PUBLISHED IN THE RECORD MAY 17, 1999
AMANDA MARSHALL has come out of the closet.
After dazzling two million consumers -- including 900,000 Canadians -- with her passionate leather-lunged pipes on her self-titled debut, the singer with the flowing blond tresses discovered a number of other things to share with the world on her brilliant new Epic album Tuesday's Child : her production, songwriting and piano-playing prowess.
The Toronto-based Marshall co-wrote twelve of the thirteen songs on Tuesday's Child , a pronounced collection of blue-eyed pop soul out May 25 in Canada and Europe, and June 15 in America. Recorded over seven months at Hollywood's Ocean Way Recording, and primarily produced by DON WAS (ROLLING STONES), Tuesday's Child was more a happy accident than contrived notion according to Marshall.
"I didn't really mean for this to happen," laughs an exuberant Marshall at the office of her management company Forte Productions a day after completing the video for the album's first single "Love Lift Me".
"I didn't set out to write this record. I didn't set out to be as involved in the production of the album as I was, and I didn't set out to play on it. There were a lot of firsts on the record."
Marshall said touring behind her first album precipitated the song flow.
"I noticed that the songs eliciting the strongest reactions from people, and the songs that were my biggest success were the ones I'd written. I'd never thought of myself as a songwriter. I'd always thought that ` Sitting On Top Of The World' was a fluke, and I was never sure about my contribution to `Dark Horse' because it was really a matter of shaping the song. But those songs were the ones that people gravitated towards."
Marshall decided to start keeping a journal the last 12 weeks of her tour, and took it with her to Philadelphia when she sourced out former HOOTERS singer ERIC BAZILIAN as a potential songwriting partner.
"When you're 19 or 20, it's hard to write songs if you don't have any serious life experience," Marshall, now 26, explains. "But touring that record for two and a half years really gave me a good chunk of what my adult life experience was, certainly up til now. It gave me something to say."
Marshall and Bazilian wrote and cut 35 demos, but when it came time to record the album, Don Was was the man for the job. Marshall had previously worked with him on the Tin Cup soundtrack number "This Could Take All Night".
"He's a remarkable, remarkable guy. His strength is in the fact that there's no Don Was sound. There's no sameness in the records he makes. All the artists sound like themselves. He makes you sound like you. He doesn't aspire to put a thumbprint on your work. He really preserved the integrity of the material."
BON JOVI axeman RICHIE SAMBORA, HEARTBREAKER BENMONT TENCH, ex-EXPENSIVE WINOS drummer STEVE JORDAN and legendary songwriter CAROLE KING -- with whom Marshall penned "Right Here All Along" -- are among those contributing their musical talents to Tuesday's Child . When it came time to choosing a piano player, however, Was wanted to use the person on the demo.
"He didn't know I played piano on the demos," chuckles Marshall, who also co-produced"I Believe In You". "He said, `You know, we should really try to get the piano player who played on these demos.' I said, `Oh, we can get me! But it'll cost ya!'"
Marshall is currently in rehearsal with a five-piece band for upcoming appearances at a pair of high profile German rock festivals the May 24 weekend and a June 7-July 10, 22 date CORE-promoted Canadian tour that manager TOM STEPHEN says will consists of "soft-seaters and a couple of arena bowls."
Stephen says he hopes to capitalize on the momentum generated by Amanda Marshall and its seven top-ten singles.
"She's now a priority with Sony worldwide, which wasn't the case when we started," says Stephen. " The gameplan is to consolidate Canada.Then we're off to the States -- with touring there to commence in September or October -- then back into Europe. Asia is involved too. Hopefully, that's going to result in greater worldwide sales and take Amanda to the next step, as a major star in all these markets."
"We're very excited about it," says Epic product manager BRUCE MacTAVISH."The fans of Amanda's powerful singing voice have been there from Day One. But I think what fans are really going to be enthralled with this time is her writing voice."
He's backing his words with an aggressive advertising campaign that began sharply on April 22 with "Amanda At Midnight," an on-line weekend promotion that included the premiere of"Love Lift Me".
"There were three things: the single, a short clip from EPK footage of Amanda in the studio with Don Was, and a repeat opportunity to hear the single. Then it went out to radio by satellite on Monday."
Mactavish says the longterm marketing plans include "a multi-pronged attack, combining elements of TV, outdoor, print and on-line advertising."
Mactavish says that a national advertising campaign, including 15-second TV spots commencing the week before street date, and national television advertising booked for key finales of hit TV series, will be supplemented by an outdoor mixture of " billboards, transit shelter, subway advertising that will concentrate on the album cover graphic."
"The great thing about Amanda's audience is that it's very broad. It goes from teenagers to people in their 40s. Amanda connects with that audience, and her radio friendly songs and her energetic performing style give her wide appeal.," MacTavish explains. "I'm very optimistic."
European markets will be serviced with "Believe In You" as the first single from Tuesday's Child.
"The strength of `Believe In You' in Canada has been amazing, especially since it was released in October and it's still Top 5 at Pop Adult radio." notes Stephen. "Europe tends to mirror the Canadian market, and there was a sense of Sony Europe feeling really good about it and wanting to go with it."
Both Sony and Stephen are also stoked about "If I Didn't Have You", a powerful ballad and potential second single that has smash written all over it.
"It was an eleventh-hour song that came in and floored everybody." says Stephen. "The consensus is that that will be a worldwide release."
Amanda Marshall sums up the recording of Tuesday's Child as an empowering experience.
"Stuff that I hadn't done before, like songwriting and production, I had passed off as things I couldn't do," she says. "I came to find that it was stuff I hadn't gotten to yet. It makes me think that maybe all of life is like that. I'm not a jet pilot, but maybe I could fly a plane someday. That's the best kind of growth you could have."
Tom Stephen agrees.
"This is a record that comes directly from Amanda's heart, and I always believe that those are the kind of records that connect."
-- Nick Krewen
1996 -- Amanda Marshall
1999 -- Tuesday's Child
1997 -- Various Artists, The Tin Cup
Thanks: Jeff Bateman, David Farrell
©1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink
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