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Stardom Road CD


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Amazon's Marc Almond Store

Music

Image of album by Marc Almond

Photos

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Biography

Marc Almond is an internationally acclaimed and successful artist. He has sold over 30 million records worldwide and is an icon and influence to a generation of musicians.

He was born in Southport, a seaside town in the north of England, in 1957. After an unsettled childhood of moving to Harrogate, Leeds and back to Southport, of illness and learning difficulties he finally left school ... Read more in Amazon's Marc Almond Store

Visit Amazon's Marc Almond Store
for 68 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B000P46PA0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,898 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Have Lived
2. I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten - Marc Almond, Sarah Cracknell
3. Bedsitter Images
4. The London Boys
5. Strangers In The Night
6. The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men - Marc Almond, Antony Hegarty
7. Stardom Road
8. Kitsch
9. Backstage (I'm Lonely) - Marc Almond, Jools Holland
10. Dream Lover
11. Happy Heart
12. Redeem Me
13. The Curtain Falls

Product Description

Product Description

Stardom Road is the 2007 album from the flamboyant performer best known as the voice behind Soft Cell. The album is a musical journey of cover songs that have influenced Marc through his life and his significant growth as an artist. The album also contains one new song, "Redeem Me (Beauty Will Redeem The World)", which Almond wrote specifically for Stardom Road. This collection features many of the genres that Marc has been associated with over the years, including torch song; the 1950s crooners; the grand orchestral sounds of the 1960s; the 'over the top' pop glam of the 70s and the electro-style of the 80s that made him famous as part of Soft Cell. Stardom Road gives the listener a personal glimpse into Marc Almond's inspirations, aspirations and conclusions. It is a tremendously important album, being his first since his near-fatal motorcycle crash in 2004. The crash proved life changing, as such ordeals often are. Recording this album has formed an important part of the recovery process and represents the turning point as Marc Almond the artist returns to form. The album has been compiled with the help of Tris Penna, who produced many of the tracks with the acclaimed producer Marius de Vries and arranger Mike Smith. It features guest spots from Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons; Jools Holland, with whom Marc has often toured; and Sarah Cracknell from St Etienne.

BBC Review

Staring death in the face and deciding his current outfit wouldn't see him through to eternity, Marc Almond gave a kick of the heels, a flick of the head and cat-walked back to life. A motorbike accident in 2004 was not the way he'd want to be remembered.

Realising mortality and spurred to live life to the full, Almond has used his return to compile a collection of songs which influenced his upbringing. Stardom Road begins its journey circa '59, the year of his birth, through to

his Soft Cell fame.

Quite what Bobby Darin would make of Almond is anyone's guess, but the crooner certainly made an impression on young Marc. ''Dream Lover'' and the album closer ''The Curtain Falls'' show the origins of Marc's showmanship along

with Sinatra's ''Strangers In The Night''. It's a tough act to follow and ultimately proves out of reach, however much he tries to make it his own.

Dusty Springfield's ''I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten'' is a much better attempt. One of the album highlights, it features the sassy Sarah Cracknell of St Etienne and thoroughly deserves its place as the first single lifted. But a change of tact on Shirley Bassey's ''The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men'' worryingly sees Antony & The Johnsons Antony Hegarty outshine his host to deliver the enchanting performance this time around.

To Almond's credit, this is not a collection of obvious covers and helps shed light on the maker of the man. 'I'll explain my life and show you all I am and all I've been', he sings in opening track ''I Have Lived''; also stating,

'When it's time to meet the Father and explains my sins away, I will tell him, yes I'll tell him I have lived'. Two stern fingers up to remorse of indiscretion in case you were wondering.

Clearly the Noughties have not been especially good for Marc Almond. More at home pushing the envelope of the Eighties he's struggled to shock and excite in our ever-more liberal times. Sadly too, the current generation he inspired are now out-kitsching the creator leaving Stardom Road more show tunes than show stopper. --Iain Griffin

