November 2011

Richard Marx: The Christmas EP

Nov 15 2011
By: chimarx4
Categories: Blog, News
19 Comments

Richard Marx: The Christmas EP

J MATTHEW COBB
Short and sweet holiday EP comes out of the gate of Richard Marx

Although considered lately to be a pop reclusive, Richard Marx is already working on album No. 23. The ”Right Here Waiting” singer/songwriter, known for writing a bundles of AC hits for a laundry list of big names including the Luther Vandross’ Grammy winning “Dance With My Father,” pumps out A Christmas EP as a kickstarter to his upcoming full-length holiday project for 2012. One thing’s for sure: the sampler is a festive appetizer that stays true to Marx’s style. “Christmas Spirit” conjures the subtleties of Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” while masked with a Phil Spector Wall of Sound glisten. He even goes for reverent hymn remakes on “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” without sounding too much like a Vienna Boy graduate. Much of the arrangements feel like tasteful performances that either would be transplanted on a best-of-Marx album or on a hipper Nashville pop set. On “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day,” the digital EP’s obvious showstopper, the atmosphere is enshrouded with serenading strings and Coldplay visuals. Although his voice never suspends to the clouds on its enrapturing chorus, Marx settles for a comfy mid-flight performance that still oozes heartthrob glamour. Even with the EP’s brevity, A Christmas EP is as good as a holiday EP will ever get.

J MATTHEW COBB

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The Five Questions I’d Be Happy If No Human Ever Asked Me Again

Nov 07 2011
By: chimarx4
Categories: News
64 Comments


1. “What’s your favorite song you’ve done?”

The most unimaginative, generic and boring question of them all. It forces artists to respond with equally boring musings like, “My songs are like my children…I love them all equally….I don’t have a particular favorite.” What we want to say is, “That’s a really lame-ass question.”

2. “Are you related to the Marx Brothers?”

I’ve lost count of how many smarmy, barely literate radio DJs have asked, “Any relation to Groucho??” as they then laugh out loud at what they think is the most genius example of their own unique brand of hilarity. The last time a guy asked me that, I said, “Wow. Are you a PROFESSIONAL comedian??”

3. “Why do you suck?”

Granted….there’s an epic, downright meanness to this question. But you do have to admire its straightforward-ness.

4. “Is Richard Marx your real name?”

No, no, no. Of course not. I wanted to MAKE UP a stage name that had marginal ethnicity and whose nickname would be “Dick,” “Stretch” or “Skid.”

5. “Is your song, “Hazard,” auto-biographical?

Yep. I lived in a tiny town in Nebraska….drowned a girl that lived there and have been in hiding ever since. Except for when I wrote a song and made a record about it. Good question.

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Richard Marx gets in the ‘Christmas Spirit’

Nov 04 2011
By: chimarx4
Categories: News
9 Comments

Richard Marx gets in the ‘Christmas Spirit’
By Gary Graff
Billboard.com
Posted November 4, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.

Richard Marx is getting in the holiday spirit with a digital Christmas EP imaginatively titled “The Christmas EP.” An outgrowth of an annual holiday gift Marx and his three sons recorded at home for his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes, the set includes four classics, including a duet with Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins on “Silent Night,” plus a new song, “Christmas Spirit,” co-written with Tubes frontman Fee Waybill.

“My manager said, ‘You’ve never put out a Christmas record, and it’s probably too late to do an album but why don’t we do an EP? Why don’t you do a couple of those songs you’ve done with your boys but you sing lead and leave them in as background singers,’ ” said Marx, who plans to record a full-length offering in 2012. Marx recorded his new vocals in Nashville, cutting with a rhythm section in one room and an orchestra in the next. “I could see them both from the vocal booth,” he recalls, “and we sang and played everything live.”

Marx describes “Christmas Spirit” as “really up-tempo and fun — I want people to think Phil Spector busted out of jail. It’s total over-production — strings, bells, girl singers, you name it. That’s sort of our key track for the album.”

