Odd, just this past weekend I was grooving along to "Texas", "Auberge", "Road To Hell Pt 1 & 2" and "On The Beach" (original version). I Youtube'd his video that accompanied his signature Fender Strat as well as some live performances. He is damn good live...damn good.
Yeah, some parallel lines are drawn between his 80s sound and Dire Straits, especially that Bridge+Middle Strat pick-up sproingy quack tone that I love when players do it well.
His slide work is really nice to listen to, as well.
I knew him more as a sideman whose contribution were usu. xlnt to stellar, then I checked his whole list of recordings AND credits (Gene Pitney!?! Johnny Hallyday who knew/whoda thunk??----and there's way more, esp from the more exotic climes):
I fell in love with Rea from the first time "Fool If You Think It's Over" hit the airwaves in 1978. Bought each succeeding album as soon as they were released. In the US, he disappeared in 1982 for an extended period.
I had no idea that he hit very big in Europe in 1983 with Water Sign (an album of demos). He didn't have another US release until 1987 (Dancing With Strangers ... on Motown!).
1988's "Workin' On It" was a huge US hit. After Road to Hell, there was little US interest in Chris.
"Texas" (from Road to Hell) is probably my favorite. I've used that song to convert several people into Rea fans.
His guitar tone is amazing.
Health issues have had a huge affect on his appearance.