Rainbow, Uriah Heep's Mark Clarke Releases Solo Album
Encompassing all the styles of music he has worked with the past 40 years, Mark Clarke's new solo album is a must for collectors and music enthusiasts worldwide. It's a masterful collection of extremely well recorded and performed tracks that rival any from the bands he's played in.
"From the opening track right through to the closer this album begs to be listened to over and over again and even memorized note for note. I've had the pleasure of hearing it more times than most people would hear almost anything in their collection and it keeps getting stronger with each listen. We're very proud to be the exclusive distributor of this album from one of the nicest and most talented guys in the world." Dean Sciarra President / ItsAboutMusic.com
Mark Clarke was born in Liverpool in the north of England, not a well known place except for its dock's and then, in the 1960's The Beatles came along and put it firmly on the map, forever! After seeing the Beatles and many other groups as a young kid at age 12 he knew what he wanted to do... play the bass guitar.
Going from group to group until one day he met up with his first real band St James Infirmary (a blues band) with whom he gigged and built up quite a reputation, as one Liverpool news paper said he was " Liverpool's Joe Cocker" but after a year or so of local gigs, it was time to move south to London. There he met up with many of the Liverpool musicians who had moved down south for the work and was introduced to the guitarist Clem Clempson, who had just joined one of the most well known groups at that time, COLOSSEUM.
Colosseum were really hitting well at that point but they had a small problem, they were quietly looking for a new bass player, and after Mark's band St James Infirmary opening for them at what was Mark"s biggest gig ever at a huge hall in of all places, Liverpool he was asked to come and do a session on their new album in a studio down in London. Mark walked in to sing background vocals on a couple of tracks and spotted his bass on a guitar stand. Jon Hiseman, whose band it was asked Mark if he knew a Jack Bruce (Cream) song called "Theme from an Imaginary Western"... He did, they played just that one song and Jon and Clem asked, "So do you want the gig." Touring with Colosseum was harsh, very, very harsh, but truly amazing and for the rest of his career has been a constant part of his life a true love. Whilst touring with them, such bands as Free (with Paul Rogers, Simon Kirke and Paul Kossof) became friends and still are years on. The same is true for Gentle Giant, Badfinger, (he later formed Natural Gas with Joey Molland) and many more.
Not knowing what the hell to do Mark went to a club in London that was THE place to be... The Speakeasy! You would find the who's who of the rock world in that place, in fact The Speak (as it was known) is where Led Zeppelin were named by of all people Keith Moon of the Who. Whilst there Ken Hensley from Uriah Heep appeared and asked Mark to help out as they needed to replace their bass player, so the next day they rehearsed on the train to Scotland and Mark joined Uriah Heep. Mark recorded with them and co-wrote "The Wizard" with Ken Hensley, toured mercilessly again and then left the group to work with Dick Heckstall-Smith on his solo album. "In 1972 Colosseum folded and within just two days I had been asked to join Uriah Heep," Mark recalls. "After recording and also writing (I co-writ 'The Wizard') and some of the hardest touring I've ever done in just one year we parted company. Although I have worked with Ken Hensley on many of his solo projects throughout the years Uriah Heep still follows me every place I go."
In 1972 Jon Hiseman and Mark formed Tempest and found a guitarist of some note, Alan Holdsworth. After two albums Mark left Tempest, played with Manfred Mann and the formed Natural Gas with Joey Molland (Badfinger) and Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie) moved to America, (he still lives there) and went on to record, and tour with: Billy Squier, Mountain with Leslie West, The Monkees,Davy Jones, Roger Daltry, British Rock Symphony with Alice Cooper and Peter Frampton, and sessions with Meatloaf, Mink Deville, Cher and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.
Along with Mark Clarke's 'Moving To The Moon', ItsAboutMusic.com has also remastered and reissued the Natural Gas album on CD. Mark recently embarked on the 40th anniversary tour with Colosseum all over Europe. He then tours again with Billy Squier in the summer of 2011. "He's still a great writer and also a great friend," says Mark.