Read what Michael had to
say about the album:
This album marks the end of a year spent back in the world of the Musical Theatre, after an absence of six years, and I've loved every minute of being back.
Choosing the material was the hardest part.
There are hundreds of wonderful songs which I could have happily included and no doubt will record at a later date, but each of the tracks on this album has a special place in the hearts and memories of many people, including myself.
I've been lucky enough to have had the opportunity of working with three of the greatest living composers currently writing for the theatre. Sondheim, Schoenberg and Lloyd Webber, all of whom continue to produce the most exciting, innovative and challenging new works.
So, not surprisingly, many of their compositions are included here.
I also consider them as great friends, and thank them for the support, and belief they have shown in me throughout my career. Steve, Claude-Michel and Andrew would also be the first to acknowledge the skill and influence of these other composers on this album. Jules Styne, Oscar Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein... I guess you could say (or sing) I'm just a Steinway Baby (sorry Steve, for the slight change to one of your songs.)
Their works, sounding as fresh today as they did when first performed, have truly stood the test of time. That, surely, must be the mark of truly great writing.
Lerner and Loewe are equally as important and revered to the new age of composers. I know Tim (Rice) is a great admirer of Alan J. Lerner, and as for Willy Russell, he turns out to be, not only one of our greatest screen and playwrights, but also wrote the music for one of Britain's most successful shows, Blood Brothers.
Ultimately, however, the choice of material on this album, which has been heavily influenced by family, friends and fans alike, comes from those shows and songs I have always cared about and wanted to record.
I started my career in Musical Theatre, I love performing in it, and I hope I shall always be part of it.
My thanks to Mike, John and Lorraine. DAve Arch, Robin Smith, Callum McLeod and all the fine musicians I had the pleasure of working with. Cathy, Emma and all our families and friends who helped us get this together. To James and Gavin, Tom and MIchelle, and everyone at James Sharkey Associates. Thanks also to Uncle Tom and The Mountain Ash Male Voice Choir on "Anthem". Vicky and Colin, and all at C. E. A. John, Brian, Stan and everyone at PolyGram. TV. Alex and Stella, Phil and Tania, and Rae. Gill and Alan, and the "Tango" crew. And finally the best fans any performer has ever been blessed with. I really am very lucky.
Michael Ball, London, October '96