Marx’s primary outlet now, in fact, is writing for others. He’s spent the past few years racking up credits with Celine Dion, Daughtry, Lifehouse, Ringo Starr, Julio Iglesias, Toni Braxton, Kenny Loggins, Travis Tritt, Clay Aiken and especially Keith Urban, with whom Marx has notched three hits — “Everybody,” “Better Life” and the recent country No. 1 “Long Hot Summer.”

© 2011 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/nov/04/richard-marx-gets-in-the-christmas-spirit/

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Richard Marx: After Playboy it’s Christmas

Nov 04 2011
By: chimarx4
Categories: News
6 Comments

Richard Marx: After Playboy it’s Christmas
BY GARY GRAFF, Billboard.com


Richard Marx lost a high-profile gig when NBC canceled The Playboy Club, for which he was serving as a music producer. But the singer, songwriter and performer — who racked up eight Top 10 singles between 1987-94 and worldwide sales of more than 30 million — isn’t wanting for things to do.
His latest project, in fact, is a digital Christmas EP imaginatively titled The Christmas EP. An outgrowth of an annual holiday gift Marx and his three sons recorded at home for his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes, the set includes four classics, including a duet with Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins on “Silent Night,” plus a new song, “Christmas Spirit,” co-written with Tubes frontman Fee Waybill.
“My manager said, ‘You’ve never put out a Christmas record, and it’s probably too late to do an album but why don’t we do an EP? Why don’t you do a couple of those songs you’ve done with your boys but you sing lead and leave them in as background singers,’” Marx, who plans to record another seven songs for a full-length offering in 2012, tells Billboard.com.
Marx recorded his new vocals in Nashville, cutting with a rhythm section in one room and an orchestra in the next. “I could see them both from the vocal booth,” he recalls, “and we sang and played everything live.”
Marx describes Christmas Spirit as “really up-tempo and fun — I want people to think Phil Spector busted out of jail. It’s total overproduction — strings, bells, girl singers, you name it. That’s sort of our key track for the album.”
The EP is just a number of balls Marx is keeping in the air, however — by design. “To me it’s not any more about focusing on any particular project,” Marx explains. “I don’t think there’s a tremendous amount of anticipation for any one project by anyone these days, and I don’t think the toothpaste is going back in the tube. So for someone like me, who’s very prolific and in constant writing mode, is to keep putting stuff out instead of centering attention to an 11- or 12-song album that, frankly people are not going to have time to listen to the way you intended.”
Marx’s primary outlet now, in fact, is writing for others. He’s spent the past few years racking up credits with Celine Dion, Daughtry, Lifehouse, Ringo Starr, Julio Iglesias, Toni Braxton, Kenny Loggins, Travis Tritt, Clay Aiken and especially Keith Urban, with whom Marx has notched three hits — “Everybody,” “Better Life” and the recent country No. 1 “Long Hot Summer.”
“I’m a huge fan of his,” Marx says of Urban. “I love him. I love writing with him. Musically it’s so effortless; we’re both primarily, instinctively melody guys. The only problem we have when we’re writing is that his approach to lyrics is very different than my approach. My whole thing is I want to say it in a way you’ve never heard before… and Keith’s whole approach is, ‘I don’t want to get poetic. I just want to say it. I want it to be simple. I want everyone and their mother to understand it.’ I have to conform to that, ‘cause it’s his record.
“The only other problem we have is getting through a writing session. We just sit around and laugh all the time. We want to hang out and have dinner and go tell jokes. That’s like our reward, ‘If we finish this verse, we can go to dinner…’ “
Marx is also looking for a broadcast home for a concert performance he filmed during the summer in St. Charles, Illinois — with guest appearances by NSYNC’s JC Chasez and Hugh Jackman. And while he’s disappointed with The Playboy Club cancellation (“[The show] felt doomed from the start,” he says), Marx is hoping to continue working with the cast’s Tony Award-winning Laura Benanti. “We’ve talked about it,” Marx says. “Any time you start working with somebody and you have that, ‘Wow, we really click. This is a really great collaboration,’ of course it’s going to lead to, ‘Well, you should make an album.’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah — only if you produce it,’ so I think she might end up making a record in the next year or two, and I’d love to produce her. She’s a songwriter as well, the real deal.” — Prometheus Global Media

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