In 2003 Eva Cassidy’s version of Claire’s song ‘You Take My Breath Away’ appeared on Eva's platinum-selling album American Tune and established Claire as a
world class songwriter. Her late 80's album "Voices" was also No 1 on the New age chart, although these days Claire’s performances are singer songwriter folk with new age influences.
Born near Middlesbrough, 16-year-old Claire was discovered singing in a local club in 1971. Her pure and beautiful voice shone out and weeks later she was whipped down south and signed by Island Records supremo Chris Blackwell. “Within months she’d recorded her first album, One House Left Standing, and started appearing on TV – notably alongside The Who on The Old Grey Whistle Test.
By the mid-seventies Claire had developed a reputation as a folk-rock wild child, producing albums packed with timeless songs, touring America with Procul Harum and partying with the likes of Ginger Baker and Tim Buckley. Kinks legend Ray Davies then swiped Claire from Island and made two albums with her on his own Konk label, which have become highly-prized collector’s items.
Her reputation growing, she moved to Sussex and started experimenting with new electronic instruments – synthesizers and early samplers. Now based in her own studio, she had the technology to think outside the folk-rock genre, and signed to influential label Coda, who instantly understood her new atmospheric, texture-based sound.
Nearly two decades before Björk was to take critical accolades for doing the same, in 1987 Claire released the ground-breaking album Voices, building up layer upon layer of her vocals to create haunting, beautiful soundscapes. No instruments or backing singers were used. It struck an immediate chord with TV producers, who used it to great effect on big-budget productions including The Domesday Book. She then recorded her own version of Pachelbel’s Canon which was used to soundtrack nature programmes on Channel Four and gained her a new audience.
As the 80s turned into the 90s Claire unwittingly found herself at the centre of the indie-dance explosion. Cult DJ Andy Weatherall, producer of Primal Scream’s classic Screamadelica album, sampled her song ‘Tides’ for a remix of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Soon.’
She recently returned to her folk-rock roots with the release of two albums,”The Meeting of the Waters”and ”When Daylight Arives” and is currently working on an autobiography.
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