If Everyone Was Listening Release
~ Union Square Music ~ 17/11/14 ~
MICHAEL BALL is Britain's leading musical theatre star, double Olivier Award winner, multi-platinum recording artist and hugely popular radio and TV presenter - releases a brand new CD on November 17th on the USM TV label.
Titled If Everyone Was Listening... the 15 tracks that Michael has chosen to record are a mix of individual classics, award winners and contemporary songs spanning the years 1960 to 2013.
Every song features beautiful lyrics, a Michael Ball must-have: "I love lyrics," says Michael, "and I love singing songs whose lyrics mean something to me and that I know other people will relate to. A number of the songs are by singer songwriters such as Sarah McLachlan, Jason Mraz, John Martyn or great interpreters of lyrics such as Alison Krauss and Anne Murray.
"In fact when I was deciding which tracks to record for this album, I was delving back into my own music collection and was inspired by listeners of my radio show who seem to share similar music tastes That encouraged me to make this my most personal album yet. People who know me know how hands on I am with any project I undertake so it won't come as any surprise to anyone that I took a very active role in the producing and arranging of all these songs."
There are four classic songs from Michael's teenage years: 'Still The Same' the classic soft rock hit from Bob Seger, 'You Needed Me' the Grammy award winning song sung by Anne Murray in 1978; 'May You Never' which was written and recorded by legendary folk/jazz/blues singer John Martyn and the brilliant 1974 'If Everyone Was Listening' by Supertramp whose opening lines: The actors and jesters are here/The stage is in darkness and clear...provide a metaphor for life as well as a theatrical context.
Listeners to Michael's BBC Radio 2 show 'Sunday Night with Michael Ball' will know that he's a big fan of country music which has inspired some of the choices on the album such as Jace Everett's 'Bad Things', the theme from the hit TV series 'True Blood', Jake Owen's 'What We Ain't Got' and the multi-Grammy winners Lady Antebellum duo, whose 'Need You Now' becomes a sublime solo. "It's by no means a country album," says Michael. "I just feel that the genre continually produces great songs which can be interpreted in many ways."
For more than 25 years Michael has been at the top of his game starring in musical theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway winning critical acclaim, a devoted following and awards for his stage work and recording career.
Michael made his West End debut as Marius in the original London cast of Les MisÚrables; he starred in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love in the West End and on Broadway, in the London production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion and as Caractacus Potts in the West End musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 2005 he returned to Broadway as Count Fosco in The Woman in White, which transferred from London's West End and, in the same year, made his New York City Opera debut as Reginald Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience. In 2007 he made his debut with the ENO as Haj/The Poet in Kismet.
In 2008 Michael made box office history at the Shaftesbury Theatre with his Olivier Award winning performance as Edna Turnblad in the smash hit musical Hairspray which he then took on tour across the UK throughout 2010. During August of that year he made his debut as chat show host on ITV1's 'The Michael Ball Show' and in December he made his debut as a West End co-producer with the musical theatre production of Love Story (Duchess Theatre). In 2013 Michael won Best Actor in a Musical from Whatsonstage.com and his second Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his critically acclaimed lead role in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Chichester and Adelphi/West End).
Michael regularly tours the UK as a concert artist and has sold millions of albums and DVDs nationally and internationally. He's performed in Australia, China, USA, Singapore and in 2007 made his BBC Proms debut: An Evening with Michael Ball at the Royal Albert Hall marked the first time a musical theatre star had been given a solo concert at the Proms.
Michael has a hugely successful radio broadcasting career which includes his own show, Sunday Night with Michael Ball (Radio 2). He is also a popular TV presenter and is a regular guest presenter on Lorraine, This Morning, The One Show and more. He recently completed shooting the Victoria Wood TV film, 'That Day We Sang' with Imelda Staunton which is due to air over Christmas on BBC 2.