Part-time Folk singer Steve Harley convened the original Cockney Rebel with bassist Paul Jeffreys, Stuart Elliott, guitarist/violinist Jean Paul Croker and keyboard player Milton Reame James. Their debut Human Menagerie (1973) established a cult following and included their hit 'Sebastian'. Their line-up lasted for 1974's chart breakthrough The Psychomodo- before Harley brought in guitarist Jim Cregan, bassist George Ford and keyboardist Duncan Mackay for The Best Years Of Our Lives (1975) and Cockney Rebel's best-known hit, 'Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)'. However, commercially, it was a slow downhill ride with Timeless Flight (1976) and Love's A Prima Donna (1976).

Steve Harley disbanded the group in 1977, releasing solo offerings Hobo With A Grin (1977) and The Candidate (1979) before being dropped by EMI. After a brief spell away from the public eye, he returned to the UK Top 10 in 1986 with Sarah Brightman on the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera.

The group returned to the news in 1988 when original bassist Paul Jeffreys was killed in the Lockerbie air disaster, and Harley has re-formed the group (with various line-ups) several times since the late 80s.

Sources: Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel Fan Club