The Christians are an award winning, Triple Platinum, multi-million Number 1 album selling international chart hit UK band from Liverpool. The Christians released the highest selling debut album from any group on the prestigious Island record label, and they also achieved eight consecutive UK Top 40 single chart hits (10 UK Top 40 singles in total) in their established career.
Their debut multi-platinum album ‘The Christians’ entered the UK Album Chart at number 2 and featured Top 30 hits ‘Forgotten Town’, ‘Hooverville’, ‘Ideal World’, and ‘Born Again’.
Their second album ‘Colour’ went straight to number one on the UK Album Chart, replacing ‘No Jacket Required’ by Phil Collins for the top spot. Appearing on ‘Top of the Pops’ five times and several times on iconic music show ‘The Tube’, The Christians also performed on many international shows, and flagship UK television shows such as ‘Wogan’ (1990/1).
History of The Christians: The 1980’s
‘….The Temptations in ripped jeans’ is how they were described by one rock critic, however the Liverpool band’s expansive melodies and winning harmonies possessed a terse emotional undercurrent. Feeding on protest, accusations, despair and even self-doubt, their ‘socially aware soul’ made a huge impact on the music scene of the late 80’s.
The bands’ name was drawn from the surname of the three brothers from the original line-up (Garry, Russell and Roger Christian) and was also, coincidentally, their songwriter/guitarist/keyboards player Henry Priestman’s middle name.
In 1987 when their triple-platinum debut album ‘The Christians’ went to number two on the UK Album Chart, they embarked upon a sell out tour of the major British cities, which included consecutive nights at the ‘Hammersmith Odeon’. Additional appearances in Holland, Germany and France followed as the band achieved international popularity.
In 1988 they released a cover of the Isley Brothers’ ‘Harvest for the World’ (featuring an animation music video created by the iconic Aardman Animation amongst others) which entered the UK Top Ten singles chart, with all proceeds going to British Third World charities.
In May 1989 The Christians also performed with fellow Liverpool artists Sir Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) and Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) on a version of ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’, released in aid of those affected by the Hillsborough football disaster. This international hit single topped the UK and Irish Charts at number 1 and remained at the top of the UK charts for three weeks (Irish for two), also charting in numerous countries including the Top Ten US Single Charts.
Second Album ‘Colour’ and the 1990’s
The second Christians album titled ‘Colour’, was released in 1990 and went straight to number 1 in the UK album chart and reached the Top 20 album charts in several European countries.
Produced by Laurie Latham and also featuring Pino Palladino on fretless bass, the most successful single from the album was the atmospheric ‘Words’ (which was an international hit and reached number 1 in France), and others released included ‘I Found Out’ (reaching the top 30 singles chart in France) and the uplifting ‘Greenbank Drive’.
‘Happy In Hell’ (1992), their third album, reached No. 18 in the album charts and included the singles ‘What’s In A Word’ and ‘The Bottle’.
In the early 90’s The Christians continued to tour and also released a greatest hits album, ‘The Best Of The Christians’ (1993) which also featured new track, ‘Perfect Moment’, and a version of Bob Marley’s ‘Small Axe’.
Lead singer Garry Christian moved to Paris in the mid-90s to produce solo album ‘Your Cool Mystery’ (1998), with The Christians reforming and touring at the end of the decade.
The early years of the new century saw the band performing numerous acoustic sets across the UK whilst working on studio album ‘Prodigal Sons’. This was released in 2003 and showcased on a nationwide tour. Garry also released a second solo album ‘How Does It Feel’ in 2004.
Original member (lead vocalist Garry), accompanied by a number of guest musicians, continued to tour and released several ‘live’ albums during this decade.
Their fifth studio album, ‘Soul From Liverpool‘, featured a number of new songs plus noteworthy versions of other artists’ songs. Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’, The Beatles’ ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and a powerful ‘Where Do The Children Play’ (Cat Stevens) confirmed the band’s ability to reinterpret other’s work to great effect.
2012 saw the 25th anniversary of their first album’s success and The Christians released ‘Speed Of Life’ to mark this milestone. Deluxe versions of both their debut album, ‘The Christians’, and ‘Colour’ were also released including a number of bonus tracks and remixes. Sleeve notes from Garry Christian and some rare images from the time complete these attractive packages.
The Christians have continued to tour extensively in the UK, Spain and France receiving rave reviews for their live performances. Broadcaster Chris Evans described The Christians set on air in December 2013 as ‘…the best gig I’ve ever been to’. Another album, ‘We’, was released in late September 2015. A double-header tour with Roachford followed where the new material was promoted. 2017 saw The Christians touring extensively to mark the 30th anniversary of their debut album.
Additionally, the album ‘Sings & Strings’ was released which featured the reworking of 8 of their best known songs (plus ‘Harvest For The World’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’) with a gospel choir accompanied only by a string quartet and piano. Shortly after, The Christians embarked on a 30 day Triple Header Tour with Altered Images and Midge Ure. The Christians continue to release albums and tour Europe and the UK.