Although probably best known for his '80s hit "The Salt in My Tears," Martin Briley has had a long and varied career as a backup musician and songwriter. Hailing from the U.K., Briley was a founding member of the band Mandrake Paddlesteamer (later shortened to Mandrake), serving as the act's lead guitarist for four years until 1971. In 1974, he joined the progressive rock outfit Greenslade for a U.S. tour and would remain with them for two years, appearing on 1975's Time & Tide set. When Greenslade disbanded, Briley moved to New York City to seek his fortune. He managed to find work as a session musician, appearing on a number of albums during the late '70s, most notably playing bass on Night Out, a 1979 release by Meat Loaf's "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" duet partner, Ellen Foley. He would also join Ian Hunter's band during this period, appearing on several records and touring with him. When Hunter's output and live schedule lessened in the early '80s, Briley was given an opportunity as a solo artist, releasing Fear of the Unknown in 1981.
However, it would be two years later, with the issuance of One Night With a Stranger, before Briley found his way into the spotlight. "The Salt in My Tears" managed to eke its way into the lower reaches of the U.S. Top 40 charts, performing even better on more rock-oriented stations. There was no follow-up in the offing, although the atmospheric "Put Your Hands on the Screen" also found some favor with AOR listeners. However, 1985's Dangerous Moments came and went with little fanfare. Since them, Briley has continued to be a sideman, performing on albums by acts like Celine Dion and Willie Nile. Additionally, his songs have been recorded by a variety of artists, including Jeff Healey, Night Ranger, Kenny Loggins, and *NSYNC. ~ Tom Demalon