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David Gray (born 13 June 1968, Sale, Greater Manchestermarker, Englandmarker) is an Englishmarker singer-songwriter. Although he released his first studio album in 1993, he did not receive worldwide attention until the release of White Ladder six years later. It was the first of three UKmarker chart-toppers in six years for Gray, the latter two of which also made the Top 20 in the U.S.marker

Early career

Gray was born and raised in Altrinchammarker, Manchestermarker before moving with his family to Walesmarker at the age of nine, where he grew up in the small coastal town of Solvamarker in Pembrokeshiremarker and went on to attend the Carmarthenshire College of Art. He later moved back to the north-west of England to attend the University of Liverpoolmarker.

Gray's first two albums A Century Ends and Flesh were issued in 1993 and 1994 respectively and led to Gray becoming popular in folk-rock circles, but both failed to do any serious business in terms of commercial sales.

In 1996 Gray released his third album, Sell, Sell, Sell. With his first two albums having been entirely composed of acoustic folk music, this was his first mature exhibition and saw him use his now-trademark blend of folk, alternative rock and electronics for the first time. Despite critical acclaim, the album did not chart, but the song "Late Night Radio" received some airplay on alternative UK radio stations.

Breakthrough

Th UK folk-rock scene had known about Gray for some time before his breakthrough into the pop mainstream in 2000, but after a few marginally successful releases through the 1990s, Gray's breakthrough came with the worldwide release of his fourth album, White Ladder, in 1999. This was a critical and commercial success and included his best-known songs: "This Year's Love", "Babylon", "Please Forgive Me" and "Sail Away". In August 2000, "Babylon" hit #5 in the UK singles chart; it remains his biggest UK hit to date. In the United Statesmarker, the album received a boost from jam-band leader Dave Matthews, who made it the first release by ATO Records, the record company he co-founded. "Babylon" was also the first of three US chart entries for Gray to date. In Ireland, White Ladder remains the biggest-selling album ever.

On August 11, 2001, White Ladder finally reached the top of the UK albums chart, on the back of the single success of "Babylon" (a remixed and edited version for radio, which omitted the third verse completely). The album had been selling steadily since its reissue the previous May, thereby setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted climb to Number One. The year 2001 also saw the release of two compilations of Gray's early works and unreleased material, The EPs 1992-1994 and Lost Songs 95-98, both of which followed White Ladder into the UK album chart Top Twenty.

In November 2002, Gray released the follow-up to White Ladder, entitled A New Day at Midnight. The new release did not receive the same critical acclaim as its predecessor, but still went straight in at Number One, beating Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates' debut album "What My Heart Wants To Say" to the summit and selling nearly 150,000 copies in its first week of release; it went on to reach platinum status within a year, eventually being certified four times platinum overall, and was the second-biggest selling album by a UK artist in 2002, behind Pop Idol winner Will Young's debut album From Now On. A New Day at Midnight spawned two further UK Top 30 hits in "The Other Side" and "Be Mine" and a minor US hit with "Dead in the Water".

Recent career

After a three-year hiatus which saw him wind down his recording and touring schedule due to exhaustion, Gray returned with his seventh album, Life in Slow Motion in September 2005, which, like its predecessor, also hit the top of the UK album chart in its first week of release. After the much-criticised A New Day At Midnight, Life in Slow Motion was hailed as a return to form by many critics. Lead single "The One I Love" was a Top Ten hit in the UK in October 2005 and spent three months in the UK chart. Following the relative commercial failure of follow-up singles "Hospital Food" and "Alibi", Gray again went into hiatus during 2006.

In March 2007, Gray released the compilation album Shine: The Best of the Early Years.

On 7 July 2007, Gray performed with Damien Rice at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadiummarker in Londonmarker. Gray released a compilation CD of live covers entitled "A Thousand Miles Behind" exclusively through his official website on October 8, 2007 via CD and digital download.

On 13 November 2007, Gray released a Greatest Hits album which includes many of his best known songs as well as two new songs, including the lead single "You're the World to Me."

On 28 May 2009, Gray announced that his new album, entitled Draw the Line, would be released on 14 September 2009 in the UK and on 22 September in the United States. The album features guest appearances by Annie Lennox and Jolie Holland. The album's first single "Fugitive" was released on 7 September 2009. An expansive worldwide tour coincides.

On 19 September 2009, Gray performed his self-proclaimed first pool-side concert at the Rooftop Pool at The Colonnade Hotel in Bostonmarker for the Mix 104.1 End of Summer Bash. Gray performed songs from the new album, including "Fugitive," "Draw the Line," and "Jackdaw."

In a recent interview for an issue of Hot Press to be released December 3rd, 2009, Gray revealed to Jackie Hayden that he is already fast to work on his next album, which is to be titled "Foundling". Gray also revealed that one of the tracks will be called ‘The Old Chair’. According to Gray “it features just a drum kit and me on my Steinway piano. It’s very quiet.”

