Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

READER, Eddi

(b Sadenia Reader, 25 Aug. '59, Glasgow) Singer-songwriter. With a strikingly clear voice that skips and soars like birdsong, she has quietly flourished in the no-man's-land between harmony folk and pure pop. She began as backing singer for art-rock combo the Gang of Four, and worked for many years as a session singer, turning her hand to anything from the outré arrangements of pop-fusion combo Out Bar Squeak to the torchy swing of Mari Wilson (she did a stint as one of the Wilsations), Alison Moyet and the Eurythmics among her many other clients. She co-founded Fairground Attraction with guitarist Mark Nevin, whose single 'Perfect' and debut album The First Of A Million Kisses '88 topped UK charts and won Brit awards. When they split up as well as launching her solo career she sang with Boo Hewerdine and Clive Gregson and with her brother Frank's band the Trash Can Sinatras. She also acted in TV series Your Cheating Heart. Her debut solo album Mirmama '92 got good reviews but sold poorly, leading to a switch from RCA to Blanco y Negro/WB; for Eddi Reader '94 she was reunited with Nevin and Fairground's drummer Roy Dodds, as well as songsmiths such as Hewerdine, Gary Clark and Kirsty MacColl; the album was no. 4 UK and won a Brit for Best Female Solo Artist. Candyfloss And Medicine '96, co- produced and mostly co-written with keyboardist Teddy Borowiecki (of Jane Siberry's band) was just as good. She is a chameleon, mixing country, California, Arabic and Cuban feelings and dropping snatches of Patsy Cline and Fairport Convention into her own songs; the result is a beguiling mix of her own. Angels And Electricity was a new album '98.