Come up and see us and we’ll make you smile!
Steve began his singing career “floor-spotting” (singing for free as a member of the audience) in London folk clubs in 1971/72. He sang at LES COUSINS, BUNJIE’S and THE TROUBADOUR on nights featuring JOHN MARTIN, RALPH McTELL, MARTIN CARTHY and JULIE FELIX, all leading lights of the London folk movement at the time.
He later joined folk band ODIN as rhythm guitarist and co-singer, which was where he met the first COCKNEY REBEL violinist, JOHN CROCKER. However, the folk scene proved a little tame for Mr Harley and, as he was constantly writing songs, formed COCKNEY REBEL as a vehicle for his own work. It was here that Steve and STUART ELLIOTT first met and worked together. Stuart drums with Steve’s band on record and on tour from time to time to this day.
The band signed to EMI for a guaranteed three album deal in 1972 and released THE HUMAN MENAGERIE early in ’73. From this collection, a single, SEBASTIAN, became a huge European hit, staying at NUMBER ONE in HOLLAND and BELGIUM for many weeks. Other COCKNEY REBEL and/or STEVE HARLEY albums are: THE PSYCHOMODO, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, TIMELESS FLIGHT, LOVE’S A PRIMA DONNA, FACE TO FACE (LIVE), HOBO WITH A GRIN, THE CANDIDATE (all EMI), YES YOU CAN (1992), POETIC JUSTICE (1996) and THE QUALITY OF MERCY released in late 2005, plus 2 other Live acoustic CDs, STRIPPED TO THE BARE BONES TO THE and ANYTIME!
One Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel single, MAKE ME SMILE (COME UP AND SEE ME), reached NUMBER ONE in 1975 in the UK and many European countries and is regularly voted among the top singles in the history of the charts, which covers six decades of releases. The Performing Rights Society has confirmed MAKE ME SMILE one of the most played records in British broadcasting. The song has been covered MORE THAN 100 TIMES in seven languages and has been featured in several movies including THE FULL MONTY (whose soundtrack album went TRIPLE PLATINUM in the UK, and PLATINUM in the USA and Australia), VELVET GOLDMINE, BEST and SAVING GRACE. The song has also been used on more than twenty TV and radio advertising campaigns around the world.
Steve’s other chart singles include, JUDY TEEN, MR SOFT, MR RAFFLES (MAN, IT WAS MEAN), HERE COMES THE SUN, LOVE’S A PRIMA DONNA, IRRESISTIBLE, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (with SARAH BRIGHTMAN) and A FRIEND FOR LIFE.
During the eighties, Steve took time out from the rock world as his two children were going through their formative years but did perform on stage, albeit the legitimate stage. He starred as the C16th playwright Christopher Marlowe, in the musical-drama MARLOWE, which ran off-Broadway and in London. Steve’s performance was described by one leading critic as “a major and moving performance.”
Steve has written lyrics for several other artists, including his old friend ROD STEWART who has called him “One of the finest lyricists the UK has ever produced.”
Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel are coming to ALL Cannings!