Richard Marx's first album in a decade, "Beautiful Goodbye," offers a new perspective in this stage of his life.
Richard Marx has strong ties to Atlanta, even though he's a Chicago native that's transplanted in Los Angeles.
Access Atlanta's Melissa Ruggieri scored an interview with Marx and discussed American Idol, music collaboration and what led to his new album, "Beautiful Goodbye."
In "Richard Marx talks 'Beautiful Goodbye,' Ryan Seacrest and Rick Springfield," Marx admits the past year has been a growing experience. He and Cynthia Rhodes--Penny Johnson from Dirty Dancing--are divorcing after 25 years and raising three sons. Candidly admitting of "going through a very brand new rediscovery time in my life, so of course it’s going to bleed into the music," the singer acknowledges American "culture where personal lives are on display 24/7" doesn't provide little privacy.
After two and a half decades of marriage, he's also aware the news songs like "Suddenly" are "sexier and the subject matter was a little more revealing." Of course, some of the songs aren't entirely autobiographical since "it could be about two other people." Just a little tease for the album and a little mystery in a social media age that doesn't offer a lot. He sees the development and gelling as a "two-hour album" while "making subplots throughout a movie."
So what influenced the first album in a decade? EDM.
Turns out the "Right Here Waiting" singer really, really enjoys the energy in electronic dance music. Oddly enough, Nickelback's Chad Kroeger introduced Morgan Page's "The Longest Road" and a fan was born. In fact, after Marx met Page, a remixed version landed on "Beautiful Goodbye." The 50-year-old enjoys Deadmau5 but is "a sucker" for trance and melodic EDM--especially a DJ named Black M. Cruising down the road, listening to the beat and pulse, inspires the singer.
Of course, being inspired to write for someone else is a completely different topic than yourself. So how does he know? Easy enough answer, actually: "When I feel a personal connection to it" and not collaborating with another artist. H needs something "showcasing my thoughts and feelings" that speaks on a deeper level. That's not say he doesn't love working with Jennifer Nettles, Vince Gill, or Keith Urban.
It's just a different method and meaning when someone else will be belting out the lyrics. After selling 30 million albums between his own work and song writing, he's definitely found the voice to listen to that says, 'this one's yours, keep it.'
And sometimes the time together creates another kind of bond. When writing and collaborating with Sara Bareilles, the music wasn't the best fit, but "she’s been an incredible friend."
Having friends in in the industry to move past hard times definitely helps since they offer the chance to promote work and ideas while enjoying the three ring circus. Which is how Marx landed on this year's American Idol finale singing with Dunwoody, Georgia, native Ryan Seacrest.
The reality show host never sings on Idol, so the unexpected phone call definitely peaked the singer’ interest. "I’ve never sung on the show and I told the producers I wanted to do your song." And he offered good advice when Seacrest was nervous during the surprise. "I reminded him that no one expected him to be good."
Then again, calling Rick Springfield a friend of three decades is nothing to sneeze at either. Once the "Jessie's Girl" singer showed up at Marx's first headlining tour in 1988, the connection was made and fan turned into friend.
Losing touch and reconnecting is a thing for the two, but when Springfield called up the Chicagoan asking for a favor, the initial answer was no. But a little persistence had Marx on board the 'Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise' and two do nothing but laugh.
Sometimes you need a little balance in a crazy life. And Marx's latest album endeavor shows that his hard work has paid off.
"Beautiful Goodbye" released on Tuesday, July 8 and is available at Amazon and iTunes.
Source: Access Atlanta