Genre: Progressive Rock
While still a pupil at the Jarrow School, Miles was a member of a local band called The Influence (which also included Paul Thompson, later drummer with Roxy Music; and Vic Malcolm, later lead guitarist with Geordie.) He also formed The John Miles Set before starting his solo career in 1971.
During the 1970s he issued four albums, including Rebel (1976), Stranger In The City (1977), and Zaragon (1978). However, John Miles had the most success with singles and released a total of eighteen of them during this era. In addition to “Music (Was my First Love)”, he also charted in the UK with “Highfly” (1975), “Remember Yesterday” (1976), and “Slow Down” (1977). Most of his songs were co-written with the bassist in his backing group, Bob Marshall.
At the peak of his success in 1976 and 1977, Miles made several appearances on the weekly British pop TV show Supersonic. The debut album did receive some attention in the US. Two singles from the debut album reached the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Highfly” peaked at #68, followed by “Music” which stalled at #88. “Slow Down” was his biggest US chart hit, peaking at #2 on the disco chart, and at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1977. It was later featured in the 1979 movie, Players, starring Ali McGraw and Dean Paul Martin.
In the 1980s, Miles continued to record and tour. In 1983 a new radio station in the South of England, Radio Mercury, used parts from the song “Music” for their link jingles. The song itself also received extensive airplay on the station.
Since 1985, Miles participates almost every year in the Night of the Proms, a series of concerts held yearly in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Regularly there are also shows in France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Scandinavian countries. The concerts consist of a combination of pop music and popular classical music (often combined) and various well-known musicians and groups usually participate. Miles always performs “Music (Was my First Love)”, and also sings other songs. In 2009, an album The Best of John Miles at the Night of the Proms was released, which included “Music” but also covers including “All by Myself“, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “It Was a Very Good Year“.
Miles has also toured with Tina Turner since 1987, often filling in for Bryan Adams when the latter was unavailable to join her on tour for their duet. Miles is also a frequent guest vocalist on albums by The Alan Parsons Project. He also appeared on Jimmy Page‘s 1988 album Outrider.
Throughout the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Miles was the music director to Tina Turner on her various tours, and played on several of her albums. He also played Hammond organ on Joe Cocker‘s album Night Calls (1992). In 1990, Miles participated in the UK heat of A Song for Europe with the song “Where I Belong”, which came second.
His first DVD, John Miles – Live In Concert was released in 2002. In 2007, Miles performed in Gelsenkirchen, Germany with the German band Pur and sang two songs. One of those songs, “Abenteuerland”, Miles sang with Pur in German. The concert is available on the DVD, Pur-Friends-Live-Schalke-2007. In October 2008, Miles began touring once again with Tina Turner. Turner’s extensive American-European tour stretched until May 2009.