by Sandy Zimmerman
When they announced that Richard Marx was appearing backed by a 20 string orchestra, I decided to attend his concert at the Orleans Hotel.. Hearing Multi-Platinum award winning singer, songwriter and producer Richard Marx’s Mega-hits was very special and adding the rich full sound of 20 strings just couldn’t be missed!
It was a sold-out evening as I took my seat. Richard greeted the audience while they yelled their appreciation. “I feel we are ready to have a great time! He added, “I don’t understand performers who don’t want cameras or video in the showroom. I want you to take my picture, post-it, Youtube-it unless I look bad.”
The public have few chances to hear such a large orchestra to experience the difference! With Richard sang and accompanied himself on the guitar while the Bella String’s 20- piece orchestra enhanced and complimented the songs.
Richard introduced each song with personal highlights and discussed some of his Mega-hits from the 80’s and 90’s. While sharing stories about his celebrity friends, Richard discussed his dinner with Luther Vandross beginning a musical partnership which Richard would never forget. Luther surprised him by saying, “If you ever need any big vocals in anything you are doing let me know.” Richard compared that moment to a hypothetical situation, “If I told Michael Jordon that I played basketball on weekends with my buddies and Michael replied, ‘If you need somebody for your team let me know.’ ”
Richard Marx’s self-titled debut album and first single, “Don’t Mean Nothing” combined with his follow-up album two years later, “Repeat Offender,” Marx sold more than 10 million albums. From his debut through 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist to have his first seven singles reach the top five on the Billboard singles chart, including the well-known hits “Hold On to the Nights,” “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.”
From 1987 to 1990, he became the first male solo artist in history to have his first 7 singles reach the top 5 on Billboard’s singles chart, including the 1 hits “Hold On to the Nights,” “Satisfied” and the worldwide classic, “Right Here Waiting.”
As a performer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decade-long career has had innumerable of highlights. The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, starting with his self-titled debut which went to #8 and spawned four Top 5 singles, including the chart-topping “Hold on to the Nights,” with “Don’t Mean Nothing” earning him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The follow-up, 1989’s Repeat Offender, was even more successful, hitting #1 and going quadruple-platinum with two #1 singles in “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.” When both Rush Street (with two #1 AC hits in “Keep Coming Back” and “Hazard”) and Paid Vacation (with its #1 AC hit, “Now and Forever”) went platinum, Marx achieved a seven-year string of triumphs that rivaled any in pop-rock music history. To this day, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.