Reid was born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire; he lived in the village of Holywell & attended St Ivo School, St Ives, Cambridgeshire. After leaving school at the age of 15 Reid joined Peter Jay's Jaywalkers after being spotted by the band's drummer, Peter Jay. At the time, Reid was playing for a local band, The Redbeats, who regularly played at the River Club in St Ives.
His public profile was enhanced in 1966 when The Jaywalkers were named as a support act for The Rolling Stones for their concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Graham Nash of The Hollies became friends with Reid at that concert, and suggested The Jaywalkers sign up with UK Columbia Records - an EMI label - to record with producer John Burgess. Their first single, the Soul-inspired "The Hand Don't Fit the Glove" was a minor hit in 1967, but by then The Jaywalkers had decided to disband.
Reid came to the attention of producer Mickie Most, who became his manager and who was in partnership with Peter Grant at the time. His first single with Most, "Better By Far", became a radio favourite, but the album, Bang Bang, You're Terry Reid, was not a commercial success. With accompanying musicians Peter Solley on organ and Keith Webb on drums, a 1968 tour of the United States with Cream did much to gain Reid a loyal following. His final performance of the tour at the Miami Pop Festival garnered positive reviews from the music press.
The song "Without Expression", from Bang Bang, You're Terry Reid, written by Reid age 14 was recorded by The Hollies in 1968 as "A Man With No Expression" and by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in 1969 as "Horses Through a Rainstorm", with Nash singing lead on both. "Horses Through a Rainstorm" was slated to appear on Déjà Vu before being replaced at the last minute by Stephen Stills's "Carry On". Both versions were not released until years later.
Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page managed by Peter Grant became interested in Reid's work, and when The Yardbirds disbanded, Page wanted Reid to fill the vocalist spot for his proposed new group, the New Yardbirds, which was to become Led Zeppelin. Reid had already committed to go on the road for two tours with The Rolling Stones and another with Cream (as an opening act on the 1968 US Tour). Reid suggested to Page that if he were compensated for the gig fees he'd miss out on and Page would call Keith Richards to explain why Reid had to pull out of the US tours Reid would try some things out with Page.
It never happened and Reid told Jimmy to consider a young Birmingham-based singer, Robert Plant, instead, having previously seen Plant's Band of Joy as a support act at one of his concerts. Reid also suggested Page to check out their drummer John Bonham.
Terry Reid - Super Lungs
Most of the contents of Super Lungs: The Complete Studio Recordings -- most especially the albums Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid and Terry Reid -- will be familiar to the singer's fans, and may dissuade people from picking up this double-CD set. That would be a shame, however, in view of the other material that is here -- starting with his work with Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers, which opens disc one and dates from well before his solo debut, Reid reveals himself as an extraordinarily (jaw-droppingly good, in fact) soul singer, with range, power, charisma, and taste, even on those early sides, and the package is extended into genuinely uncharted territory with a half-dozen newly discovered, newly mixed outtakes from Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid, and two tracks from Reid's first recording session in 1966, "Funny How Time Slips Away" (which is almost worth the price of the double-CD set by itself) and "I'll Take Good Care of You." The sound quality is spot-on perfect, state of the art, the annotation by Peter Doggett is entertaining and informative, and the whole package is some of the best British-spawned soul and R&B that one can find.