- Born near London, David Albert Cook was singing in pubs and clubs by the time he was 16 years old.
- In 1965 he recorded his first record, And the Tears Came Tumbling Down, and began touring with David Essex and the Mood Indigo. David Albert Cook had become David Essex.
- A further seven 60s singles followed but it was in acting/musicals that he got his first real break. In 1971, David was cast the lead role in Godspell.
- In 1973 he starred in the movie That’ll Be the Day and, in 1974, he appeared in the sequel, Stardust.
- The same year he wrote, recorded and released Rock On.
- Two #1 hits followed: Gonna Make You a Star (1974) and Hold Me Close (1975).
- Blessed with rock star looks, David had a certain popularity with his female fans – he was voted #1 British male vocalist in 1974, his shows creating scenes of hysteria reminiscent of Beatlemania.
- Other acting/musical roles have included: the musical version of The War of the Worlds (1978), Che in Evita (1978), Fletcher Christian in the musical Mutiny! (which he co-wrote in 1985).
- David continues to perform today. In 1999, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
- Despite his stardom in the UK, he remains largely unknown in the US where his only hit, Rock On peaked at #5 on the singles charts.
rock on fax
- Rock On was written by English singer/songwriter David Essex.
- The title track to his debut album, Rock on was recorded by David in 1973. It sold over a million copies and peaked at #3 on the UK singles charts and #5 on the US charts.
- Rock On featured on the soundtrack album to the 1973 film That’ll Be the Day, in which David had a starring role.
- In 1988, David re-recorded the song with an updated lyric.
- Cover versions have included: Michael Damian (1989) who took it to #1 on the US charts, Toni Basil, The Smashing Pumpkins (2001), Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor (1990), Def Leppard (2006), and Blondie (2012).
- Rock On lyrics.
rock on – david essex – 1973 – video
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