Look at the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles and you could be forgiven for thinking Smokie’s success story was a 1970s phenomenon. After all, 11 of their 14 British hits came in that eventful musical decade. However, their massive success story has continued to flourish around the globe including Scandinavia, South Africa, Germany and even China. Smokie are a band which has sold out tours and gained platinum records in four decades – 70s, 80s, 90s and the present day.
Smokie first got together at school in Yorkshire in the late 60s. After going through various names and styles, they signed with Mickie Most’s then ultra-hot RAK label and found themselves chartbound. Songs like ‘If You Think You Know How To Love Me’, ‘Don’t Play Your Rock’n’Roll To Me’, ‘It’s Your Life’ and ‘Oh Carol’ (all Top 10 entries) became radio staples and gave Smokie their ticket to travel the world.
The sound was a combination of hook-laden songs and Smokie’s distinctive but unashamedly Stateside-influenced soft-rock harmonies, their secret being their vocal blend – a rasping, emotion-drenched lead set against melodic harmonies that produces an unique, bittersweet result.