The Christians, are a British soul influenced sophisti -pop band from Liverpool, who had several UK and international chart hits, in the late 80s and early 90s.
The Christians are known for their politically-conscious, often moral lyrics, and have been labelled as 'socially aware soul'. Musically,comparisons have been drawn to bands such as The Temptations and The Pursuasions.
Formed in 1983 in Liverpool, The Christians started out as 3- piece acappella act, originally comprising of three brothers: Garry (lead vocals), Russell (keyboards, sax, vocals) and Roger Christian (vocals, instrumentalist). In 1986 they were joined by Henry Priestman (whose middle name coincidentally happened to be Christian!), former Yachts and It's Immaterial frontman. Shortly after, Roger Christian left the band to pursue a solo career. The rest of the band continued without him, and in 1987 scored a minor hit with ‘Forgotten town’.
In 1987 Christians released a self titled album ‘The Christians’, entering the UK charts at no. 2 and eventually going on to sell over 2 million copies. 1988 saw the release of the Isley Brothers cover: 'Harvest for the World'. The single reached #8 in the UK charts, with all proceeds going to charity. They had further success with a charity single: Ferry Cross the Mersey – a collaborative effort including Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson, Gerry Marsden and Stock Aitken Waterman staying at #1 for 3 weeks.
Christians released their second album ‘Colour’ in 1990, yielding the international hit ‘Words’ and the second single off the album ‘I Found Out’. In 1992 'Happy in Hell' was released, producing the top 40 hit single 'What's in a Word'. The band continued to tour in the early 1990s, however, their popularity began to decline. They released a greatest hits album in 1993 ‘The Best of the Christians’, reaching #22 in the charts.
Russell Christian left the band in 1995 to pursue a solo career. In 1998 Roger Christian passed away from a brain tumour. The band reformed in 1999 as a four-piece unplugged act, with guitarist and songwriter Paul Campbell accompanying them on tour. Christians released a further album in 2003 'Prodigal Sons', supported by a UK tour. The line up changed once again in 2005, when Russel Christian no longer wished to tour with the band. The new band comprised of Garry Christian (vocals), Joey Ankrah (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), Stewart Boyle (electric guitar), Bobby Kewley (bass guitar) and Jay Iving (drums). The band is still active today, having recently released a new record in 2009 'Soul from Liverpool' and continue to tour.
The Christians, 1987.
Happy In Hell, 1992.
Prodigal Sons, 2003.
Source: Jenny Grib
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