Marc Almond kimdir, İngiliz şarkıcı, söz yazarı ve besteci. Uluslararası başarı kazanan 45 albüm ve sayısız single çalışmasının sahibidir. Tainted Love, Somethings Gotten Hold Of My Heart ve The Days Of The Pearly Spencer gibi pop tarihinde klasik olarak kabul edilen şarkılara imza atmıştır. Desperate Hours, Jacky, Youth, If You Go Away, Almost Diamonds, Night and Dark, Mr. Sad, I Feel Love sanatçının muhteşem şarkılarından birkaçıdır. Elektronik müziğin babası olarak anılan Marc Almond, Zeki Müren’in en çok etkilendiği müzisyenlerden biri olduğunu açıklamıştır.
9 Temmuz1959’da, İngiltere’nin Lancashire kentinde dünyaya geldi. Çocukluk ve ilk gençlik yıllarını geçirdiği kentten, sanat öğrenimi görmek için ayrıldı. Londra’ya yerleşti. 1980 yılında Dave Ball’la karşılaşması profesyonel müzik hayatının başlangıcı oldu. İkili birlikte Soft Cell grubunu kurdu. Müzik tarihi açısından birçok ilke imza atan ikili synthesizer’la synth-pop türünü yarattılar. Marc Almond, bu yüzden, birçok müzik eleştirmeni tarafından elektronik müziğin babası olarak kabul edildi. Yarattığı stil, Pulp’tan Blur’a, Pet Shop Boys’tan The Divine Comedy ‘ye kadar sayısız müzisyen ve grubun temellerini oluşturdu.
1981 tarihli ilk debut albümleri Non-Stop Electronic Cabaret’ten çıkan “Tainted Love” uluslar arası bir başarı kazanıp, Büyük Britanya’da yılın en iyi single’ı seçildi, tüm dünyada milyonlarca sattı ve müzik tarihinin en çok coverlanan şarkılarından da biri oldu.
Marc Almond’la Dave Ball’un yolları, grup içindeki problemlerden dolayı “This Last Night in Sodom” albümünden sonra ayrıldı.
The Mambas isimli projesini hayata geçirdikten sonra Marc Almond, “Untitled” ve “Torment and Torreros” albümlerini yayınladı. 80’lerin bir başka ilkine daha imza atan Marc Almond, bu albümlerinde “Orkestrasyon” tekniğini aynı zamanda hem stüdyo hem de sahnede kullanıyordu., Almond’ın kusursuz vokaliyle orkestrasyon, beraber çok katmanlı, çok yaratıcı bir stil oluşturdu. Rialto ve Tricky sonraları bu stilden fazlasıyla etkilendi.
Gruptan soloya geçiş, Almond’ın kariyerinde dönüm noktası oldu. Mizah duygusu ve acının ironik kombini, “Saints of The Underworld”, küstah ve parlak “Vermin In Ermine”, kabareden yansımalarla öne çıkan “Stories Of Johnny” müzikal etkileriyle adından söz ettiren “Mother First” albümlerini yayınladı. 1988 yılında 80’lerin en başarılı albümlerinden biri olarak kabul edilen “The Stars We Are”ı piyasaya sürdü. Gene Pitley ile düet yaptıkları hit şarkısı “Something’s gotten hold of my heart “ ve İstanbul’da yaşadığı büyük aşkı anlattığı “She Took My Soul In Istanbul” bu albümdeydi.
1990 yılında “Enchanted” albümünü yayınladı. Hemen ardından, “Jacky”, “The Days Of Pearly Spencer”, “My Hand Over My Heart” gibi İngiltere listelerinde üst sıralara yerleşen çalışmalarının yer aldığı 1991 tarihli albümü “Tenement Symphony” geldi.
1993’te yayınlanan Fransızca albüm“ Absinthe”te Baudelaire ve Rimbaud’un şiirlerini yorumladı. 1996’da manajeri Stevo ile 15 yıllık kontratlarının sona ermesiyle Echo Records’a geçti. Müzik sahnesine görkemli geri dönüşü 1999 tarihli “Open All Night” albümüyle oldu. Aynı yıl kendisinin kaleme aldığı otobiyografisi “Tainted Life” yayınlandı.
