Derek Holt


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DEREK HOLT Biog 2009
Singer / Songwriter / Musician / Producing, Recording & Arranging

Derek Holt is a founder member of the Climax Blues Band.

Derek has written, sung, and played on hit records; has toured with bands throughout the world; has managed a studio that has consistently produced hit singles of the 90’s; writes and produces music for film, television, the corporate market and library albums.

Initially, Derek played guitar in Climax Blues Band, but later switched to bass guitar and keyboards. 

The singles:
During the late seventies Climax produced a string of self-penned singles and albums, which not only sold well but also received considerable critical acclaim.

And the singles ‘I Love You’, (1980) written and sung by Derek, and ‘Couldn’t Get It Right’(1976) were monster successes around the world (both top ten in the US), and the band’s many albums registered heavily in the charts.

Derek started his career in his home town of Stafford in England at an early age but his first serious album recording with "Climax Chicago Blues Band" was in 1968 at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. The band were still semi professional but secured a recording deal with EMI’s Parlophone label.

They recorded their first self titled LP (pcs7069) in two days the resulting product being released in February 1969.The album was the first ever LP that Chris Thomas produced a protégé of George Martin who produced The Beatles. Chris later worked with the likes of Roxy Music, Elton John, The Pretenders and The Sex Pistols plus many more.

Climax released their first single "Like Uncle Charlie"/"Loving Machine"(RS809) and their second LP "Plays On" in FEB 1969 (PCS7084) sold well enough and received plenty of positive reviews.
This album was also produced by Chris Thomas.

So eventually it was decided that the band should turn professional and concentrate on touring and recording due to its increasing popularity. Derek was then 20 years old.

Around the same time EMI launched the Harvest label as a home for the more progressive acts of the day, like Deep Purple and Climax switched to this label and released their third album "A Lot Of Bottle" (SHSP 4009) The third ever album to be recorded at George Martins Air London Studios, Oxford Street. London. and included the single" Reap hat I have Sowed"/ "Spoonful" (HAR 5029).

October 71 saw the release of the album "Tightly Knit" LP (SHSP4015) And the single" Towards The Sun"/"Everyday", both released under the name Climax Chicago.

In 1972 the recorded the album "Rich Man" at Air Studios, London and bought in American producer Richard Gotterher (Hang on Sloopy The M’Coys). 

It was the first album they recorded specifically with America in mind and was the one that really opened up the States for the band, hitting the lower regions of the Billbord Top 100 which they further built upon by touring with American artists such as Canned Heat, Steve Miller, Steppenwolf, and BB King and Albert King.

One particular American concert, at the New York Academy Of Music, was recorded for a live radio broadcast and then released as "FM/LIVE" (2383259) in 1974, the band by now having left Harvest for Polydor Records.

The success of the live album ensured Climax headlining status in The States and they spent a considerable time touring there which resulted in their next studio album "Sense Of Direction" (2383291) hitting no 37 and spending nearly six months in the US Top 100.

That album was also produced by American producer Richard Gotterher for Air London Productions Limited and released by Sire Records in America whose Head was Seymour Stein who later became the manager of Madonna.

In 1975 "Stamp Album" Sire Records(SASD-7507) was recorded at Media Sound in New York, produced once again by Richard Gotterher with a number of engineers, most notable Ron St Germain, Bob Clearmountain and Geoff Emerick ( The Beatles Engineer). 

They continued to tour this album in The USA with such American artists as Weather Report, ZZ Top, Frank Zappa and REO Speedwagon.

Their Eight album "Gold Plated" (BTM1009) was released in August 1976 and produced mainly by Mike Vernon. The album hit no 27 in The States and No 56 in Britain. Their self produced single "Couldn’t Get It Right"(SBT105) Hit No 3 In America and No 10 in the UK providing Climax with the chart breakthrough their perseverance deserved.

TV included Top Of The Pops twice, Supersonic, Rock goes to College, The Whistle Test.

Two years on from this success Climax returned, this time on Warner Brothers Records with single "When talking is to much trouble" (WB K17134) and the album "Shine On" (56461).

In 1979 they released another album "Real To Reel" (56442) this album was recorded in George Martins studio on the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

There next album "Flying The Flag" (56871) produced in Los Angeles in 1981 by American producer John Ryan spawned a second US hit single written and sung by Derek called "I Love You" (WB K1770) hit no 12 and spent over 4 months in the top 40, whilst the album spent considerable time in the American charts.

Another single off "Flying The Flag" "Gotta Have More Love" reached No 47 in the American charts in 1980

In 1981 "Lucky For Some" (56962) was the last album Derek appeared on for Climax as he went on to pursue other aspects of the music business. His song "Darlin’" from that album did very well receiving critical acclaim and much radio airplay.

Derek left the group in the early eighties when he became involved in both studio session work and 'live' work in the United States.

He was invited to form a three piece band called "Grand Alliance" with guitarist/vocalist of NECTAR, Roye Albrighton and drummer Brendan Day. They produced one album for A&M and toured the US with such acts as ZZ Top and Marshall Tucker Band.

In 1988 Derek was invited to participate in a major World tour called "Night Of The Guitars" playing bass guitar, doubling keyboards and vocals. Backing such world class guitarists as Robbie Krieger (The Doors) Randy California (Spirit) Leslie West (Mountain) Robin Trower, Steve Howe (Yes), Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music) Alvin Lee (Ten Years After), Jan Akkerman (Focus). Steve Hunter (Lou Reed), Ted Turner and Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash) and a host of other great musicians.

