judy Tzuke down, so she took the tapes Travis had produced to The Rocket Record Company and got signed immediately. Travis also sang on the Mike D'Abo album, and thanks to Demetriou met Cat Stevens and his brother David Gordon. Gordon and Travis wrote a number of songs together, one of which was "A Child for a Day" which was recorded by Cat Stevens on his album Izitso.
By the mid-1970s Demetriou had become a roving A&R Manager / Record Producer for Decca Records, and under the guidance and inspiration of A&R Director Strath Hamilton and Senior Label Director Hugh Mendl he produced some notable artists. It was at this time that he signed and recorded Robert Campbell, whose album Living in the Shadow was put forward by Decca Records for a Grammy nomination. He also recorded the group Liar. Liar was formed in 1975 in Maidenhead in Berkshire by Dave Taylor formerly of Edison Lighthouse. In 1976, the band came to the attention of Demetriou who took the band into Decca's West Hampstead studios, inviting singer/guitarist Paul Travis, with whom he had worked before, to sit in with them to help with song arrangements and also to provide a channel of communication between studio and control room. Following various personnel changes, the line-up for the first album, Straight from the Hip, comprised David Burton (lead vocals and guitar), Dave Taylor (formerly of Catapilla; bass and vocals), Paul Travis (guitar and vocals) and Clive Brooks (previously of Egg and The Groundhogs; drums). Lead guitar was provided on a session basis by Geoff Whitehorn, then working with Crawler, although at the time of the album's release this role had been filled by Steve Mann, subsequently with Lionheart, MSG and Sweet, who completed the final line-up. Keyboards on two tracks were by John "Rabbit" Bundrick. Liar achieved cult status amongst the die-hard rock fraternity for sticking to their musical roots throughout the British punk period, helping to pave the way for the emergence of the new wave of British heavy metal in 1980.
Between the years 1984 and 1988, ACTS International (his South African record label distributed by MFP), released three top five singles and one top twenty album—all of which were produced by Demetriou. In 2015 Demetriou ventured back into the music business and started a new record label Red Letter Music. The Indie label is currently showcasing five new artists and developing two others.
In 1978 Demetriou formed CSS a sports promotion and public relations company based in Surrey, England. Some of his clients included John Francome (7 times Champion Jockey and best selling Author), Steve Parish (former motorcycle and truck racer; successful Yamaha factory racing team manager; and currently a leading British motorsport commentator) and Hiddi Jahan (world seeded Squash Court Champion). Under Demetriou's direction, John Francome was the first jockey in the United Kingdom to wear any form of advertising during a horse race. He wore the Adidas stripes on his riding breeches during the 1979 Grand National. Demetriou was part of TV Africa, the largest cross-border TV platform on the continent, going into 28 countries and with audiences of over 200 million. He also owned his own TV network (New Africa Networks), which transmitted 24/7 into 9 countries.
Demetriou is currently the CEO/President of ShowRights Inc. an entertainment exchange portal which he founded in 2006. He is a Director and Co-Owner of Emba Media Associates Limited, a UK registered company that owns the sixth largest children's animation library in the world (formerly the BKN catalogue). In 2009 BKN International AG's portfolio was valued by the independent consulting firm Rinke Media Consult GmbH at EUR 62.5 million. Demetriou is also an Executive Director of ACTS International Corp., a media brokerage business (established in 1987) that continues to trade rights in the entertainment industry. ACTS licenses rights in film & television, sound recordings and music publishing for distribution or transmission across multiple platforms around the world.
Demetriou is an ordained Christian minister and member of the International Federation of Christian Churches. He is founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Ministries, a large 'state-the-art' church and registered charity based in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. The church has just celebrated its 26-year anniversary. Cornerstonethechurch website has over 100,000-page requests a month with 1.5 million every year. He is author of the self-help book What Matters Most and his television program Life Matters TV, which was broadcast on Sky, is still available as a Podcast on iTunes, on YouTube and on the church website. Demetriou has just published his second book titled It's Your Life, It's Your Choice, and also has his own website entitled The Sermon Studio.
