Anthony Lawrence Carey (born October 16, 1953, Watsonville, California) is an American-born, European-based musician, composer, producer, and singer/songwriter. One of his earliest musical experiences was in a band called Blessings, in which he played until 1974 when Ritchie Blackmore hired him as keyboardist for Rainbow. He played with Rainbow on two world tours, until 1977. After his departure from Rainbow, he began a solo career, releasing albums under his own name as well under the pseudonym Planet P Project, and producing for and performing with other artists.
|Born||October 16, 1953|
Watsonville, CA, USA
|Origin||Turlock, California, United States|
|Genres||Instrumental, rock, space rock, progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal|
|Instruments||Keyboards, piano, guitar, bass, vocals|
|Labels||ABC, Rocshire, MCA, X-Records, Geffen, Metronome, Teldec, East West, BMG Ariola, Happy Street, Babyboomer, Progrock Records, Renaissance, T-Toone|
|Associated acts||Blessings, Rainbow, Planet P Project, Evil Masquerade, Zed Yago, Over the Rainbow, EBC ROXX, Peter Maffay, Diether Dehm|
Carey had been playing his church's piano during off hours since he was very young, and he was permitted to play the pipe organ as well. He was fascinated by the sound. His family acquired a piano when he was seven, and he "lived at that piano" until, at age eleven, he got his first acoustic guitar and formed his first group, which played music by The Mamas and the Papas and others. His father gave him a Lowrey organ for his 14th birthday, and he started a rock band with other neighborhood kids, playing music by The Doors. He also played contrabass in his school's orchestra.
At age 17, Carey moved to New Hampshire to start a new band called Blessings with a singer he knew, and soon the band had a major recording contract with ABC Dunhill. After two years of working on the project, the band was unable to complete its first album. In a 2013 interview, Carey listed his own involvement with girls, the producer's drug use, and "too much bullshit" from Dunhill as the reasons the album was never completed.
While Carey and his band Blessings were in S. I. R. Rehearsal Studios in Hollywood working on material for their unfinished album, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple was in another room, with bassist Jimmy Bain, auditioning musicians for his new band Rainbow. Carey said Blackmore liked what he was hearing in the other room and asked Bain to invite Carey to audition. Out of frustration with his own band's inability to complete their first album, Carey accepted the position with Rainbow when it was offered. He recorded one studio album with Rainbow, the highly acclaimed Rising (1976, #48 on The Billboard 200). Carey's work on the album included the keyboard introduction to the opening track "Tarot Woman", and the keyboard solo on "A Light in the Black", the last cut on the album. During Carey's two world tours with Rainbow, live material was recorded and subsequently released as two double LPs, On Stage (1977, #65 on The Billboard 200) and Live in Germany (1990). In addition to the two double LPs, a six-disc CD box set containing music from those tours, Deutschland Tournee 1976, was released in 2006.
1977–1983: Early solo yearsEdit
Carey left Rainbow in 1977 and moved to Germany in 1978, where he began work on his solo career. This was a period in his life when, according to Carey himself, he had health problems due to drug use and spent many 20-hour days in a recording studio (which he co-owned) with his friend and recording engineer Nigel Jopson. He recorded a great deal of instrumental music in many different styles, learning how to engineer and perform well in the recording studio. The studio's other co-owner, producer Peter Hauke, allowed Carey free use of the studio all night for several years, which gave him ample time and opportunity. His first solo album to be released was In the Absence of the Cat, in 1982, on the indie label X-Records.
Carey released his second solo album, I Won't Be Home Tonight, on the short-lived but nationally recognized Rocshire label in 1982, along with the single (and music video) "West Coast Summer Nights". The album peaked at #167 on the Billboard 200, and the single peaked at #64 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The title track was also released as a single, peaking at #79 on the Hot 100 and #8 on Billboard's Top Rock Tracks chart. Rocshire fell under hard times following the death of its promoter, Stacy Davis (who had appeared in the "West Coast Summer Nights" video), and was closed down a year later by federal agents following an investigation resulting in the imprisonment for embezzlement of the label's co-owners and seizure of the label's assets. The album rights and masters for I Won't Be Home Tonight were seized by federal authorities, and they remain the property of the US Internal Revenue Service. Carey needed a new label.