2003’te yayınladığı “Heart On Snow” albümünde, klasik rus balladlarını yarı İngilizce yarı Rusça olarak yorumladı. Bu albümde Rusya’nın önemli şarkıcılarıyla yaptığı düetler de yer aldı.
17 Ekim 2004’te, ciddi bir motor kazası geçirdi, geçirdiği bir dizi ameliyattan sonra sağlığına kavuştu.
Marc Almond halen Londra’nın Bermondsey bölgesinde yaşamaktadır. Çıkış tarihi 22 Ocak2007 olarak açıklanan ve cover şarkılardan oluşacak yeni albümü üzerinde çalışmaktadır.
Sanatçı 14 Şubat 2007‘de İstanbul‘daki hayranları için muhteşem bir konser vermiştir. Konserde Zeki Müren‘in “Rüyalarda Buluşuruz” isimli şarkısını, yazdığı İngilizce sözlerle yorumlayan ve nakarat kısımlarını Türkçe olarak seslendiren sanatçı, tüm şarkılarında olduğu gibi büyük bir hayranlık uyandırmıştır.
Little Rough Rhinestones Volume 2 2006
Marc Almond In Session Volume 2 2003
Heart On Snow 2003
The Willing Sinner:Live In Berlin 2003
Stranger Things 2001
Open All Night 1999
Live In Concert 1998
A Virgin’s Tale 1998
Violent Silence/A Woman’s Story 1998
Stories Of Johnny 1997
Mother Fist And Her Five Daughters 1997
Absinthe: The French Album 1996
Fantastic Star 1996
Treasure Box 1995
12 Years Of Tears – Live At The… 1993
Tenement Symphony 1991
The Stars We Are 1988
My Hand Over My Heart 1992
Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited 2006
A Tribute To Soft Cell: Non-Stop Electro Cabaret 2006
Paris Fetiche: The French Classic… 2004
A Tribute To Soft Cell 2003
Big Hits 1980-2000: Pop 2001
If You Can’t Please Yourself, You Can’t Please… 2001
Shape Fitness Music: Walk Plus – ’80s Modern Rock 2000
Decades Of Dance: The 80’s 1998
Les Belles Promesses Electroniques 1997
Alexander Laurence’ın Aralık 2002’de Marc Almond’la Yaptığı Röportaj
AL: You lived in New York City off and on for the past twenty years. Was it a real influence on your Soft Cell and solo records?
MA: I spent a alot of time here. New York is like home away from home. It’s like a drug you have to get a fix once or twice a year. So I come here and get some energy from the place. I was lucky enough at the beginning of the 1980s to come here and record my first album. When I first came here I thought I’d seen it all and knew it all, and I had been to London, and I’d seen the city. Then I came to New York and realized I hadn’t seen it all. The club culture and the nightlife was amazing. We were given the keys to the city….
AL: “Tainted Love” was a huge single….
MA: It was. And “Tainted Love” still is a very big single. It was issued as a remix recently. Wherever you go, you can’t run away from it. Soft Cell really comes from disco and dance music. When we started I was working in a discotheque to pay my rent. It was the first American style discotheque in the north on England, in Leeds. I worked my way up from coat check to DJ. It was the only place in England at that time that was playing the American disco imports. David Ball and myself were both fans of 1970s disco, but having grown out of punk as well, we had this strange marriage of punk and disco and dance. That was definitely our roots and that was to be seen in some of our early songs like “Memorabilia” which was a forerunner to the whole electro acid house sound.
AL: I think that some people like yourself, and maybe David Bowie, have done different and new things over time, but then there those bands like The Sex Pistols, Bauhaus, and The Human League who do nothing for a decade then return doing karaoke.
