Terry Reid

Terry Reid, (born November 13, 1949), is a singer and guitarist noted for his soulful voice in the same vein as contemporaries Paul Rodgers and Rod Stewart. His guitar playing on his signature Fender Telecaster, is both delicate and economical.

Reid was born in Huntingdon, England. After leaving school at the age of 15, he joined Peter Jay's Jaywalkers primarily for his guitar playing, after being spotted by the band's drummer, Peter Jay. At the time Reid was playing for a local band, The Redbeats. His public profile was enhanced in 1966 when The Jaywalkers were named as a support act for The Rolling Stones for their Albert Hall concert. Graham Nash of The Hollies became friends with Reid at that concert and suggested The Jaywalkers sign up with Columbia Records to record with producer John Burgess. Their first single, the soul inspired "The Hand Don't Fit the Glove" was a minor hit in 1967 but by then The Jaywalkers had already decided to split. Reid came to the attention of hits producer Mickie Most and became his manager. His first single with Most, "Better By Far" became a radio favourite but the album, Bang Bang, You're Terry Reid, was not a commercial success. Then followed a 1968 tour of the United States with Cream, which did much to gain Reid a loyal following. His final performance of the tour at the Miami Pop Festival garnering positive reviews from the music press.

Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page became interested in his work and when The Yardbirds finally called it a day, Page wanted Reid to fill in the vocalist spot for his proposed new group. Following the brief experiment of Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page as twin lead guitarists in 1966, Page wished to continue this path with Reid however it was stalled when Reid had been contracted to Columbia Records for three years. Reid suggested to Page that he hear a young Birmingham singer Robert Plant instead having previously experienced the Band of Joy as a support act at one of his concerts. History later repeated itself when Reid also turned down Deep Purple's request when they decided to replace singer Rod Evans. Ian Gillan was given the opportunity instead.

Terry Reid's second album in 1969, Terry Reid is regarded by critics as his best work to date. Reid toured the United States again and appeared at the infamous Rolling Stones concert at Altamont. Reid however became involved in a dispute with producer Mickie Most, who wanted Reid to become a balladeer and to strictly follow his own formula. The same problem The Yardbirds had experienced with Most years earlier. Reid then left England and settled in California to sit out the remainder of his contract with Most, making only sporadic live performances during that period. In 1970 he returned briefly to England to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival. In 1973, Reid returned with a new contract with Atlantic Records and a new album entitled River. Produced by Yes's Eddie Offord, it received favourable reviews but was a commercial flop.

Over the next decade, Reid switched to different labels in search of a winning formula; Seed of Memory released by ABC Records in 1976 (produced by Graham Nash), and Rogue Waves released by Capitol Records in 1979. He retired his solo career in 1981 to concentrate on session work, appearing on albums by Don Henley, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. In 1991, Reid returned with former Yes producer Trevor Horn, on the album The Driver. The album featured a cover version of the Spencer Davis Group classic, "Gimme Some Lovin'", which had earlier appeared on the Days of Thunder soundtrack. The Mike Scott penned "The Whole of the Moon" was released as a single and received considerable airplay. Reid has since been playing occasional live gigs with a band that has included ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and Brian Auger.

Discography

  • Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid (1968)
  • Terry Reid (1969) (US title: Move Over for Terry Reid)
  • River (1973)
  • Seed of Memory (1976)
  • Rogue Waves (1979)
  • The Driver (1991)

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