1983–1985: Planet P Project, Geffen, and MCAEdit
Following the release of I Won't Be Home Tonight, Carey was signed to Geffen Records for his third solo album (later to be released as Some Tough City), but he had a great deal of music written that didn't fit the style of that album. He was able to sign a second record deal with Geffen to record and release that material under the Planet P Project pseudonym, which he would use throughout his career for his more progressive and experimental music. He released his first album under the name Planet P Project in 1983, called Planet P Project (originally titled Planet P), which peaked at #42 on the Billboard 200. On the week ending March 19, 1983, both Planet P Project and Carey's earlier album I Won't Be Home Tonight were climbing Billboard's Rock Albums chart simultaneously, with Planet P Project then at #30 and I Won't Be Home Tonight reaching its peak at #8. (The following week Planet P Project had made it up to #15, though I Won't Be Home Tonight had slipped to the #10 position). Planet P Project received modest reviews (e.g., ref and), despite being listed for two weeks by Billboard as a Top Add. The album, however, contained the more highly acclaimed song "Why Me", which was released as Planet P Project's first popular single, reaching #64 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #4 in the magazine's Top Rock Tracks chart. According to Carey, the video for "Why Me" made a "slight impact on early MTV." A follow-up single was released from Planet P Project, "Static", which reached #24 on Billboard's Top Rock Tracks.
In 1983 and 1984, Carey recorded his third solo album, the more successful Some Tough City, and his second Planet P Project album, Pink World. A dispute with the label arose when Geffen's representative was not satisfied with the lyrics to "A Fine, Fine Day" and "The First Day of Summer". Then the finished Pink World album was not at all well received by the label. Carey said, "Long story short, I got traded like a baseball player to MCA Records, which went ahead and released both of these records."
In early 1984, MCA released Some Tough City, with the single "A Fine, Fine Day" reaching #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and also #1 on the Top Rock Tracks chart. A follow-up single, "The First Day of Summer", reached #33 on the Hot 100 in July 1984 and appeared in the 1985 film Secret Admirer. The album itself, Some Tough City, peaked at #60 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Carey opened for Night Ranger on many dates of their 1984 tour in support of this album.
In late 1984. MCA released Planet P Project's double LP rock opera, Pink World (#121 on The Billboard 200), for which Carey wrote the lyrics and music, sang all vocals, and played most of the instruments. Session performers on lead guitar, saxophone, synthesizer (and synth programming), and drums on some tracks made up the rest of the project. The single "What I See" reached #25 on Billboard's Top Rock Tracks. Both the double LP and the single were released on pink vinyl. A single music video for two songs on Pink World, "What I See" and "Behind the Barrier", remained in power rotation or active rotation for ten weeks on the MTV network.
Carey's 1985 follow-up solo album, Blue Highway, did not score a hit on radio. Carey has stated the album suffered problems unrelated to him but "VERY related to 'the producer.'" (Emphasis and quotation marks in original.)
1985–1989: Music producer, composer, film soundtracksEdit
Carey began producing and guesting on many major groups from the US and Europe in the mid 1980s. Notables of the many included Jennifer Rush in 1985, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers – Chicago Line in 1988, keyboards and producer. In 1992 with Joe Cocker – Now That You're Gone, Forest McDonald's Color Blind, Chris Norman, Peter Maffay, Milva, and in 2006 from Dire Straits, David Knopfler – Songs For The Siren. In a November 12, 2011 interview on Lkcb 128.4 Internet Radio  Carey said 'Ive written over a thousand songs, for myself. other artists, and film and TV productions.'.
After his 1987 release Bedtime Story (soundtrack for the German film The Joker with Peter Maffay) he recorded a second soundtrack album, called Wilder Western Inclusive, which featured the hit single "Room With A View" (#3 on the German Charts, 1989), which stayed 18 weeks on the charts and received gold. A third soundtrack followed in 1999, 'Gefangen in Jemen', accompanying Maffay's second film.
