Chris Rainbow



Born in Glasgow Nov. 18, 1946 as Christopher James Harley. Chris later changed his last name because, "Steve Harley was at his peak and I didn’t want any confusion. The name Rainbow was found one evening as me and some friends were watching TV and the reporter’s name flashed on the screen as ‘Christopher Rainbow’, so that was that.’

Chris was trained as a graphic artist and worked in that profession from 1964 to 1972. In 1970 he played with his first band called "Hope Street".

1975 was the year that marked his first album "Home of the Brave". "Looking Over My Shoulder" followed in 1977, and "White Trails" in 1978. A lesser known piece of solo work is the music Chris did for an EMI video release called "Body Music" in 1985.

In 1979, Chris sang "Winding Me Up" on The Alan Parsons Project album "Eve". This began a long association with Parsons, and Chris returned many times, including the 1999 "Time Machine" album.

In the early 1980's Chris, along with other APP veterans, would work with the band Camel. It began with the album "The Single Factor", and even lead to Chris touring with the band.

Another band that Chris has had considerable involvement with is the Scottish band Runrig. Runrig is a band that can't be pigeon-holed into any one category. A combination of rock and folk, they have a sound all their own. As Chris elaborates, "they really are unique as far as I know, and suffer for it too." In addition to producing a number of their albums (under his birth name of Chris Harley), he has also provided vocals, and joined them for some live dates.

Whether he goes by Chris Harley, or Chris Rainbow, there’s still a bright future ahead. He’s most recently produced a Donnie Munro album. There are plans to do more production work, and even plans for a new Chris Rainbow solo album.

For more about Chris Rainbow, see Issue Three of The Avenue.


Selected Discography

Chris Rainbow Solo Albums
1975 Home of the Brave
1978 Looking over My Shoulder
1979 White Trails
1985 Body Music (video)
2001 The Chris Rainbow Anthology, 1974-1981

  Work With Other Artists    
1975 Lennie McDonald Hard Road Percussion, Vocals  
1979 Max Middleton & Robert Ahwai Another Sleeper Vocals  
1979 The Alan Parsons Project Eve Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)  
1980 The Alan Parsons Project The Turn of a Friendly Card Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)  
1980 Jon Anderson Song of Seven Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Choir, Chorus  
1980 Colin Townley Townley Synthesizer  
1982 Camel Single Factor Keyboards, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)  
1982 Panorama Can This Be Paradise Vocals  
1982 The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky Vocals  
1983 Jon Anderson Animation Vocals  
1984 Camel Pressure Points: Live in Concert Keyboards, Vocals  
1984 Camel Stationary Traveller Vocals  
1984 Culture Club Waking Up with the House on Fire Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)  
1984 The Alan Parsons Project Ammonia Avenue Vocals  
1985 The Alan Parsons Project Vulture Culture Vocals  
1985 Runrig Heartland Producer *
1986 The Alan Parsons Project Stereotomy Vocals  
1987 The Alan Parsons Project Gaudi Vocals  
1987 Runrig Cutter and the Clan Vocals (bckgr), Producer *
1988 Runrig Once in a Lifetime Producer *
1990 Various / APP Freudiana Vocals  
1993 Runrig Amazing Things Producer *
1996 Wolfstone Half Tail Producer *
1999 Alan Parsons Time Machine Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)  
2000 Donnie Munro On the West Side Vocals  
2000 Donnie Munro On the West Side Arranger, Producer *

*=Credited as Chris Harley

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