Al Stewart Biography
Al Stewart was born on September 5, 1945 in Greenock, a sleepy town situated on the west coast of Glasgow SCOTLAND, but grew up near Bournemouth, a seaside town in the south of England, where he learned to play guitar and develop his voice. He moved to London in 1965 and started performing in venues from small bars to legendary Folk clubs such as Bunjies and Les Cousines.
A year later Stewart recorded his first single, "The Elf" and
caught the attention of CBS Records who released his first album, "Bedsitter
Images", in October of 1967, this album was repackaged and re-issued
in 1970 with two tracks replaced.
The artist soon gained a following among the college scene and in early 1969 delivered his second album, "Love Chronicles", which featured the ever-long title-track, an autobiographical recount of different love affairs with guitar by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.
1970's "Zero She Flies" entered the top 40 of the U.K. National Pop chart, its follow-up "Orange", released in early 1972, continued in similar style, basically a Folk-Rock effort with tales of romance.
With his next album, Stewart, decided to write about any and everything but himself; he began incorporating historical data, elements of film and literature into his lyrics; "Past, Present & Future", which featured Queen's Roger Taylor on drums, was issued in October 1973, the record become his first U.S. release and his first American Pop Albums chart entry at #133.
In the spring of 1975, the Scottish singer+guitarist, released "Modern Times", it broke the top 30 of the Official U.S. Pop Albums list.
After Stewart lost his contract with CBS, he moved to California where he recorded his masterpiece, "Year Of The Cat", for Janus Records, the artist signed with RCA in the U.K. and later with major label Arista in the States; the album was released in 1976, it rose to #5 on The U.S. Pop chart and went on to sell over one million copies on the strength of the title-track which hit #8 on Pop Singles chart, the track also became a top 40 hit in Britain; the second single, "On The Border", barely missed the top 40 in the States.
Delivered two years later, "Time Passages", continued the formula of the previous effort, resulting in another platinum album, it peaked at #10 on the Top 200 LPs & Tapes list and the album's title-song hit #7 in U.S. Pop Singles chart; the follow-up single, "Song On The Radio", reached the #29 slot in the same chart.
In the summer of 1980 was released "24 Carrots", this album credited to Al Stewart & Shot In The Dark, reached the #37 slot in the U.S. Pop chart and generated "Midnight Rocks" which peaked at #24 on the Pop Singles chart; the record had minimal impact in the U.K. chart and the sales were modest.
One year later, he released his final Arista album, the double "Live/Indian Summer" made a mid-chart appearance peaking at #110 in the U.S. Pop Albums chart.
Stewart returned in spring of 1984 with his tenth studio album entitled "Russians & Americans" but sales in America were disappointing and in Britain the record failed to rise higher than #83.
A few years of legal and contractual problems followed, eventually, a new contract with Enigma Records produced "Last Days Of The Century" which was released in September 1988 and featured the single/video "King Of Portugal".
Another five full years passed before Al Stewart returned with his next album of all-new-material: "Famous Last Words".
He followed up with "Between The Wars", a collection of songs musically and lyrically inspired by the turbulent '20s and '30s, the album recorded in collaboration with former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber, was released in May 1995.
Stewart, with his distinctive vocal style, continued to play live in his favourite clubs across America and with Juber also made concert tours of Britain in 1995 and Holland the following year; a tour of Spain and England in late summer 1997 was very successful. He spent a considerable amount of time collecting French wine, in October 2000 the artist released "Down In The Cellar", all songs related in some way to the world of wine.
In 2005 Al Stewart returned with the new album, "A Beach Full Of Shells", qualifies as his first U.S. release since 1995.