1989–2009: Later releases and the return of Planet P ProjectEdit
Carey continued recording and releasing numerous solo albums during this time and producing music for other artists. In 1989, Carey released his album For You, which featured the singles "I Feel Good" (#35 on the German Charts) and "No Man's Land" (feat. Eric Burdon and Anne Haigis). Then he released his albums Storyville (1990), The Long Road (1992) and Cold War Kids (1994). Other releases in the early 2000s included 'Island and Deserts' and several live recordings. Planet P Project returned in 2003–2009 with a trilogy of albums collectively called Go Out Dancing (G.O.D.). The albums were 1931 (2003), Levittown (2008), and Out In The Rain (2009). 'Christmas Hymns' and two cd's of cover songs, 'Stanislaus County Kid I & II' followed in 2009/10. In 2014, a box set of the three Planet P Project Go Out Dancing CDs was released, the G.O.D.B.O.X., which included an earlier bootleg of promotional recordings for the project.
2009–2010: Over the Rainbow, cancerEdit
In 2009, Tony Carey and three other ex-members of Rainbow, Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli and Greg Smith teamed up with Jürgen Blackmore, Ritchie Blackmore's son, to form Over the Rainbow to perform Rainbow songs in concerts in Russia and Eastern Europe. Due to illness, however, Tony Carey left Over the Rainbow in the spring of 2009, just prior to the band's live debut at the Sweden Rock Festival, where he was replaced by Paul Morris.
In March 2009 Carey was diagnosed with a virulent form of bladder cancer. At one point he was told his odds of survival were ten percent. After twelve weeks in the hospital and five surgeries, he made a full recovery. "I tried to get my 'bucket list' finished as quickly as I could; it wasn't a certainty that I'd be around much longer," notes Carey. "I'm missing some of my organs; you'll be relieved to hear that the Hammond isn't one of them." Carey's former Rainbow bandmate Ronnie James Dio died of stomach cancer shortly after Carey's recovery. Carey said in a May 28, 2010 interview with Jason Saulnier, "I'm very sad about his passing, especially because we got essentially the same disease, and I beat it, and he didn't."
2010: EBC ROXXEdit
In 2010 it was announced that Tony Carey had formed a new musical racing project called EBC ROXX with (J.R.) Jürgen Blackmore & Ela. Their first single "Silver Arrows" was released in March 2010 and was written as the anthem to accompany the first race of Mercedes Formula 1 pilots Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg that season. The project released a full CD entitled Winners later that year.
2013: Second return of Planet P ProjectEdit
After officially dismantling "Planet P Project" in 2009 with the third and final part to the "G. O. D."-trilogy - "Out In The Rain", Carey again revived the project with the release of "Steeltown" in 2013, this time merging his solo career name with the project's name ( "Tony Carey's Planet P Project"). Contributors on this disc include guitarist extraordinaire Ronnie Le Tekro (TNT), Jimmy Durand - guitars and drums, Jostein 'sarge' Svarstad - guitars and Russian guitarist Valery Lunichkin soloed on "On The Side Of The Angels", Karsten Kreppert drums on "The Lady Fair". "Steeltown" is based on Norway & its history, after Carey played and travelled there extensively, both as a solo artist, and with a band consisting of mostly Norwegian musicians. Influenced by the occupation years of World War II and the way Norway as a nation handled this, the work is also a statement about the eternal religious conflicts worldwide. There are plans to tour with "Tony Carey's Planet P Project" in the near future.
2016: Tony Carey's Rainbow Project: The Dio YearsEdit
2019: Lucky UsEdit
In 2019, Carey released 'Lucky Us', a return to simpler people-based themes. "I wrote 6 political history lessons; I think I've said all I have to say about that for awhile...Lucky Us is also about winning the lottery of life. ."