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By P. A. R. Watson on 9 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD
The thing about Mr. Almond is, that he has no surpassable boundaries. No matter how hard you knock him (down) the boy will will always bounce back up again - screaming "I'm still here !!"
This album, a sublime mixture of old eclectic (Dream Lover, I Close My Eyes, Strangers In The Night, and forceable hidden old gems like classic Bowie - London Boys(my fav!) Kitsch, Bedsitter Images (see what he did there !!?) and Curtain Falls), is simply a prime example of Mr. Almond singing the songs that HE likes the way HE likes to.....and we will love !....just bloody buy it, if you dont believe me !!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Jackson on 5 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Marc Almond is on splendid form here, and the songs carefully selected for this mature collection somehow sound as though he was always MEANT to be singing them one day. The instrumental arrangements are suitably lavish and the varied array of songs and styles represented - ranging from the late night piano bar feel of "The Ballad Of Sad Young Men" (a duet with Antony Hegarty), through to Almond's affectionate reinterpretation with Sarah Cracknell of "I Close My Eyes (And Count To Ten)" and the pure out-and-out joy of his cover of the classic "Happy Heart" - make this one of the most enjoyable and satisfying Marc Almond albums to date. Highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Having seen Marc recently at his Wilton shows and at the Mermaid theatre with the BBC concert orchestra I became familiar with some of the songs on this new and fantastic album!

Since his RTA back in 2004 Marc has done what many of us didnt expect return to recording and touring. Surviving the accident was amazing but to deliver with the quality of STARDOM ROAD is a revelation!

Its difficult to single out any track but if I had to it would be Kitch(just because he totally lets go) reminds me of Traumas, Traumas, Traumas crossed with Macarthur Park. I have never been this excited about one of his albums since the utterly fantastic MOTHER FIST AND HER FIVE DAUGHTERS and justifiably so GO AND BUY IT NOW!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Claire Turner on 17 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is what we have all been waiting for.

Marc Almond is back after 2 years of recovery following his dreadful accident in 2002. But it would seem that he has come back fighting fitter, looking better and sounding stronger than ever before with this beautiful collection of classic covers.

Embodying all the diverse influences that have shaped much of Marc's musical life, the songs on Stardom Road represent many of the styles which Marc has been associated with over the years; from the crooners of the 1950's, the 1960's grand orchestral sounds, the pop glam of the 70's and the electro style of the 80's.

From the stunning duet with Sarah Craknell of St Etienne on Dusty Springfield's classic ' I Close My Eyes & Count To Ten (which really would have made Dusty proud!) to the powerful duet with Antony Hegarty (Antony & The Johnsons) in 'The Ballard of The Sad Young Men', Stardom Road is crammed full of delightful tracks. And the brand new track by Marc himself 'Redeem Me' only serves to proves that Marc truly is one of the UK's most talented and successful artists still to this day.

Welcome back Marc, we missed you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R on 22 July 2007
Format: Audio CD
This simply is a fantastic album. Fivs stars do not do it justice!
A great range of songs, all perfectly executed.

There are no duff tracks, however my favourite has to be Happy Heart- I have loved this song for a while, but boy, this version is good. There is also a fantastic version of the Gene Pitney song "Backstage", and a wonderful collaboration with Anthony (from Anthony and the Johnsons).

I hadn't bought any Marc Almond stuff for a few years, and was in two minds about this until reading all the reviews. It has turned out to be the best CD I have bought in ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Tune VINE VOICE on 17 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When an artist releases an album of covers the spirit often sinks. 'Self Portrait' by Dylan, 'Pin-Ups' by Bowie and the heinous prolonging of the agony that is the 'Rod Stewart Songbook' spring to mind. On the plus side we have "Rock and Roll" by Lennon ( well I like it anyway ). Which way would it be for Marc?

Well he's no stranger to cover versions - even in the Soft Cell days we had an excellent "You Only Live Twice", but of course over the years we've had "If You Go Away", "Caroline Says", "Terrapin", "Somethings Gotten Hold of My Heart" , "Days of Pearly Spencer" and the many Jacques Brel covers of course. So it's not surprising to find both an excellent and subtle collection here.

I don't think I've ever heard Marc in better voice, and all the more surprising given this was his first album after what was reportedly a very nasty road accident.

This album is a real joy. I would particularly pick out the title track ( originally Dana Gillespie ) - a kind of 'Catch a Fallen Star' ( Mambas fans ) but rather more reflective and restrained and I love the image of saddling up your mule to go down Stardom Road ( and you're not going to get there with your big pouffy eyes - Almond could have written it himself ). 'Redeem Me' the only self penned track is beautiful - Almond looking fondly back on his black leathered past but realizing he's changed. 'I have Lived' ( Charles Aznavour ) could again be self penned and what a song for Marc to sing. If anyone has lived he truly has and we love him for it. 'Strangers in the night' is sung straight as a die and what a beautifully arranged and delivered performance it is. You expect Marc to squeeze every ounce of meaning out of it, but the light touch makes it fresh as a flower.
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