Most known for recording a version of "Hush" that inspired Deep Purple's hit cover of the same tune, Kris Ife was active on the British pop scene in various guises from the mid-'60s to the mid-'70s, though he had barely a taste of commercial success. The guitarist and singer/songwriter first recorded in the mid-'60s as part of the Quiet Five, who released half a dozen singles that combined different parts of Merseybeat, pop/rock, folk, and blue-eyed soul. They managed to sneak inside the Top 50 in 1965 with the Ife-composed "When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew," repeating the feat the following year with a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound," though the original version was the one that became a U.K. Top Ten single. Ife left the Quiet Five in 1967 to go solo, cutting several obscure 45s, among them a forceful soul-rock cover of Joe South's "Hush." It later emerged that Deep Purple became aware of the song after some members heard the single played at a Manchester discotheque, and Deep Purple would have a U.S. Top Five smash in 1968 after giving the number a more hard rock-slanted treatment.
By the late '60s, Ife was writing songs with Vince Edwards and Michael Derrick under the collective pseudonym Miki Anthony, and put together a band, the Matchmakers, that recorded for British producer Mark Wirtz. Ife and Wirtz co-wrote most of the material recorded by Judd, featuring Ife as singer, that was released as the 1970 Judd LP Snarling Mumma Lion, though Ife has recalled that this was a combination of finished tracks and demos. Many of Judd's recordings had a swamp pop feel, albeit with a dash of British blue-eyed soul-pop, but these weren't as impressive as those of Joe South (to take an obvious reference point), and didn't make a commercial impact. Ife also recorded a couple obscure, more heavily orchestrated early-'70s Righteous Brothers-styled singles with Vince Edwards as half of the duo Jackson & Jones. He also did an unreleased concept album that aimed to teach American history through popular music, entering the publishing side of the music industry in the mid-'70s.
Much of Ife's output was assembled for the compilation Definitive Collection 1967-1973, which includes late-'60s solo singles ("Hush" among them), Judd's LP, a Judd outtake and non-LP single, the Jackson & Jones singles, and an unreleased track from his American history concept album. His Quiet Five years are covered on the When the Morning Sun Dries the Dew compilation CD, which combines everything from that group's singles with some unreleased material. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi