Steve Harley Passes Away At Age 73 -
Steve Harley at Noise11.comSteve Harley at

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Steve Harley Passes Away At Age 73

by Paul Cashmere on March 18, 2024

in News

Steve Harley, best known for his song ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)’, has died from cancer at the age of 73.

Steve’s daughter Greta announced his passing:

“We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and father has passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side.

“The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him, and his home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren.

“Stephen, Steve, Dad, Grandar, Steve Harley – whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity, and much more, in abundance.

“Steve took enormous comfort from all of his fans’ well wishes during his battle, and would want to thank you all deeply for your love and support throughout his career.”

“We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve.”

Despite having recorded for a 50 year period, most people think of Steve for that one hit ‘Make me Smile (Come Up and See Me)’. When he visited Noise11 in 2012 he said he was comfortable with that. “I keep bumping into people who say ‘heard your song on the radio’ and I say ‘which song?’,” Steve said. “I’ve made 13 albums of original songs and published 130 songs. Half the world and its grandmother think I’ve only had one song. I’m used to it”.

What the Steve Harley Noise11 interview from 2012.

Steve was also the original Phantom of the Opera. In 2012 he told Noise11 the story. “Mike Batt was producing The Phantom of the Opera title for Lloyd-Webber, he wrote it as a duet. Mike was an old friend of mine. He put me up for it. He said to Andrew ‘call Steve Harley’. I went and met them and heard it and I was free. I wasn’t working. A lot of people who cared deeply about me and my reputation still won’t forgive me. They don’t quite get it. They won’t forgive me for doing it. It was so Middle-of-the-Road and theatrical. You can’t do what you think your fans will be happy with. You can’t be dictated by fans. Its absurd. Its madness. You have to be true to yourself as an artist. It was a temporary arrangement. I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t go in and sing it with a 60 piece orchestra. It was a big hit. We made a video with Ken Russell directing. Seven days in a film studio with prosthetics, I quite enjoyed all that. It was an experience. Sarah Brightman is from a different planet to me. She is a fantastic singer. In her world she is top stuff but that’s not my world. I did audition for the role and I got the role. I passed the audition”.

‘Stranger Comes To Town’ in 2010 was Steve’s last album of original songs but he also released ‘Uncovered’ in 2020 featuring songs by Cat Stevens, David Bowie, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Hot Chocolate and Bob Dylan.

Steve had his first hit in the UK with ‘Judy Teen’ in 1974 (no 5). ‘Mr Soft’ was another hit for him that year (no 8) but the big one will always be ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)’ (no 1 UK, no 17 Australia.

The song also reached no 30 in Australia in 1989 for Nick Barker & The Reptiles.

‘Make Me Smile’ was also covered by Duran Duran, Suzi Quatro and Erasure.

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