Noakes at the Oran Mor, Glasgow, 2010
|Birth name||Robert Noakes|
|Born||13 May 1947|
St Andrews, Scotland
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, keyboards|
|Labels||Neon Media production|
Noakes was brought up in Cupar.
He has performed with Lindisfarne, who recorded his songs "Turn a Deaf Ear" on their first album, Nicely Out of Tune, and "Together Forever" on their second, Fog on the Tyne. Barbara Dickson also recorded "Turn a Deaf Ear" on her album Do Right Woman, on which Noakes also performed. Noakes also sang backing vocals and played guitar on the first solo album by Gerry Rafferty, Can I Have My Money Back, and became an early member of Stealers Wheel, although he left them before they recorded their first album. Like Rafferty, he became an alcoholic but took his last drink in 1982. In May 1972, the British music magazine, NME, reported that Noakes was to appear at the Great Western Express Lincoln Festival on 26 May that year. Other acts to perform in the 'Giants of Tomorrow' marquee included Budgie, Skin Alley, Tea & Sympathy, John Martyn, Warhorse and Gnidrolog. Noakes best-known recording, "Branch", was released as a single in the summer of 1974 from his album Red Pump Special, and attracted considerable airplay on BBC Radio 1, but without making the UK Singles Chart.
The albums Restless (1978), Rab Noakes (1980) and Under the Rain (1984) followed, but it was 1994 until Standing Up appeared. Noakes subsequently toured with the Varaflames, containing Pick Withers, Rod Clements, and the harmonicist Fraser Speirs.
Noakes became the senior producer for music programmes on BBC Radio Scotland.. He left to create the production company, Neon. In November 2007, his album Unlimited Mileage, again with the Varaflames, was released. In 2012 CDs of Standing Up Again made in 2009 and Just in case (made in 2007) were made available those albums only having been available to Download up until then.
In 2015 he released the album "I'm Walking Here". It was his 19th solo album and many of the songs tell the story of his working life as a songwriter and performer. It is a double album containing 26 songs "The first set consists of new compositions that show his gift for melody and love of Americana, and include the glorious Out of Your Sight, influenced by Buddy Holly (who apparently admired Lonnie Donegan), a stomping tribute to a 1920s minstrel singer and a poignant lament for Rafferty. The second album is dominated by “interpretations” (he hates the word covers) of songs from early Cliff Richard to Garbage and Beck, along with the skiffle standard Freight Train, on which he’s joined by Jimmy MacGregor and a finely sung treatment of the traditional The Two Sisters. Magnificent."
Albums (including reissues)
|1970||Rab Noakes||Decca||SKL 5061||Do You See The Lights?|
|1972||Rab Noakes||A&M||AMLS 68119||Rab Noakes|
|1974||Rab Noakes||Warner Brothers||BS 2777||Red Pump Special|
|1975||Rab Noakes||Warner Brothers||K56114||Never Too Late|
|1978||Rab Noakes||Ringo O'||2339 201||Restless|
|1980||Rab Noakes||MCA||MCAC 3251||Rab Noakes|
|1984||Rab Noakes||Black Crow||(CD)CRO 207||Under The Rain|
|1988||Black Crow||(CD)CRO 217||Woody Lives!|
|1995||Rab Noakes||Mediart Music||MDMCD 003||Standing Up|
|2000||The Varaflames||Neon||NEONCD001||Throwing Shapes|
|2001||Rab Noakes With Fraser Speirs||Neon||NEONCD002||Lights Back On|
|2002||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD004||Demos And Rarities Volume 1|
|2004||Rab Noakes||River Records||RIVERCD003||The River Sessions|
|2004||The Varaflames||River Records||RIVERCD042||Throwing Shapes (Re-issue)|
|2004||Rab Noakes With Fraser Speirs||River Records||RIVERCD043||Lights Back On (Re-issue)|
|2007||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD007||Standing Up (Re-issue)|
|2007||Rab Noakes And The Varaflames||Neon||NEONCD009||Unlimited Mileage|
|2008||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD010||Do You See The Lights? (Re-Issue)|
|2012||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD011||Just In Case Songs Of Boudleaux & Felice Bryant|
|2012||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD012||Live At The Reid Hall Edinburgh 2005|
|2012||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD013||Standing Up Again|
|2013||Rab Noakes||Warner||WPCR15119||Red Pump Special (Re-issue)|
|2013||Rab Noakes||Warner||WPCR15120||Never Too Late|
|2013||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD014||Demos And Rarities Volume 2 Adventures with Gerry Rafferty|
|2013||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD015||Red Pump Special - 40th Anniversary Edition|
|2013||Rab Noakes||Universal||UICY75904||Rab Noakes (1972 Album Re-issue)|
|2014||Barbara Dickson & Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD016||Reunited EP|
|2015||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD017||I'm Walkin' Here|
|2018||Rab Noakes||Neon||NEONCD021||Welcome to Anniversaryville|
- "Rab Noakes – Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame". projects.handsupfortrad.scot.
- Harris, Craig. "Rab Noakes". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 238. CN 5585.
- Denselow, Robin. "Rab Noakes: I'm Walkin' Here review – effortlessly connecting pop and folk". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-16.