British Rock Singer John Miles Passes Away at 72

John Miles Passes Away

Photo: Sammlerfreak83, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

British Rock musician John Miles who originally hailed from County Durham in North East England has passed away at the age of seventy two years old. While John Miles may have not been a household name in rock and roll in the United States, he was by far a popular musical artist in Europe. However Led Zeppelin fans in the United States may remember John Miles as one of the lead singers on Jimmy Page’s solo album  Outrider.

John Miles vocal performance on the song “Wasting My Time,” was the album’s highlight and stands as one of the best recordings Jimmy Page released in his post Led Zeppelin days. However, John Miles was more than just a singer and keyboard player that worked with many rock legends including a long run with Tina Turner. John Miles was truly a gifted songwriter and musical artist that released a nice stretch of solo albums  in the 70s and 80s starting with his debut album entitled Rebel.

John Miles

Photo: Ralf Liebhold / Shutterstock.com

The Rebel album was released in 1976 in both the United States and Europe. The album contained the hit single entitled “Highfly”. It was a pure pop gem that was also produced by Alan Parsons. Yet, the highlight of the album would turn out to be the breathtaking track “Music.” The song will forever stand as John Miles’ signature song. When I was 15 years old I brought the Rebel album when it was first released based on hearing the song “Highfly,” on the radio. I became a big fan of  John Miles.

There was a huge promotional push in the United States behind John Mile’s second album Stranger In The City. They were full-page trade ads put in all the magazines like  Creem, Circus, and Rolling Stone. The record company knew they had a spectacular artist on their hands and tried to really promote him in the U.S. However his second album failed to spawn any big hit singles with the exception of the song “Slowdown” which was a top 40 hit that peaked at number 34.

After the release of Stranger In The City, John Miles released another six albums in the US, up to 1985 with none of them breaking into the Billboard Top 200 albums charts. For whatever reason he couldn’t just break into the US market. We did a Top 10 John Miles Songs list a few years back and the article received very few views. As a teenager in the 1970s, I tried turning a lot of my friends onto John Miles but there was just no interest  Yet in the UK and across Europe, John Miles had become a very popular musical artist.

John Miles’ popularity grew great in Europe when his song “Music,” which was originally released on his first album became the theme to the concert series held in Belgium called Night Of The Proms. These are concerts that are also held across Europe that feature a combination of pop and classical music. They are much loved in Europe.

John Miles has always been a favorite here at classicrockhistory.com. The man had a high tenor with so much soul. He was like a cross between David Bowie and Daryl Hall. His albums brought us great for the past forty five years. We will leave you with our favorite John Miles songs and then his signature song below that one.

Updated October 31, 2023

British Rock Singer John Miles Passes Away at 72 article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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