Derek in 1990 was also Bass player for the great Chuck Berry on a tour of Spain, a gig he will never forget.

When touring with Climax in The USA with Lynnyrd Skynnyrd Derek was invited nightly to join the backing singers on stage, another priceless memory.

In 1992 Derek was invited to co-write the soundtrack to a thriller/movie called "One False Move". This Film was directed by LA producer Carl Franklin and starred Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton who afterwards both went on to incredibly successful movie careers.

He continued to write and was commissioned by Carlin Music Library to write and record a series of library music, and one of the tracks "Sunflowers" features on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the USA.

Through collaboration with Stewart Copeland (formerly of ‘The Police’) he co-wrote and recorded the main title music plus incidental music for George Lucas films’ highly successful television cartoon series ‘Ewoks and Droids’.

During his time running and operating Miles Copelands ‘Blue Chip Studios’ he was involved in a variety of re-mixes for artists such as Sister Sledge, D.REAM, Altern 8, Bizarre Inc., Sure Is Pure, Pat MacDonald, Dennis Greaves, Ian Gillan, Billy Idol and The Sahotas.

During May ’99 and Sept 2000 he was invited to participate in a ‘song writers’ gathering at Miles Copelands’ Chateau Marouatte in Bordeaux France with many other international artists. 

Working in small groups each day, they collaborated to write new songs. Notable partnerships for Derek were with Steve Balsamo (currently the lead role in the London production of Jesus Christ Superstar) Lisa Loeb (US singer/songwriter whose albums have sold in the millions), Chas Sandford (writer of numerous hit records, including the classic ‘Missing You’ which was a world-wide hit for both John Waite and Tina Turner), Timothy B Schmit of The Eagles and many more great writers.

A song co-written with Lisa Loeb called "She’s Falling Apart" features on her ‘Cake and Pie album and features Dweezil Zappa on guitar.

For 12 years between 1994 and 2006 owned and ran The Grapes Music Bar in Stafford, an ambition of his to own a venue in order to play in, combining a great social night club with a live venue. The Grapes became a Mecca for international pro musicians and those who would make it for the Jam sessions. Out of this period came four live albums although many nights were recorded and Derek has hours and hours of live music recorded.

He was commissioned by Carlton Televeision to write the music for Bill Brysons "Notes from a small island" Which was a travel series based on Brysons hilarious journey around the British Isles.

Derek also wrote and performed the main ident music for Central Television and Childrens ITV. 
This ran for three years from 1988 until 1991.

Derek has recorded five solo albums After the Climax, Sunflowers, Hear and Now, Paradise Lost and January Child.

Dereks’ song I Love You features in four Hollywood films, The Wedding Band, The New Guy, Cherish and most recent Zach and Miri make a porno.

Check-Out Derek's website at:  www.derekholt.com   &   www.myspace.com/theofficialderekholt

Derek continues to write songs and perform live, also has an acoustic trio called ‘The Wanderin Trilbys’ featuring two great musicians, Peter Meyrick on guitar and vocals and Andy Wain, Dobro and pedal steel.

Check-Out their website at:  www.wanderintrilbys.co.uk

Derek has also qualified as a Bowen Therapist, a complimentary therapy that originated in Australia and is becoming a very popular therapy used for many treatments.   See:  www.thebowentechnique.com

 Derek's numerous credits include: 


  • Title music and all incidental music for Carlton TV’s highly successful 1999 series of Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes From A Small Island’

  • Opening music for "Central Weekend", Friday night Chat show.

  • Carlton TV – main station ident. music, plus numerous other varied incidental themes including CITV, the station’s children’s channel

  • Music for Friday Night Live chat show. Carlton TV.

  • Thames Television - Konica Film sponsorship for ‘This Is Your Life’

  • Sky – Fox Kids children’s channel jingles

  • CITV Childrens TV Channel.

  • And, appeared in the line-up of Never mind the Buzzcocks as The bass player from Climax on Top of The Pops in 1976.The panel didn’t get it right.


  • ‘One False Move’ –(Co-written with Pete Haycock) main theme and all incidental music (music nominated in the US for Independent Spirit Award)

  • The H Factor formed with Steve Hunter and Peter Haycock, recorded the soundtrack to ‘The Wedding Band’ – and featured as lead vocalist.

  • "I Love You" currently features in five Hollywood movies: The Wedding Band, Cherish,  ‘The New Guy’ and ‘Zach and Miri make a porno.

  • "Couldn’t Get It Right" was covered by The Fun Loving Criminals on Their "Mimosa" album

Commercials: (TV and Corporate), include:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland Trustees Savings Bank

  • Ansells Breweries National Tyres

  • General Accident Michelin Tyres

  • Royal Ordinance Heart of Midlothian FC

  • Westomatic - machine launch JCB – Savannah Georgia


  • The Chippendales – male dance troop, stage music and as seen on Sky TV

  • And for 4 years running, has composed and recorded the music featured with a fantastic lights and laser show as the backdrop for the World Champion Aerialists at the Daily Mail Ski Show exhibition staged at the G-MEX Centre, Manchester.

 And as if that wasn't enough ! 

Derek has almost finished putting together a book of his and his Brother Bob’s life in the music business, full of great stories and photo memorabilia, It should be released in the very near future.

Derek's forthcoming Gigs: TBA

Reviews of Derek's Previous Gigs:  

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