Marx, Richard - 1989 Repeat Offender

richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset


ARTIST: Marx, Richard
ALBUM: Repeat Offender
LABEL: EMI/Manhattan
SERIAL: 7-90380-2
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Richard Marx - lead and backing vocals * Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, Bruce Gaitsch, Jon Walmsley, Paul Warren - guitars * John Pierce, Randy Jackson, Jim Cliff - bass * Bill Payne - B3 organ * C.J. Vanston, Bill Cuomo - keyboards * Mike Baird, Prairie Prince, John Keane, John Robinson, Mike Derosier - drums * Michael Omartian - piano * Bill Champlin - hammond B3 organ, backing vocals * Paulinho Da Costa - percussion * Marc Russo, Dave Koz, Larry Williams, Tom Scott - saxophone * Jerry Hey, Gary Grant - trumpet * Bobby Kimball, Cynthia Rhodes, Fee Waybill, Tommy Funderburk, Larry Gatlin, Steve Gatlin, Rudy Gatlin, Terry Williams, Ruth Marx, Shelley Cole, Don Shelton, Gene Miller, Kevin Cronin - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Nothin' You Can Do About It * 02 Satisfied * 03 Angelia * 04 Too Late To Say Goodbye * 05 Right Here Waiting * 06 Heart On The Line * 07 Real World * 08 If You Don't Want My Love * 09 That Was Lulu * 10 Wait For The Sunrise * 11 Children Of The Night



Having spent several years struggling to make any headway in the music business, Marx's multi-platinum selling debut eventually succeeded in catapulting him into the limelight.

He also became the first male artist to reach the US Top 3 with four singles from a debut album. After embarking (and completing) his first world tour, initially as an opener, but quickly headlining shows in his own right, he then went into the studio to record 'Repeat Offender' with the creme de la creme of LA's finest session musicians.

The Songs

The extensive touring obviously did Marx the power of good, as this energy is successfully captured in the grooves of 'Repeat Offender'.

It has a much more beefed up, guitar driven sound than its predecessor. Any fears that Marx would immediately ditch his AOR sensibilities (the ballad 'Hold On To The Nights' from the debut was a US No 1) are swiftly dispelled with Steve Lukather's heavy duty guitar riff and Mike Baird's pounding drums heralding the storming opener 'Ain't Nothing You Can Do About It'. Like 'Don't Mean Nothing' this is a lyrical and musical broadside aimed at record industry bullshit, except this time, with his star in the ascendant and a best-selling debut under his belt its Marx calling the shots, He has a field day wrapping his larynx around the caustic lyrics and Luke kicks up storm, shredding the life out of his guitar on the fade out.

The adrenalin charged 'Satisfied' maintains the excitement levels and is fuelled by a Gaitsch/Landau twin guitar attack and the galloping rhythm section from Messrs Baird and Jackson. The feel good vibe and memorable chorus cemented its status as an AOR classic, firing the song to the peak of the US charts in the process.

The slow burning and tempered guitar on 'Angelia' piles on the atmosphere, the melody on the chorus guaranteed to stun on every listen.

'Too Late To Say Goodbye' is another energetic workout, the rhythm section and Mike Landau's biting guitar kicking up a storm.

Smash hit ballad 'Right Here Waiting' (another US No 1) was chiefly responsible for duping large sections of the record buying public in the UK. I remember seeing Marx's live at London's Royal Albert Hall and remembering the palpable look of surprise from some sections of the audience never fails to raise a wry smile.

Although he is largely remembered by some for his ballads, the guitar driven 'Heart On The Line' further underlines the fact that this the typical hard driving AOR that Marx really excels at.

The R and B flavoured 'Real World' bounces along at an energetic pace, the duelling guitar solos and lively sax playing ensuring it is anything but bland whilst 'If You Don't Want My Love' is another moody masterpiece to rival 'Angelia'.

'That Was Lulu' on the other hand is an upbeat rocker with plenty of lyrical and musical flair. The forceful rhythm is punctuated by stinging solo guitar and saxophone blasts. It is further embellished by some funky bass guitar in the bridge leading to a terrific guitar/sax trade off in the mid-section. It all ends far too quickly in a glorious flurry of squealing guitar notes and has me immediately hitting the repeat play button.

'Wait For The Sunrise' opens to the strains of Mike Landau's and Paul Warren's gritty guitar - a tale of a bad boy born on the wrong side of tracks.

The epic 'Children Of The Night' finishes the album, Marx impassioned vocals splendid in their delivery of the emotive and weighty subject matter.

In Summary

'Repeat Offender' hit pole position and pushed Prince out of the Number 1 spot on Billboard's Album chart. It was even more successful than the debut going triple platinum within a few months and eventually selling over 5 million copies in the US alone.

For its sheer musicality and quality of song-writing (it yielded 5 hit singles) this album easily merits its status as one of the greatest AOR albums of all time.

A supremely talented dude, on the strength of the debut and 'Repeat Offender' he deserves to have the same plaudits that are heaped upon fellow AOR luminaries like Michael Bolton and Steve Perry.

It's pleasing to note that Marx is still musically active and in the public eye, though like most readers of this site, I still hanker for his return to a harder rock approach.

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