- 1982 In the Absence of the Cat (vinyl only) (Reissued on CD [200 copies only] and mp3 download 2011)
- 1982 I Won't Be Home Tonight / Self titled (Reissued 1987/2003)
- 1984 Some Tough City (Reissued 1992/2008)
- 1985 Blue Highway (Reissued 1992/2008)
- 1987 Bedtime Story (Soundtrack, Reissued 1996)
- 1988 Wilder Westen Inclusive (Soundtrack)
- 1989 For You (featuring a single with Anne Haigis & Eric Burdon)
- 1990 Storyville
- 1992 The Long Road
- 1994 Cold War Kids
- 1999 The Boystown Tapes (Reissued 2007)
- 2004 Islands and Deserts
- 2006 Live in Sweden 2006 – Volume #1
- 2009 Live In Sweden 2006 – Volume #2
- 2009 Christmas Hymns (Self released)
- 2010 Stanislaus County Kid (Self released)
- 2011 Stanislaus County Kid, Volume II – Crossing the tracks (Self released)
- 2011 Live in Europe (Self released)
- 2019 Lucky Us
Single Releases only
- 1981 Jamie (Maxi single)
- 1988 Midnight wind (B track for Whitney Houston's – 'One moment in time' single, from the 1988 summer Olympic album)
- 1991 Wenn die Liebe geht – That's not love to me (with Ina Morgan)
- 1994 Route 66 (Rose T.C.)
- 1995 Birds in cages
- 2004 Überall du (German version of 'Room with a view' featuring Mo Casal)
- 1982 Yellow Power (vinyl only) (limited re-release on CD, 2011)
- 1982 Explorer (vinyl only) (limited re-release on CD, 2011)
- 1982 Heaven (vinyl only) (limited re-release on CD, 2011)
- 1982 No Human (vinyl only)
- 1984 T.C.P. (vinyl only) (limited re-release on CD, 2011)
- 1999 Gefangen im Jemen (Soundtrack) (4 vocal tracks, mostly instrumental )
- 2000 Killing me softly / Anna (unauthorized CD/R release)
- 2006 The Voyager Files
- 1989 The Story So Far
- 1993 For You
- 1993 Rare Tracks
- 1997 A Fine, Fine Day
- 1997 Storyville
- 2000 Retrospective 1982–1999
- 2006 The chillout tapes (featuring DJ. Shah) (limited edition release)
- 2006 Just Ballads
- 2008 Roundup – The Ones That Got Away (Self released)
- 2008 A Lonely Life – The Anthology
- 2008 Only The Young Die Good
- 2009 The New Machine (Self released)
- 2010 Rewind (limited free download – Slightly different versions of songs taken from, Planet P Project – G.O.D. II & III and Stanislaus County Kid)
- 2011 Just Ballads, Volume II (Self released)
- 2012 Just Rock (Self released)
- 2014 Songs about people (Self released)
Planet P Project
- 1983 Planet P Project (Reissued 2009)
- 1984 Pink World (Reissued 2008)
- 2001 Go Out Dancing (unauthorized CD/R promo release)
- 2005 Go Out Dancing Part 1 "1931"
- 2008 Go Out Dancing Part 2 "Levittown"
- 2009 Go Out Dancing Part 3 "Out in The Rain"
- 2013 Steeltown
- 2014 The G.O.D.B.O.X. (4 disc set of G.O.D. part #1, 2 & 3 along with the remastered original bootleg of Go Out Dancing)
- 2008 A candlelight evening – Live in Sweden, 2006 (Self released)
- 2016 "Showtime" 2 DVD set: live Sweden rock 2015, solo show and concert with Zöller network (self released)
Selected other recordings
- 1976 Rising – Studio recording with the band Rainbow (Keyboards)
- 1976 On stage – Live with the band Rainbow (Keyboards)
- 1977 Putting it straight – Studio recording with Pat Travers (Keyboards)
- 1978 Live at the Hollywood Palladium – Live recording with The Force (Keyboards & Vocals)
- 1981 Working – Studio recording with Omega (Guitar, Lyrics)
- 1982 Wynn over America – Studio recording with Michael Wynn (Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Producer)
- 1985 Sonne in der Nacht – Studio recording with Peter Maffay (Guitar, Keyboards, Producer, Songwriter, Backing vocals)
- 1985 Movin – Studio recording Jennifer Rush (Producer)
- 1985 The circle – Studio recording with Max Carl (Backing vocals)
- 1986 Tabaluga und das leuchtende Schweigen – Studio recording with Peter Maffay (Guitar, Keyboards, Producer, Songwriter, Backing vocals)
