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'94 tour

Postby tobi777 » 06 Mar 2015, 10:47

After the big tours from 1988-1993 and large venues the '94 tour only had few dates and (at least in Germany) very small halls. Was Chris Rea simply fed up with the big arenas - or what was the reason?

"Espresso Logic" was not a big hit like "Auberge" but commercially CR was still doing quite well, or am I wrong? I know Chris fell ill in '94 but this cannot be the reason for the odd choice of venues and few dates since nobody could have known that before.
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Re: '94 tour

Postby andrew fischer » 09 Mar 2015, 14:44

Hi Tobias,

Thanks for rasing an interesting subject to discuss!

Yes, indeed, the 1994 tour was rather small, the venues chosen were mostly intimate and giving a feeling more of a club gig. Moreover, the tour had very little promotion and I even cannot recall a special poster/advert for any 1994 gig. But at the same time, through this small tour Chris visited the counties he could barely be remembered being in: Spain, Italy and Canada.

I assume, one of the main reasons for that was Chris's deep involvement into his big big project, La Passione. Espresso Logic was a kind of a "side project" and initially songs from it had been not supposed to form an album; it was Warner's unexpected decision to release Espresso as a full-length album. You can read a lot about it in a very good interview/article in Sound on Sound magazine from spring 1994: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1994_ar ... isrea.html

The other reasons may be, as you put it, being tired of big touring, crowded arenas and record executives pressure (go there, do that, etc.). Chris spoke in an early 90s interview about Warner's attemps to make a Pink Floyd style live show through his 1990 RtH tour and said it was quite not his cup of tea. So Chris agreed to promote Espresso album when asked by Warner only if the promotion would not be of a big scale and he could focus on his main project. Hence small venues, few dates, unexpected places, little publicity, etc.

Also I think Warner had already put a heap of money into La Passione by that moment, so it was another reason for not pushing Espresso and its singles into charts. Eventually, the album was not that high in the charts but sold well, being a trail of its predecessors.

Remember, 1998 tour was also rather small, only a few dates in UK, and most of the other few dates in Germany. And also that tour saw Chris's minimalization of the live instrumentation, only 4-piece band, which made the sound more of a club band! It was more or less all usual and full-blend through 1994 tour, though without back vocals and second keyboardist. But I recall it was in 1994 for the first time when Chris used drum machine upon a concert, performing Nothing to Fear. So, here is another sign of his experiments with "downshifting".

Best wishes
Andrey
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Re: '94 tour

Postby veherny » 09 Mar 2015, 20:04

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Re: '94 tour

Postby tobi777 » 13 Mar 2015, 11:47

Hi Andrey,

thanks again for your detailed answer. I knew this interview but never really thought that La Passione started that early and didn't remember Espresso Logic was a kind of by-product of several sessions during the time.

Cheers
Tobi
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Re: '94 tour

Postby andrew fischer » 13 Mar 2015, 14:26

Hi again Tobi,

there is even more intriguing that Chris says he "was planning to hand over another album to the record company before Christmas '93, but Espresso Logic would probably still have been in the charts".

I can only imagine what this rejected album could have been like... I think the wonderful B-sides from 1993 and 1994 singles, I Thought I was Going to Lose You, Ruby Blue, That's the Way It Goes, We Don't Have a Problem, and probably Go Your Own Way and 3 Little Green Candles were supposed to form this never-happened album...

I also consider it highly probable that Chris used the songs from this unreleased album for the Blue Guitars, as well as some other shelved tunes from the previous sessions. Many songs from the Blue Guitars sound pretty like from this period (1992-94), in my opinion.

Thanks again for your further comments
best wishes
Andrey
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