MA: I don’t knock people for what they do. Some of those bands from the 80s are happy being a cabaret act and say “I’m going out and doing my old hits.” If there’s twenty thousand people who want to pay to relive some old times and nostalgic memories, then that’s fine. What are they going to do? Sit at home and die? If you were a band who was forcing yourself on the public, and nobody wanted to see you, then I would say it’s time to give up. I saw The Human League a few years ago and I thought they were great. I like their last album as well. I always thought that they were a very underrated band especially in Britain where they were very innovated and started off the whole electronic music thing. People owe them a debt. If they are cashing in on their past, all the more power to them. But for me personally I like to bring something new to the table.
AL: You were doing records as Marc and The Mambas, and collaborations with Coil, Jim Thirwell, and others, and now with Magnetic Fields….
MA: I would like to collaborate less now than I have in the past, because I have been too diverse in the past twenty years. I think that I have confused the public as far as what direction I’m really going in. I’m a little bit more single focused these days. I want to do things that are still within my boundaries. I want to do things that have an essence of Marc Almond.
AL: I was always wondering about the performance you did with Lydia Lunch, Thirwell, and Nick Cave called “The Immaculate Consumptive” back in 1982. What was that all about?
MA: We did that here in New York and Washington DC. It was one of those things that you had to hear about more than actually see. It’s become better with legend and the test of time. Everyone goes “Were you there? No, I wasn’t there but I heard it was really amazing.” It’s best kept that way in people’s imaginations. I’m glad it wasn’t recorded. I think it came together because Lydia found a way of getting a huge exorbitant fee from Danceteria for bringing us all together. None of us knew why we were there. Lydia seemed to know why we were there. She had a strategy of paying the rent that month. It was a very shambolic cabaret, and Nick stole the show, so we all hated him after that. He did this mind blowing version of “In The Ghetto” so we were all sick after that.
AL: How do you approach doing each Marc Almond record: “The Stars We Are” seemed more pop oriented, while the Jacques Brel or Georges Bataille stuff seemed more underground?
MA: I always thought of it as being the same. I never really thought of it as being more pop or less pop. I just did the style where I was at the time: maybe it reflected the moods I was going through, or maybe it reflected the music I was listening to at that time. I always think of everything I do as being accessible. Sometimes it’s a surprise when people say “That was really underground and uncommercial.” But often I have done things that were a reaction to things that I had done before. Not so much now, because I found that was a case of losing direction. I much more focused and not concerned with worrying whether I’m a pop artist or a serious songwriter.
AL: Some people think “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” is a much better song than “Tainted Love.” Why is that so?
MA: It’s a good song and it tells a story. The song and the persona really encapsulates so much of what I’ve been about. In Britain, it’s the more popular song. “Tainted Love” is a song that has a life of its own, and I don’t have anything to do with. When I hear it, or see the old videos of myself performing it, it’s like hearing and seeing a stranger. I still perform it live sometimes because I like the reaction that it gets. It’s been a good friend, because when I play a concert and people don’t know me very well, and it’s going down like a lead balloon, all I have to do is bring out “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” or “Tainted Love” and suddenly I have everybody.
AL: Your album “Open All Night” was originally released in England on your own label, Blue Star, and here in America on Instinct. How was that experience?
MA: I originally recorded this record for Echo, which is a label in England. It was like a major independent label, but it went into a state of flux: it changed its format and personnel. I was also signed for a second record. I asked them to let me walk from their label and release under my own label. It wasn’t the label I signed with and this album didn’t have a place on their label anymore because it had become more pop. I was lucky to have a great quality finished album to start my own label with. That has given me a whole new freedom. I don’t have to answer to A & R people and I feel it’s my own work. This was the first record where I had full control. At this time it’s a vehicle for my own music.
AL: You had a few duets with Siouxie Sioux and Kelly Ali (who used to be in Sneaker Pimps). Did you actually meet these people?
MA: Yeah. I planned a few duets on this album. I just simply rang them up and asked them. When I did the duet with Gene Pitney, “Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart,” which was a big hit in Europe, we didn’t actually meet. I was touring at the time he did his vocals. We did the vocals separately, then later met in Las Vegas, to do the video, which was a great place to meet for the first time. Normally I like to do duets with the people in the room, that’s the whole point.