Chisel Hill

Album: Shamrock Diaries (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • It's not one of his hits, but "Chisel Hill" is a very important song for Chris Rea. In 2017, he told Songfacts that it could still move him to tears. "We'd reached the point where we'd bought a house, I had a child, we were happy," said Rea. "We'd kept the wolf from the door and things were okay. I was in this place called Chisel Hill, which is in the Yorkshire Dales near a place called Whitby, and I remember being happy that day and wrote that song all in one quick go, like you do sometimes. And now when I listen to the lyrics it can be very, very emotional because we all get caught up in life and yet, whoever wrote that song back then, he must have been a really happy guy. Yeah, that song gets me."
  • Shamrock Diaries was Rea's seventh album, but the first one he was happy with. Ever since his 1978 debut single "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" he had written songs for hit potential at the urging of his record company. By the time he was financially stable and confident enough to call the shots, he was a lower priority at the label, so he had more freedom. Shamrock Diaries was done his way, and UK audiences loved it, making it his most popular album to that point. His career took off; in 1989 he had a UK #1 album with The Road to Hell, which he followed up with another chart-topper, Auberge.

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