Look at the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles and you could be forgiven for thinking Smokie’s success story was a 1970s phenomenon. After all, 11 of their 14 British hits came in that eventful musical decade. However, their massive success story has continued to flourish around the globe including Scandinavia, South Africa, Germany and even China. Smokie are a band which has sold out tours and gained platinum records in four decades – 70s, 80s, 90s and the present day.
A quick recap then on past glories. Smokie first got together at school in Yorkshire in the late 60s. After going through various names and styles, they signed with Mickie Most’s then ultra-hot RAK label and found themselves chartbound. Songs like ‘If You Think You Know How To Love Me’, ‘Don’t Play Your Rock’n’Roll To Me’, ‘It’s Your Life’ and ‘Oh Carol’ (all Top 10 entries) became radio staples and gave Smokie their ticket to travel the world.
The sound was a combination of hook-laden songs and Smokie’s distinctive but unashamedly Stateside-influenced soft-rock harmonies, their secret being their vocal blend – a rasping, emotion-drenched lead set against melodic harmonies that produces an unique, bittersweet result.
After accumulating worldwide sales of over 30 million, Smokie made ‘Wild Horses’, a 1997 Nashville-recorded album that cost the band a quarter of a million pounds to produce. It gave them a foothold in US country radio, while hits collections continue to find a ready market. That trend continued with ‘Uncovered’ and ‘Uncovered Too’, which were both huge hits throughout Scandinavia – reaching the top 5 in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – achieving double platinum status.
Smokie continue to be one of the most successful bands in the world today. Recent global events, as well as more devastating news with the passing of Terry Uttley have seen the line-up of today having to change and develop with the addition of Pete Lincoln, formerly of The Sweet on lead vocals, and Rhythm Guitar and Luke Bullard, son of Martin Bullard stepping into Terry’s shoes on Bass and backing vocals, the legacy of Smokie that was founded by Terry will live on and Smokie look forward to seeing you all on their continuing journey.
Smokies line-up are:- Steve Pinnell on Drums, Mick McConnell on lead guitar and Backing vocal, Pete Lincoln Lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Martin Bullard Keyboards, Luke Bullard on Bass guitar and backing vocals
There’s no smoke without fire, so the saying goes – and Smokie are still firing on all five cylinders!
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