Smokie (band)

Smokie is a British pop / rock band that is one of the most popular groups of the 1970s. Their most successful titles are Living Next Door to Alice, Lay Back in the Arms of Someone and Mexican Girl.

Posse Up

In the early 1970s singer Chris Norman founded ( born October 25, 1950 Redcar ), guitarist Alan David Silson ( born June 21, 1951 Bradford) and bassist Terence " Terry " David Uttley ( born June 9, 1951 Bradford), the knew each other from the St. Bede's Grammar School in Bradford, a band, "The Yen " and later "The Sphynx " called themselves. Without much success, they played in the bars of the area. They changed their band name to " The Elisabethans " and later in " Kindness ", accumulated experience on stage and earned a small cult following.

The first successes

In 1974, she learned about Bill Hurley drummer Peter David " Pete " Spencer ( born October 13, 1948 Leeds ) know and contacted the famous songwriting duo Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman ( Chinnichap Records), which as through collaboration with artists The Sweet, Suzi Quatro and Mud already celebrated great successes. The songwriting team in the back and her manager and producer Mickie Most, the most successful British pop suppliers of the 1960s and 1970s, the signs were good. Most got them a record deal - and the band was especially in the years 1974 and 1975, where they played now under the band name " Smokey " and produced, soon became popular.

Pass It Around 1975, their first album was called. The single of the same flopped, but the band first attracted attention, and in the same year appeared a second LP. The first single from Changing All the Time was then a surprising success: If You Think You Know How to Love Me made ​​the four northern Englishman into stars overnight on the island. The title also held in Germany for half a year in the charts, reaching number 8 there

Career highlight

Paying close attention to the band now, the American soul singer Smokey Robinson was (actually William Robinson), and sat by a court that the Quartet should not wear his stage name. With the third album Midnight Café So now came the final name of the band Smokie with "ie". 1977 the band had their breakthrough: On the " greatest hits " album the song Living Next Door to Alice was ( a cover version of a song, the Chinn and Chapman in 1972 for the group New World written ), as produced under the label Most of today and the biggest hit of the Smokies. In the U.S., the group has now been popular.

Occupied in Germany alone Smokie in 1977 for 14 weeks number one in the singles charts ( nine weeks with Living Next Door to Alice, for the first time on February 7, 1977 and a further five weeks Lay Back in the Arms of Someone (see list of number - one singles in Germany (1977 ))). The following LPs Bright Lights and Back Alleys (1977) and the Montreux Album ( 1978) with numerous original compositions by the group included a number of other hits. With the singles It's Your Life, Needles and Pins, For a Few Dollars More, Oh Carol, Mexican Girl, they landed numerous high top- ten finishes in all of Europe. The pop press showered her in this time with audience awards (among the "Golden Otto" the Bravo).

Separation and reunion

1979 was exceeded in commercial terms with the album The Other Side of the Road of the zenith. Although the album versatile, innovative and consistently rocking was than the previous albums, Smokie could not build on the great successes with it. The Singles Do to Me, Babe, It 's Up to You and San Francisco Bay brought the group the lower ranks of the top ten. Gone with the success it was after the Solid Ground album in 1981 and Strangers in Paradise in 1982. Remedy was not the change to Repertoire Records ( Midnight Delight ) in the same year to create. In 1982, the band parted ways, but came in 1985 at a concert for victims of the fire disaster at the Bradford football stadium back together and decided to tour together again.

1986 Chris Norman then finally separated from the band and had in May of the same year, produced by Dieter Bohlen song Midnight Lady from the Schimanski - Tatort The exchange a solo hit ( six weeks number 1 in Germany ). Smokie tingelte Meanwhile, far less attention with their new singer Alan Barton ( born September 16, 1953) through the country. Norman and planks ended their cooperation, and Bohlen produced in 1989 for the song Smokie Young Hearts. The single reached number 43 in the German charts.

After a concert in Lennestadt- Meggen on March 19, 1995 she was the tour bus on the way to Düsseldorf Airport on the A4 near Olpe by hail from the icy road surface, plunged down an embankment and rolled over several times. While the other band members with bruises and abrasions came, Alan Barton died on 23 March 1995 in hospital Merheim his severe head injuries. Was succeeded by Mike Craft ( born April 4, 1958).

After Alan Silson 1996, the band left for health reasons, bassist Terry Uttley is the last band member of the original cast of 1974.

On the occasion of Chris Norman victory in the comeback show of ProSieben was the original cast of Smokie in the final on 5 April 2004 once again together on stage and played Lay Back in the Arms of Someone.

( * June 3, 1952 ) Members of today's band Smokie addition Uttley and Craft of lead guitarist Mick McConnell ( born March 22, 1964), keyboard player Martin Bullard ( born July 8, 1956) and drummer Steve Pinnell. On oldie festivals they are still often on stage.

" Smokie - Life Beyond Alice" On October 1, 2013 Uttley 's biography was published (publishing Publish Peak ).


Studio albums


  • Bravo Otto 1977: "Gold " in the category "Band "
  • 1978: " Gold " in the category "Band "
  • 1979: " Bronze " in the category "Band "
  • Lion of Radio Luxembourg 1977: "Gold " ( Living Next Door to Alice)