12:37 AM 11th December 2021
Remembering John Miles - The Music Man
“Music of the future, music of the past, to live without my music would be impossible to do because in this world of troubles my music pulls me through” - those words sung by singer songwriter John Miles in his 1976 hit Music
will ring true for many.
The 72-year old Jarrow born legend sadly passed away earlier this month after a short illness.
John Miles rose to fame in 1975 with his hit Highfly
but it was the 1976 track Music
that he will best be remembered for. The song mixed pop and classical references to create that was at the time considered revolutionary.
He never really matched the success of the track. In 1977, when disco music was becoming the dominant force in the pop world, he tried to alter his style to fit the current trend by recording the disco infused song Slow Down
. Whilst the song did not really suit his style the track reached number 10 in the singles chart.
I fondly remember him signing my copy of the MMPH album, with him inquisitively asking what my favourite tracks were.
In 1979 Miles released what many fans recall was his best album MMPH - More Miles Per Hour.
The album cover features him against a backdrop of Concorde standing on the runway.
I was fortunate to meet Miles as part of a competition in the local paper. The prize - to see him perform with his band at St George’s Hall, Bradford. Not only were the concert tickets included I was invited to meet him and the band backstage.
I fondly remember him signing my copy of the MMPH album, with him inquisitively asking what my favourite tracks were. I'm still trying to find the photograph that was taken to record the evening's backstage meet!
Over the later years Miles became part of Tina Turner’s touring band which I witnessed many times in places as far afield as Sheffield and Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire.
From 1985 he participated every year in the Night At The Proms concerts held every summer across Europe, appearing right up to the last series in 2019.
2017 saw him awarded an outstanding contribution to music award at the Progressive Rock Awards.
Producer and arranger Alan Parsons who worked with Miles on albums and Night At The Proms said on the news of the singers death:
“I am hugely saddened by the news that my good friend and musical genius John has passed. I am so very proud to have worked with him on some of the greatest vocal performances ever recorded, including of course Music, which as well as being a big hit internationally, became an anthem for the hugely popular "Night of the Proms" concerts. Whenever I invited John to sing on the Alan Parsons Project albums he always delivered magical and sensitive renditions. He will be greatly missed not only by his many friends and associates but also by the millions of fans who recognize his amazing talent. You will be missed”
Music was indeed his first love and a true music legend has been lost.