thank you - as always - for your detailed post and your insights.
Of course I forgot "Joys Of Christmas" - it must indeed have been the strangest decision ever to release it as a single. "Sing A Song Of Love To Me" is one of my favourite tracks ever, so how could I forget it, too?
You are right regarding the airplay of "real" singles in the 90s. The decline came later. But at least in Germany most of the radio stations that play more current chart hits seemed to have turned away from Chris' music after "Espresso Logic". I can remember that "Julia" has been played quite frequently at that time - but that's it. And the other stations that are more focussed on oldies also don't care about the tracks that came later but stick to the obvious songs like "Josephine" etc.
In my opinion the Warner albums that came after "Espresso Logic" left a lot to be desired: low-key production, drum machines, too many recycled ideas, mediocre songwriting (just my personal opinion!). Also the sales figures decreased and the concert venues grew smaller.
So maybe this added up to my impression that the classic phase was 1978-1993. To be precise there were more phases or milestones:
1978 - 1981: initial success followed by commercial failure, strict guidance by the record company, lack of freedom
1983 - 1986: turnaround, breakthrough, growing fanbase and record sales, more elaborate productions
1987 - 1993: "superstar", high record sales (at least LPs), huge venues
1994 - 2001: illness, decreasing sales and a phase of lack of creativity (again, just my taste!)
2002 - ???? : The Blues phase