Chris DeBurgh

"My approach to every album [is to record the album as a book of short stories]. 
Not only does it have to have impact today, but it also has to be long-term.
It's something you can come back to and enjoy without it sounding too dated."
--Chris DeBurgh, Music Week, April 28, 1984


Chris DeBurgh was fsigned to a recording and publishing deal with A&M Records and Rondor Music International in October 1974. DeBurgh came to the label as a good live performer and that remained the best way to introduce him to people and the record-buying public. The audience has stayed with Chris over the course of hi career. Radio in the U.S. and the U.K. were both slow to add his songs.



Dave Margereson, head of A&R signed Chris DeBurgh to A&M Records, Ltd. in 1974. He was the only British act signed that year One of the songs on his demo tape was "Satin Green Shutters." The song appeared on DeBurgh's debut album Far From These Castle Walls. The album was recorded in the summer of 1974. Its title was a reference to the DeBurgh familly home in Ireland, a 12th century castle.

Chris' first success came in Argentina where his single "Turning Round" quickly rose to No. 1 and stayed there for three months. It sold over 400,000 copies in South America selling 10,000 copies a week. 



DeBurgh's first tour was as the opening act with fellow A&M artists Gallagher and Lyle and Supertramp. The tour included Europe and North America.  

The first hit single was "Turning Round" (later renamed "Flying"). The success came first in South America. In Argentina the song was No. 1. It sold over 400,000 copies in South America selling 10,000 copies a week.   The Spanish Train album sold well in Canada, France, Germany and South Africa. 

Chris DeBurgh: Spanish Train Canada Award

Chris DeBurgh received an in-house award for his Spanish Train & Other Stories album in Montreal, Canada. J. P. Guilbert, Chris, Roger Hodgson and Donald K. Donald.

"I'm a very spontaneous writer...I get an idea and I take it in the direction that feels right. Writing songs for me is like doing a crossword puzzle. Usually I start with a line that comes out of nowhere and I just build on it. I enjoy the process but I find it very taxing. I believe that a creative person, whatever he or she does, can't rush things...When you rush, the creativity disappears and the quality suffers."--Chris DeBurgh, RPM October 23, 1976


Chris DeBurgh's career in North America began in Canada in 1975. The Canadian public and media found Chris and his music early in Chris' career. DeBurgh toured and made promotional appearances there often, rising to be a headline performer in arena shows. His records were award-winners in Canada including platinum for his single "The Lady In Red."



At the End Of a Perfect Day was recorded in 1977. "This record reflected my lack of interest in commercial music. I still had thi strong feeling that I wanted to make records that were books. And I think that of all the albums I've done, this one has probably done the least business. But I'd say it's my favourite because it's almost really a group of love songs," Chris DeBurgh, Music Week, April 28, 1984.


Doug Chappell, Chris deBurgh, Jim Monaco in Toronto

Chris deBurgh visiting with Doug Chappell (National Promotion) and Jim Monaco i(Publicity) n the Toronto office.



By 1978, Dave Margereson had left A&M to manage several of A&M's artists including DeBurgh. Margereson believed that it was important to elevate Chris to a headliner and increase the number of concerts. DeBurgh enjoyed success in Brazil, South Africa and Canada. The Crusader album was recorded at the end of 1978.

Chris DeBurgh, Rich Titian, JP Gilbert



Until his Eastern Wind album, Chris had only recorded in London and had not used an American producer. For Eastern Wind, he recorded in Canada with A&M staff producer David Anderle. It was the first time DeBurgh recorded an album with his own band. Released in the spring of 1980, and like the albums before it, Eastern Wind sold well in Canada, France and Germany. In Norway it sold 125,000 copies making it the biggest selling album since the Beatles' Abbey Road. Norway voted Eastern Wind album oc the year and DeBurgh Artist Of the Year. 



A&M Records Canada wanted to have a DeBurgh album available for Christmas sale and suggested a compilation album. Best Moves became his best-selling album to that point in time. DeBurgh toured to support the album still maintaining a schedule of 80 to 100 concert dates each year. A&M believed the tour was responsible for making his newest album Best Moves sell 50,000 copies in five weeks and earn a gold record from CRIA. DeBurgh's back catalog sold another 20,000 copies.

In 1981, DeBurgh had five albums on the Norwegian charts.

In 1981, DeBurgh did a 14-city, 21-show tour of Canada. He sold out five shows in Montreal and two shows in Toronto. 



DeBurgh and producer Rupert Hine opted for a record that sounded like it was recorded live. In December 1982, The Geaway was selling 34,000 copies a week. This was the album that began to get the American audience interested in DeBurgh's music. The album sold over 170,000 copies and got a lift from videos that aired on MTv. Chris' live performances in the U.S. were limited to 15 showcases. He did not tour as a support act.

A&M Canada was very supportive of DeBurgh. For "Don't Pay the Ferryman" J.P. Guilbert, National Director of Promotion, wanted radio station Q-107 to play the song. He chained himself in the station's lobby and sent the music director a note saying he wouldn't leave until they played it. J.P. spent two nights in the lobby and Q-107 played the song.

J.P. Guilbert promoting Chris DeBurgh's "The Getaway"



Man On the Line was relased in May 1984. As of 1984, Chris DeBurgh was second only to the Rolling Stones in concert ticket sales in Ireland. In July and August DeBurgh toured in Canada. 

"Don't Pay the Ferryman" was the single that opened the American market for DeBurgh's music.

"The Lady in Red" was a No. 1 Hit in 15 countries in 1986. Its album Into the Light sold over two million copies internationally. In Canada, the single went platinum and the album was double platinum.

"The Lady in Red" single was originally released in the Fall of 1986. It got adult contemporary radio time but did not garner much airplay from top 40 radio. The record caught on in Boston and San Francisco.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson took Chris DeBurgh's "The Lady in Red" with them on their honeymoon.

"[The Lady In Red is] one of those songs that if you break the tune down, it's very simple, and I can tell you they are the very, very hardest to write...because the chances are that somebody else has already written it. But the sentiment works and it's the kind of sentiment that appeals to everybody. It's a direct statement from one person to another and that's another hard thing to do; offer a blueprint to Mr. and Mrs. Everyone that they can associate with. I think that's really part of art and I just got lucky. I hit the nail on the head."--Chris DeBurgh, RPM February 25, 1989

Chris DeBurgh with Montreal radio people

Chris DeBurgh visiting Montreal, Canada radio. Photo by Denys Short.



Far Beyond These Castle Walls New Music On A&M Records
Spanish Train and Other Stories New Music On A&M Records
At the End Of a Perfect Day New Music On A&M Records
Chris DeBurgh: Crusader
Chris DeBurgh: Eastern Wind

  1. DeBurgh Transcends Language Barriers. Ritchie Yorke. RPM, October 23, 1976.
  2. DeBurgh Tour Spurs LP Sales. Billboard, November 21, 1981.
  3. DeBurgh Single Is Revived. Steve Gett. Billboard, May 16, 1987.
  4. Chris DeBurgh. Jim Evans. Music Week, April 28, 1984.
Recording Years / Label
1975-2002 -  A&M Records
vocals, guitar

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