Musical direction

Gray's early music was in a contemporary folk-rock, singer-songwriter mode; his primary instrument was acoustic guitar, with occasional piano. 1996's Sell, Sell, Sell featured some rock arrangements and electric instrumentation. Starting with the release of White Ladder, Gray began to make significant use of computer-generated music to accompany his voice and acoustic instrumentation, a technique which differentiates him from many of his peers. A New Day at Midnight continued this direction, although lyrically it was darker in tone than White Ladder and the instrumentation much more downbeat. In the liner notes, Gray dedicated the album to his father, who died in 2001. Gray also provided vocals on the electronic-based band Orbital's 2001 single "Illuminate." Despite the move to more complex music, Gray has used small-scale, often home-based, recording methods and equipment and espoused a do-it-yourself approach to music production. However, 2005's Life in Slow Motion is a collaboration with noted producer Marius de Vries.

Film and television

Gray's music has been featured in many films and television shows:
  • "From Here You Can Almost See the Sea" featured in the 2007 horror remake The Hitcher.
  • The song "Disappearing World" from Life in Slow Motion was prominently featured on the TV series Smallville in fall 2005 and "Standoff" in the end sequence of "Episode 1x05 - Life Support", which first aired on 31 October 2006.
  • "The One I Love" from Life in Slow Motion was featured in the season finale of the third season of Rescue Me, which aired on 29 August 2006.
  • "Alibi" from Life in Slow Motion was featured in the pilot episode of the television series Conviction.
  • "Slow Motion" from Life in Slow Motion was featured at length on the season premiere of the long-running U.S. television series E.R., airing on 21 September 2006. It was also featured at the end of the finale of Conviction.
  • "Please Forgive Me" from White Ladder is featured in the pilot episode "My First Day" of the TV comedy Scrubs along with the movies All Over the Guy and On the Edge.
  • "Sail Away" from White Ladder is featured in the film 15 Minutes starring Robert De Niro.
  • "Hold on to Nothing" from Sell Sell Sell is featured in episode 16, Winter's End, of the first season of the TV show Jericho.
  • "Freedom" from A New Day at Midnight is featured in a fourth-season episode of the TV show Alias.
  • "This Year's Love" from White Ladder is featured in a season-four episode of the television show Dawson's Creekmarker (although it is not included in the dvd version of episode 401) and in the movies Wimbledon and The Girl Next Door. A piano-solo version of the song is also featured in the latter movie. It also appears in Crazy/Beautiful but it is not on the movie's soundtrack album.
  • "January Rain" from Lost Songs is featured in the movie Serendipity.
  • Gray's Soft Cell cover, "Say Hello Wave Goodbye", is played at the end of the "Psych" Season 3 finale episode "An Evening with Mr. Yang" as well as in the Without a Trace episode "Clare de Lune" (Season 1, episode 16).
  • "The Other Side" is played at the end of Season 1, Episode 1 of Day Break and also at the end of Smallville, Episode 18 of Season 2.
  • "Babylon" from White Ladder is played at a sequence near the end of Season 2, Episode 27 of Boston Legal and also in an Episode of ER
  • "As I'm Leaving" from Lost Songs is featured in the motion picture Ladder 49.
  • "Flame Turns Blue" from Lost Songs is featured in the movie Disco Pigs.
  • "David Gray songs are featured in the movie A Way of Life.
  • "My Oh My" from White Ladder is featured in a season 2 finale of the TV show Roswell.
  • In 1999 David Gray appeared as the singer/guitar player in Kathy Burke's pub in a film titled This Year's Love. Several of his songs feature.
  • "The One I Love" is featured on the trailer for the 2008 film Definitely, Maybe.
  • "As I'm Leaving" from Lost Songs is used in an ad for the episode of CSI in which Gil Grissom is leaving the CSI team.


Band



Those former longterm band members left the band in late 2006:



Discography

Studio albums



Tours

Gray has been touring since 1993. He has had multiple tour dates in many different places such as Australia, Austriamarker, Belgiummarker, Canadamarker, Denmarkmarker, Francemarker, Germanymarker, Irelandmarker, Italymarker, Netherlandsmarker, New Zealandmarker, Norwaymarker, South Africa, Spainmarker, Swedenmarker, Switzerlandmarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker, United Kingdommarker, United States of Americamarker.

Miscellaneous

Venus in Furs

The band "Venus in Furs" (named after the Velvet Underground song whose title and lyrics in turn reference a novel of that name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch) was formed in 1998 for the film Velvet Goldmine. Gray provided vocals in the band which also included Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood both of Radiohead, Andy Mackay of Roxy Music and Bernard Butler of Suede.

See also



References



External links




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