- 1988 Lange Schatten – Studio recording with Peter Maffay (Guitar, Keyboards, Producer, Songwriter, Backing vocals)
- 1988 Chicago line – Studio recording with "Johnny Mayall's Blues Breakers (Keyboard, Piano, Producer)
- 1990 Live in Germany, 76' – Live with the band Rainbow (Keyboards)
- 1989 The Interchange - Studio recording with Chris Norman, writer, producer, bass, guitar, keyboards and backing vocals
- 1991 Alles easy – Studio Recording with Ina Morgan (Producer, Vocals, All instruments)
- 1992 Now that you're gone – Studio recording of Joe Cocker (Producer)
- 1992 No more alibis – Studio recording of the band Sinner (Producer)
- 1993 Respect – Studio recording of the band Sinner (Producer)
- 2003 Second Step – Summer tour Live 2003 – Live recording with Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band (Hammond, Keyboard, Vocals)
- 2006 Songs for the Siren – Studio Recording with David Knopfler (Hammond, Piano, Producer)
- 2006 Deutschland Tournee, 1976 (30th Anniversary Ed. Box set) – Live with the band Rainbow (Keyboards)
- 2009 Fade to black – Studio recording with the band Evil Masquerade (Keyboards)
- 2010 The pirates from hell – Studio recording with the band Zed Yago (Keyboards)
- 2010 The winners – Studio recording project called EBC Roxx (with (J.R.) Jürgen Blackmore & Ela)
- 2013 The Jan Holberg Project : At Your Service - (Lead Vocals on the tracks "Outta My Face" and "21 Red")
- 2017 The Well - Studio recording with Trine Rein, (vocals, instruments and producing)
- Saulnier, Jason (1 June 2010). "Tony Carey Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Carey, Tony. "Tony Carey Biography". truebeliever.de. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- Rohman, Ashiqur. "Interview with former Rainbow keyboardist Tony Carey". http://indianmusicmug.com. Retrieved July 24, 2014. External link in
- Carey, Tony. "CD Liner Notes, Pink World [Definitive Edition]". Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- Carey, Tony. "In the Absence of the Cat". truebeliever.de. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- Miller, Chuck (27 October 2009). "The Rise and Fall of Rocshire Records and the loss of Stacy Davis". Times Union. Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Carey, Tony. "Planet P Project – 25 years on". truebeliever.de. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Planet P Project Planet P Project". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "First Time Around". Billboard. 95 (13): 61. March 26, 1883.
- Demalon, Tom. "Planet P Project Planet P Project". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Billboard.com https://www.billboard.com/music/tony-carey/chart-history/ Retrieved 29 Jul 2010
- Fiorani, Sam. "Records You Never Heard: Planet P". The High Fidelity Report. The High Fidelity Report, Dec 1, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "Planet P Project What I See". discogs.com. discogs.com. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- "Billboard Magazine Archive". Billboard. 96(48) - 97(9). Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Planet P Project (2008). Pink World [Definitive Edition]. Renaissance Records (catalog RMED-396). p. CD liner notes.
- "Tony Carey - Planet P Project's Information". imradio.com. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Tony Carey Interview | Rainbow Keyboardist talks Ronnie James Dio". musiclegends.ca. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Rohman, Ashiqur (17 Aug 2013). "Interview with former Rainbow keyboardist Tony Carey". IndianMusicMug. Retrieved 17 Aug 2013.
- TONY CAREY’S RAINBOW PROJECT: The Dio Years Featuring Åge Sten Nilsen
- "metalexpressradio". 5 June 2019.