|David Essex enjoys a remarkable career that has combined concerts, records, theatre, composing, films and television with striking success. He has written, recorded and produced albums and singles that have sold millions of copies worldwide – twenty-three Top 30 singles in Britain alone.
David went to an audition for the London production of the musicalGodspell and was chosen by enthusiastic US producers for the role of Jesus – which shot him to fame. For this show he received two major awards and some ecstatic reviews. Harold Hobson of “The Sunday Times” compared his performance with the Christs of El Greco and Rubens and declared it “the best in London”. At the Roundhouse, and for two years in the West End at Wyndham’s, David led a cast among who were Jeremy Irons, Julie Covington and Marti Webb.
Movie producer David Puttnam saw him in Godspell and asked him to play the lead in That’ll Be The Day, co-starring Ringo Starr, and its sequel Stardust, co-starring Larry Hagman and Adam Faith. These two films about the rise and fall of pop star Jim Maclaine are still among the most acclaimed about the rock scene and enjoy a wide cult following. They have recently been issued as a double bill on Warner Home Video.
For Godspell David won the Variety Club of Great Britain’s “most promising newcomer” award and was nominated by S.O.F.T.A. for the movie That’ll Be The Day. While filming That’ll Be The DayDavid wrote and recorded Rock On which topped the charts in Britain and the USA. David wrote and recorded some very successful singles and albums for CBS Records, including All The Fun of the Fair.
Rock On was followed by such diverse hits as Lamplight, Hold Me Close and Gonna Make You A Star. The last two went to No.1 in Britain.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice then asked David to play Che in the musical Evita. Directed by giant Broadway producer Hal Prince (“West Side Story”), it was the hit of the season. David recorded Oh What A Circus on Phonogram – his new record company – and enjoyed a No.3 hit. The theatre was his oyster again.
He starred in and wrote the score for his next movie, Silver Dream Racer. It co-starred Americans Beau Bridges and Cristina Raines and was a love triangle with a motorcycle racing backdrop. David, in his element on motorbikes, topped the charts with Silver Dream Machine.
On the pop scene Tim Rice and Mike Batt wrote A Winter’s Taleespecially for David and this shot up to No.2 in the charts, with many TV appearances.
The album A Night At The Movies which was produced by Mike Batt with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and released by Phonogram in April 1997 went to number 14 in the charts.
David has appeared on 2 of the hugely successful Once In A Lifetime Tours alongside The Osmonds, David Cassidy, Leo Sayer & The Bay City Rollers.