Steve Jolliffe initially rose to prominence with his short tenure as a member of Tangerine Dream in the late '70s, just before he launched a prolific solo career that saw him release albums year after year through the '80s and into the '90s. Though multi-talented and no doubt schooled, Jolliffe is perhaps best known for his synthesizer and keyboard work. In addition, he's played a number of other instruments on his recordings — clarinet, flute, sax, various other horns, and so on — in addition to singing and songwriting. Given his impressive resumé, it's no surprise Jolliffe established himself so prominently as a cult artist.
In the beginning of his career, Jolliffe met Rick Davies in the late '60s. The two played in a band called the Joint, which would one day evolve into Supertramp. However, Jolliffe's interests were more academic at the time, leading him to the Berlin Konservatorium, where he studied music. There he met Edgar Froese and soon found himself playing in one of the earliest incarnations of Tangerine Dream. Next came Steamhammer, a blues-rock band that seemed quite out of character for Jolliffe. Nonetheless, Steamhammer experienced moderate success in the early '70s, touring extensively and recording two albums. Despite the success, Steamhammer didn't last long and Jolliffe eventually found himself composing music for film and television.
Jolliffe's career rebounded in the late '70s, when he joined Tangerine Dream, who were quite a popular band at the time. Though he only recorded one album with the band, Cyclone (1978), he made large contributions to the album, playing a multitude of instruments and writing the songs. Furthermore, he toured Europe with Tangerine Dream in grand fashion for extremely large crowds. This stint, albeit a brief one, enabled Jolliffe to launch a solo career, beginning with the Drake's Venture album in 1980. He didn't relent following this debut album, releasing approximately an album a year for the next 20 years. ~ Jason Birchmeier