Love changes everything

The Essential Michael Ball

New cd released October 25th (Universal Music TV 982 5039)

MICHAEL BALL, Britain's leading musical theatre star who has sold in excess of three million solo albums in the UK alone, has a double cd released on October 25th titled ‘Love Changes Everything – The Essential Michael Ball'. Comprising 39 tracks from Michael's enormously successful 20 year career, this absolute must-have for Michael's thousands of loyal fans across the UK is released on October 25th on Universal Music TV.

This essential cd collection includes songs from Michael's twenty year career as a West End star, Broadway star and top selling recording artiste and some brand new songs co-written by Michael himself. Some of his most famous songs are included here such as Phantom Of The Opera and All I Ask Of You, from Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Tell Me On A Sunday, I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables – Michael's West End debut in 1985 - and the title track, the anthemic love song, Love Changes Everything from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects Of Love which went straight to No. 1 in the charts in 1989 and immediately consolidated Michael's hugely popular appeal as a successful recording artiste as well as the UK's most popular male musical theatre star. “'Love Changes Everything' is the song that got me into recording in the first place; it was always something I wanted to do but didn't anticipate one could make the leap from being an actor to making records…”

Songs from some of Michael's all-time favourite artists are represented such as Joni Mitchell's River (from Michael's ‘Christmas' album 1999). “I have everything she's ever written,” says Michael. “She's so clever, so articulate and so sophisticated; if you listen to early Joni Mitchell albums they're very simple, but layered within that are lyrics that just open her soul and her life – I think she's the most autobiographical writer there is. River is my favourite; we recorded it in one take at 3am at Olympic Studios, just me and Pete Adams on piano. I'm very proud of it; it's also a writer and a style of writing that you wouldn't usually associate with me.”

If Tomorrow Never Comes, co-written by country star, Garth Brooks, is also a significant song for Michael. “I first heard it when I went to New York to do Aspects Of Love (Michael's Broadway debut). I'm always looking for songs with character, songs that have a story and a message and this one's got a superb lyric; it says you have to tell people what they mean to you and tell them often. There are so many circumstances in life where you find it's too late to tell someone how you feel and you want to have as few regrets in this life as possible.”

Diana Ross' When You Tell Me That You Love Me is another classic cover. “I like a lot of Diana Ross' musical choices; she's performed some of the greatest love songs and she does epic songs that have a musical theatre quality to them. Diana did a superb version of this song and it was brilliantly produced but the very fact that it's a woman singing makes it very different from the way I've approached it – I hope when people listen to it they'll compare it favourably.”

There's a superb collection of live tracks on ‘Love Changes…' some of which are taken from Michael's 1999 album, Concert At The Royal Albert Hall, such as Everybody's Talkin' (from the movie ‘Midnight Cowboy), the medley We Have All The Time In The World and Millenium, and The Way We Were, originally a huge hit for Barbra Streisand from the 1974 movie, which segues into The Rose “which is very important to me,” asserts Michael. “It's the theme tune for Research Into Ovarian Cancer (the charity of which Michael is, and remains, an active co-founder) and I released it as a single with all the proceeds going to the charity. I hugely admire Streisand as artist, actor, writer, singer and blending The Way We Were with The Rose seemed logical as well as poignant to me.”

The cd also presents a number of brand new songs, including That's What Love Is For which Michael co-wrote with producers Nick Battle and Tim Woodcock. “We wrote this one in an afternoon and it actually started as something completely different and ended up as a love song!”

More classic songs, some more familiar than others, are to be found on Love Changes Everything – The Essential Michael Ball, such as Cry Me A River, Ave Maria, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Send In The Clowns, Tell Me On A Sunday and Walking In Memphis are all here on this essential collector's item – 39 wonderful tracks sung by the man who has been a West End star and gold and platinum recording artiste – not to mention sellout live concert performer – for nearly twenty years.

LOVE CHANGES EVERYTHING – THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL BALL is released through Universal Music TV on October 25th 2004.

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