Brothers Garry and Russell Christian – formerly an a cappella soul trio with Roger, another sibling from their family of 11 – and ex-Yachts and It’s Immaterial keyboardist Henry Priestman (whose middle name, coincidentally, is Christian) comprised the core of this Liverpool group.
The self-titled debut album (1987) was a treat, with airy harmonies floating angelically above and around Priestman’s crisp keyboards and percolating percussion, while Garry C sang with restrained soul about life in a (depressed) Northern town. The LP spent well over a year in the UK charts.
With the exception of the Top 30 hit single Born Again in the spring, 1988 was much quieter with the group touring and recording. The year was brought to a climax however with the Top 10 cover of the Isley Brothers hit, Harvest For The World.
The Hillsborough crowd disaster in April 1989 resulted in the band being given joint credit on the charity single Ferry Cross The Mersey with Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden, Holly Johnson and Stock, Aitken and Waterman.
Colour (1990) continued in the same vein as The Christians, although if anything, the sound is even prettier here. Unfortunately, the generally overlong songs lack the dynamics needed to keep them interesting.
Nevertheless, the album reached #1 in the UK Albums Chart and yielded the international hit Words, which peaked at #18 in the UK.
As well-intentioned as the Christians were – and to their credit, the group’s sound was definitely distinctive – they seemed locked into an MOR sheen that, despite moments of real beauty, inevitably turned tedious.
The media tended to focus their attention on the striking appearance of the tall, shaven-headed Garry, who moved to Paris in 1995 to record a solo album, effectively breaking up the band – but they had reformed by 1999.
The Christians continue to perform and record.
Keyboards, saxophone, vocals
Keyboards, guitars, vocals