Another year and another label for Marc Almond, along with a newly stripped-down band, La Magia, with Willing Sinner vets Annie Hogan, Billy McGee, and Steve Humphreys on drums. Even more so than Stories of Johnny, this is Almond with an eye and ear on making a commercial record while still being himself, and the result is much better than expected.
Richard Marx's 1991 release, Rush Street, is a varied album that was billed as "the dark side of Richard Marx," and was also his last true rock & roll album (subsequent releases found him venturing almost exclusively into the adult contemporary domain). Rush Street explores different musical territories, with almost each song emerging as a cautionary tale in some form or another. The album kicks off to a rocking start with the bluesy "Playing With Fire" and the harmonica-enhanced "Love Unemotional." "Superstar" finds Marx in a funky mode, "Big Boy Now" is a catchy ballad that could have been a single, and "Streets of Pain" and "I Get No Sleep" (the latter featuring Billy Joel banging away at a piano) come straight out of '80s arena rock.
Repeat Offender is the second studio album by singer/songwriter Richard Marx. Released in mid-1989, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The album went on to sell over five million copies in the US alone (several times that worldwide) due to five major singles on the Billboard charts, including two No. 1 hits: "Satisfied" and the Platinum-certified "Right Here Waiting".
Richard Marx's self-titled debut album was a finely crafted record of mainstream pop/rock. Marx understood how the melodies of up-tempo rockers like "Don't Mean Nothin'" are driven by thick power chords, and how arrangements are as important as melody in ballads like "Hold On to the Nights." Filled with carefully constructed radio-ready tracks, it was no surprise that the album became a huge hit.
Leave it to Marc Almond to bridge the gap between covers and concept albums. Shadows and Reflections is both. Its track list reveals iconic '60s-era pop songs of astonishing variety. There's Burt Bacharach's "Blue on Blue" and Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow of Your Smile," as well as the Herd's "From the Underworld," a gorgeous, daring read of the Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad," and Bobby Darin's "Not for Me," to mention a few. Almond and his chief collaborator, British composer, arranger, and saxophonist John Harle (who wrote the set's "Overture" and "Interlude," and co-wrote the closer "No One to Say Good Night To" with the singer), used a guiding aural aesthetic in opting for expansive panoramic sound; they sought to emulate "a very late 1960s Italian cinema soundtrack…."