The Road to Hell

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The Road to Hell
The Road to Hell.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 October 1989
RecordedMiraval Studios, France
GenreBlues rock, soft rock, pop rock
LabelWEA, Atco, Magnet, Geffen
ProducerJon Kelly, Chris Rea
Chris Rea chronology
New Light Through Old Windows
The Road to Hell
Singles from The Road to Hell
  1. "The Road to Hell"
    Released: 2 October 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]

The Road to Hell is the tenth studio album by English singer-songwriter Chris Rea. It was released in 1989 and is Rea's most successful studio album. It topped the UK album charts for three weeks,[2][3] and was certified 6x Platinum by BPI until 2004.[4] The second part of the two-part title track, "The Road to Hell (Pt. 2)", is also one of Rea's most famous songs.


Rea recalls that he had a lot of trouble with the album due to the record company, and "recorded the next album – Auberge – before, as an agreement with Warner Brothers. So if Road To Hell didn’t work – and they said it won't – we would jump straight away to Auberge and forget about it. Of course, the beginning to "Road To Hell" is a gospel blues thing. Warner Brothers went, ‘This is going to be over in five minutes’. But I did stand me ground, and it went No.1".[5]

The song "Texas" has been played through the years on Classic Rock/AOR radio stations in Texas, and is sometimes played as background music before Texas Rangers baseball games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Another track, "Daytona", is about the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona", in which he sings about the car metaphorically, with the engine and tyre noise from the car ringing out toward the end of the song.[6] Also, the song "Tell Me There's a Heaven" was used in a 1991 public information film for the NSPCC.

The album cover features art by the English commercial artist, Adrian Chesterman,[7] who was also responsible for creating cover art for, amongst others, Motörhead's 1979 Bomber album.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Chris Rea.

  1. "The Road to Hell (Part 1)" — 4:52
  2. "The Road to Hell (Part 2)" — 4:30
  3. "You Must Be Evil" — 4:20
  4. "Texas" — 5:09
  5. "Looking for a Rainbow" — 8:00
  6. "Your Warm and Tender Love" — 4:32
  7. "Daytona" — 5:04
  8. "That's What They Always Say" — 4:27
  9. "I Just Wanna Be with You" — 3:39
  10. "Tell Me There's a Heaven" — 6:00

(The 1989 US Geffen CD issue also includes the 1988 re-recording of "Let's Dance" slotted between tracks 8 and 9 listed above.)


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[8] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Gold 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[10] Gold 45,000[10]
France (SNEP)[11] Platinum 300,000*
Germany (BVMI)[12] 3× Gold 750,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[13] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] 6× Platinum 1,800,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  • Chris Rea — vocals, guitar, keyboards, producer
  • Robert Ahwai — guitar
  • Eoghan O'Neill — bass
  • Kevin Leach — keyboards
  • Max Middleton — piano, string arrangements (cut 10)
  • Martin Ditcham — drums, percussion
  • Linda Taylor, Karen Boddington, Carol Kenyon — additional vocals
  • Jon Kelly — producer
  • Neil Amor (with Diane BJ Koné) — engineer


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Neil Cossar (2010). This Day in Music: An Every Day Record of Musical Feats and Facts. Omnibus Press. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-85712-362-6.
  3. ^ "Official Charts > Chris Rea". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Chris Rea - The Road To Hell". BPI. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  5. ^ Henry Yates (1 December 2015). "An Interview With The Straight-Talking, No-F**ks-Given Chris Rea". TeamRock. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  6. ^ YouTube.
  7. ^ "Website of the artist,".
  8. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Chris Rea – The Road to Hell" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Chris Rea in the field Interpret. Enter The Road to Hell in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen. 
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Chris Rea – The Road to Hell". Music Canada.
  10. ^ a b "Chris Rea" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  11. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Certifications (Albums) du SNEP (Bilan par Artiste)".
  12. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Chris Rea; 'The Road to Hell')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  13. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Chris Rea; 'The Road to Hell')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  14. ^ "British album certifications – Chris Rea – The Road to Hell". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Road to Hell in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.