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He has recorded with and written for a variety of well-known musicians, as well as releasing several solo albums.
Beginnings and early bands
At the age of seventeen, he and his band "Mandrake Paddle Steamer" (later shortened to Mandrake) signed their first record deal with Parlophone/EMI, and subsequently recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. However, the group's published output during their lifetime was limited to two singles, one of which was released only in Sweden.
Briley was later signed to George Martin's AIR group of companies and went on to become an important part of the London studio scene as an arranger, vocalist and sought-after session guitarist. He also had a brief stint with the British progressive rock band Greenslade.
Session work in America
Briley moved to New York, where he found work as a touring and session musician for numerous artists, including Meat Loaf, Julian Lennon, Bonnie Tyler, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lulu, Mick Jones, Donna Summer, Cliff Richard, Olivia Newton-John, The Hollies, Tom Jones and Albert Hammond.
Briley signed a deal with Mercury Records as a solo artist in the early 1980s, going on to release three albums under his own name. His single "The Salt in My Tears" went into heavy rotation on MTV and reached No. 36 on the Hot 100 on 30 July 1983, earning him a reputation as a one-hit wonder, although his follow-up single, "Put Your Hands on the Screen" did also crack the Hot 100.
Briley has received orchestral commissions, and has written songs for such artists as Céline Dion, *NSYNC, Dream, Michael Bolton, Mietta, Kenny Loggins, Pat Benatar, Jessica Andrews, Five Star, Jeff Healey, Rebecca St. James, Nana Mouskouri, Willie Nile, Gregg Allman, Night Ranger, David Hasselhoff, Patrick Swayze, Michael Monroe, Chastity Bono, Peter Tork, Nikki Webster, Hope Partlow, Natascha Sohl, Ballas Hough, Phil Stacey, Orianthi, The Maine and Barry Manilow.
Briley lives in New York City with his wife, Dana Calitri, and has two daughters, Vanessa and Olivia.
- Fear of the Unknown (1981)
- One Night with a Stranger (1983) ( includes the hit single "The Salt in My Tears" )
- Dangerous Moments (1985)
- The Mercury Years (2005)
- It Comes in Waves (2006)
- Iceberg Shrinking (2011)
- Casey Kasem, American Top 40, 23 July 1983.
-  Archived December 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Joynson, Vernon (1995). The Tapestry of Delights Archived 2011-11-30 at the Wayback Machine.. London: Borderline Books. See entry on Mandrake Paddlesteamer.
-  Archived February 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Valotte (Inner sleeve). Julian Lennon. Charisma, Universal Music Group. 1984. JLLP 1.
- Martin Briley USA chart history, Allmusic. Retrieved October 8, 2012.