John Miles

John Miles (April 23, 1949 — December 5, 2021) was an English vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter who shot to fame on Decca with the 1976 album Rebel and the singles “Highfly” and “Music.” It was produced by Alan Parsons, who also handled Miles’ 1979 fourth album More Miles Per Hour. Concurrently, Parsons enlisted the singer for select vocals on the Project albums Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Pyramid. Between his involvement with Parsons, Miles teamed with Rupert Holmes on the 1977/78 albums Stranger in the City and Zaragon. The former includes the hits “Remember Yesterday” and “Slow Down.”

Between 1981 and 1985, he released the albums Miles High, Play On, and Transition. He guested twice more with the Alan Parsons Project on the 1985–87 albums Stereotomy and Gaudi. In 1988, Miles sang on Outrider, the debut solo album by former Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. From 1987 onward, Miles backed Tina Turner on assorted live and studio projects.


Miles was born John Errington on April 23, 1949, in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear. As a teenager at Jarrow Grammar School, he formed his first band, The Influence, with drummer Paul Thompson (later Roxy Music) and guitarist Vic Malcolm (later Geordie). In 1969, they released their only single, “I Want to Live” (b/w “Driving Me Wild”), on Orange Records.

He briefly fronted the John Miles Set, then issued “Why Don’t You Love Me,” his first of eight solo singles on Orange, interrupted by the 1971 Decca single “Jose.” Between September 1970 and November 1974, his solo singles appeared as follows:

Sep 1970
A: “Why Don’t You Love Me” (Errington)
B: “If I Could See Through” (Errington)

Jul 1971 (Decca)
A: “Jose” (Jonathan King)
B: “You Make It So Hard” (Miles)

Feb 1972
A: “Come Away Melinda” (Tim Rose)
B: “Walking With My Head Held High” (Miles)

March 1972
A: “Yesterday (Was Just the Beginning)” (Vanda/Young)
B: “Road to Freedom” (Paul Morrison)

Feb 1973
A: “Hard Road”
B: “You’re Telling Me Lies” (Miles)

May 1973
A: “Jacqueline” (Miles)
B: “Keep On Tryin'” (Miles)

Aug 1973
A: “One Minute Every Hour” (Vanda/Young)
B: “Hollywood Queen” (Miles)

Jan 1974
A: “Fright Of My Life” (Miles/Marshall)
B: “Good Time Woman” (Miles/Marshall)

Nov 1974
A: “What’s On Your Mind”
B: “To Be Grateful” (Magnús Kjartansson)
B (alt): “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band”

September 5, 1975
A: “Highfly”
B: “There’s a Man Behind the Guitar”


Rebel 

John Miles released his debut album, Rebel, in March 1976 on Decca.

1. “Music” (5:58)
2. “Everybody Wants Some More” (4:45)
3. “Highfly” (3:53)
4. “You Have it All” (7:01)

5. “Rebel” (3:19)
6. “When You Lose Someone So Young” (4:35)
7. “Lady of My Life” (4:08)
8. “Pull the Damn Thing Down” (7:18)
9. “Music (Reprise)” (2:11)

Recorded November–December 1975
Studio Abbey Road Studios, London
Producer Alan Parsons
Andrew Powell – orchestral arrangements

John Miles – lead vocals, keyboards, guitar, synthesizer
Bob Marshall – bass
Barry Black – drums, percussion

A: Music
B: Putting My New Song Together


Stranger in the City

John Miles released his second album, Stranger in the City, in December 1976 on Decca.

1. “Stranger in the City” (4:30)
2. “Slow Down” (4:46)
3. “Stand up (And Give Me a Reason)” (7:03)
4. “Time” (3:57)

5. “Manhattan Skyline” (3:06)
6. “Glamour Boy” (4:49)
7. “Do it Anyway” (Barry Black) (2:46)
8. “Remember Yesterday” (5:23)
9. “Music Man” (4:53)

Studio Mediasound, New York City; Utopia Studios, Primrose Hill, London
Producer Rupert Holmes

John Miles – vocals, piano, guitar
Bob Marshall – bass guitar
Barry Black – drums

Gary Moberley – keyboards
Jimmy Maelen – conga, Latin percussion
Rupert Holmes – producer, orchestral arrangements, conductor

Technical
Bob Clearmountain, James Guthrie, Mike Bobak – engineer
Godfrey Diamond – mixing
Hipgnosis – design, photography

September 10, 1976
A: Remember Yesterday
B: House On The Hill

In February 1977, Stranger in the City appeared in the US on London Records.

A: Slow Down
B: Manhattan Skyline


Zaragon

John Miles released his third album, Zaragon, in March 1978 on Decca.