- Production credits
- "The Lady Wants More" / Hayden Wood (7" Single) NEMS 1969
- "House Beside the Mine"/ Hayden Wood (7" Single) NEMS 1969
- Down At Rachel's Place / Mike d'Abo (12" LP) A&M Records 1972
- "About Your Love" / Milkwood (7" Single) Warner Bros 1972
- "I'm a Song (Sing Me)" / Milkwood (7" Single) Warner Bros June 1972
- Lookin' Through / Demick & Armstrong (12" LP) A&M Records 1972
- Travis / Travis (12" LP) A&M Records 1972
- Shine On Me / Paul Travis (12" LP) A&M Records 1973
- Buddha and the Chocolate Box / Cat Stevens (12" LP) Island Records 1974
- Return Of The Native / Paul Travis (12" LP) A&M Records 1975
- "Higher Than Heaven" / Buggati & Musker (Demo) Decca 1976
- Living In The Shadow / Robert Campbell (12" LP) Decca Records 1977
- Crawler / Crawler / (12" LP) CBS 1977
- Straight From The Hip / Liar (12"LP) Decca Records 1977
- "Looking Kinda Rock & Roll" / Darling (7" Single) Charisma 1978
- "Ain't No Water" / Linday Hayes (7" Single) Charisma 1978
- "I'll Be Your Rock & Roll Slave" / Lynda Hayes (7" Single) 1978
- "Fast at Seventeen" / Lee Fardon (7" Single) Arista 1978
- Let Your Living Water / Vinesong (12" LP) WEA 1984
- Come Holy Spirit / Vinesong (12" LP) WEA 1984
- "Champions of Love" / Tom Inglis (7" Single) ACTS 1985
- "Destined to Win" / Tom Inglis (7" Single) ACTS 1985
- "What Have We Done To The World" (7" Single) ACTS 1985
- "Destined To Win" / Tom Inglis (7" Single) ACTS 1986
- Jubillee Africa / Friends First (12" LP) 1986
- "Wild World" / Pierre de Charmoy (7" Single) EMI 1987
- Artist credits
- "Maybelline", John E Sharpe & the Squires (12" LP) RPM 1965
- "Stop Your Sobbing", John E Sharpe & the Squires (7" Single)
- "I Am A Rock", John E Sharpe & the Squires (7" Single) RPM Records 1965
- "I'll Explain" / "Yours For The Picking" / "Monkey Shine", Savage Sounds of Africa, Beat Records 1965
- "One Way Street"/ "Linda Loves Linda" – Floribunda Rose (7" Single) Pye Records 1967
- "Lavender Popcorn", Scrugg (7" Single) Pye Records 1968
- "Everyone Can See", Scrugg (7" Single) Pye Records 1968
- "I Wish I Was Five", Scrugg (7" Single) Pye Records 1969
- Songwriting credits
- "The House Beside The Mine" / Hayden Wood (7" Single) NEMS 1969
- Deserts Of Mountains Of Men (LP) Confusions About A Goldfish / John Kongos / Dawn Records 1969
- Seat By The Window (LP) Confusions About A Goldfish / John Kongos / Dawn Records 1969
- Coming Back To You (LP) Confusions About A Goldfish / John Kongos / Dawn Records 1969
- "He's Gonna Step On You Again" with John Kongos (12" Single) Fly Records 1971;
- "Gold" / Olivia Newton-John (LP track) EMI 1972;
- "Inside Your Shadow" / Espanola (Comp) Essex 1972;
- "Let The Love Grow (In Your Heart)", Daliah Lavi (Single) Polydor 1973;
- "He's Gonna Step On You Again", The Party Boys (Single and Album) Swan Records 1987
- "Blaze of Glory" / "He's Gonna Step on You Again" Exploding White Mice (7", Single B-side only) Greasy Pop Records 1987
- "He's Gonna Step on You Again", Chantoozies (Single and Album) Mushroom Records 1989
- Deep Heat 7 – Seventh Heaven (2xCD, Comp) "Step On", Telstar 1990
- Pills 'N Thrills And Bellyaches (LP) "Step On", London Records 1990
- Pills 'N Thrills And Bellyaches (CD, Album) "Step On", Polydor K.K. 1990
- Pills 'N Thrills And Bellyaches (LP) "Step On", London Records, Polygram Discos SARL 1990
- "Step On", (Cassette Single) Festival Records, Factory 1990
- Live (2xLP) "Step On", Factory 1991
- Live (CD, Album) "Step On", Factory 1991
- Decade (CD, Album) "The Very Best of" – Virgin 1996
- Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches (CD, Album, RE) "Step On", London Records 1999
- Manchester United Beyond The Promised Land (CD, Album) "Step On", Virgin 2000
- Lavender Popcorn, with Floribunda Rose & Scrugg (Comp CD) 2001
- Kongos / John Kongos (Comp CD) Collectors' Choice Music 2001
- Live Forever (2xCD, Comp) "Step On", Virgin 2003
- Played in Full : The 90s – The Definitive 12" Collection (3xCD, Comp) "Step On" (Stuff It in Mix), Resist Music, 2006
- Yeah! (CD, Album, Tar) "He's Gonna Step on You...", Mercury 2006
- Yeah! (CD, Album, Bes) "He's Gonna Step on You...", Mercury 2006
- Yeah! (CD) "He's Gonna Step on You...", Mercury, Bludgeon Riffola 2006
- Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches (CD, Comp + DVD, PAL)," Step On", Rhino (UK) 2007
- "(He's Gonna) Step on You" (Have A Little Faith – CD/Album) John Swan, Liberation Music 2007
- Heath, Sophia (19 June 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: the full musical playlist for the Olympic opening ceremony". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Warburton, Nick (9 October 2008). "Interview with Chris Demetriou". garagehangover.com. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited, p. 306. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Berry, Mark "Bez" (1998). Freaky Dancin', 1st, London: Pan, p. 285. ISBN 0-330-37054-5.