1. “Overture” (8:15)
2. “Borderline” (4:56)
3. “I Have Never Been in Love Before” (5:07)
4. “No Hard Feelings” (3:22)
5. “Plain Jane” (8:09)
6. “Nice Man Jack” (7:45)
    I.
“Kensington Gardens”
    II. “Mitre Square”
    III. “Harley Street”
7. “Zaragon” (5:31)

Recorded October–December 1977
Studio Plaza Sound Studios, New York City
Producer Rupert Holmes

John Miles – vocals, guitar, keyboards, special effects
Bob Marshall – electric bass
Barry Black – drums, percussion

Technical
Rob Freeman – engineer
Hipgnosis – photography

A: No Hard Feelings
B: Nice Man Jack (ii): Mitre Square Excerpt


More Miles Per Hour

John Miles released his fourth album, More Miles Per Hour, in April 1979 on Decca.

1. “Satisfied” (3:59)
2. “It’s Not Called Angel” (5:08)
3. “Bad Blood” (4:16)
4. “Fella in the Cellar” (6:43)

5. “Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” (3:48)
6. “Oh Dear!” (4:10)
7. “C’est La Vie” (4:27)
8. “We All Fall Down” (6:57)

Recorded November 1978 – January 1979
Producer Alan Parsons

John Miles – lead vocals, keyboards, guitar
Bob Marshall – bass
Barry Black – drums
Brian Chatton – keyboards
Andrew Powell – orchestral arrangements

A: Can’t Keep A Good Man Down
B: Sweet Lorraine

November 16, 1979
A: “Don’t Give Me Your Sympathy”
B: “If You Don’t Need Lovin'”

In 1980, five songs from More Miles Per Hour appeared on the US Arista release Sympathy.


Miles High

John Miles released his fifth album, Miles High, in August 1981 on EMI.

1. “Turn Yourself Loose” (3.50)
2. “Don’t Stop Now” (4.49)
3. “Foolin’” (4.30)
4. “Don’t Want the Same Things” (5.36)
5. “Out of the Cradle (But Still Rockin’)” (3.50)

6. “Hold On” (4.26)
7. “Peaceful Waters” (3.42)
8. “Dancin’ for Joy” (4.46)
9. “One Step Closer to Paradise” (4.04)
10. “Reggae Man” (5.30)

Recorded May 1981
Studio Pye Studios, London
Producer John Miles

John Miles – lead vocals, keyboards, lead guitar[4]
Bob Marshall – bass guitar[4]
Barry Black – drums[4]
Brian Chatton – keyboards[4]
Richard Hewson – arrangements on “Don’t Want the Same Things”, “Out of the Cradle (But Still Rockin’)”, “Peaceful Waters” and “Dancin’ for Joy”

Technical
Mike Day – recording, mixing
Satori – sleeve concept, design
Adrian Baumgartner – cover portrait painting

A: “Turn Yourself Loose”
B: “Closer To You”


Play On

John Miles released his sixth album, Play On, in August 1983 on EMI.

1. “Take Me to My Heaven” (3:22)
2. “Song for You” (4:13)
3. “It Wasn’t Love at All” (4:34)
4. “Ready to Spread Your Wings” (4:47)
5. “I’ll Never Do it Again” (4:49)
6. “Heart of Stone” (4:27)
7. “Home” (5:14)
8. “Close Eyes and Count to Ten” (4:23)
9. “Carrie” (3:45)
10. “Right to Sing” (3:42)

Recorded 1982
Studio Maison Rouge, London
Producer Gus Dudgeon

John Miles – lead vocals, backing vocals, piano, guitar
Martin Jenner – acoustic guitar, guitar
Gus Dudgeon – tambourine on “The Right to Sing”
Graham Jarvis – drums
Paul Westwood – bass
Pete Wingfield – electric piano, organ, piano, synthesizer, clavinet, backing vocals
Duncan Mackay – synthesizer; vocoder on “Close Eyes Count to Ten”
Frank Ricotti – percussion

Jimmy Chambers, Katie Kissoon – backing vocals
Jerry Donahue – electric guitar on “Take Me to My Heaven”
Mel Collins – saxophone on “Take Me to My Heaven” and “Home”
Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangement on “Ready to Spread Your Wings”
Derek Wadsworth and Gus Dudgeon – arrangements on “Take Me to My Heaven” and “Heart of Stone”
Chris Hunter, Derek Wadsworth, Dick Morrissey, Jeff Daly – brass on “Take Me to My Heaven” and “Heart of Stone”
Bruce Baxter – orchestral arrangement on “The Right to Sing”

A: Song For You
B: That’s Rock ‘N’ Roll


Transition

John Miles released his seventh album, Transition, in November 1985 on Valentino Records.

1. “Once in Your Life” (3:56)
2. “Run” (3:46)
3. “Blinded” (6:29)
4. “You’re the One” (4:32)

5. “I Need Your Love” (4:56)
6. “Hard Time” (4:13)
7. “Who Knows” (3:56)
8. “Don’t Lie to Me” (4:24)
9. “Watching over Me” (3:53)

John Miles – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
Bob Marshall – bass
Barriemore Barlow – drums, percussion, backing vocals

Production
Pat Moran – producer, engineer, re-mixing
Trevor Rabin – producer on tracks 3, 5
Beau Hill – producer on track 9
Steve Benson, Paul DeVillea – engineers
Phil Vinall – mixing


Discography:


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