Andrea Corr: lead vocals, tin whistle * Caroline Corr: drums, bodhran, piano, vocals * Sharon Corr: violin, vocals * Jim Corr: keyboards, guitars, vocals
With the Corrs new 143/Lava/Atlantic release, IN BLUE, the Irish group has perfected their trademark melding of modern pop and traditional Celtic sounds, a diverse and original sonic approach that has made them an unqualified international sensation. The album which debuted at #1 on the U.K chart, as did the upbeat first single, Breathless finds the band working with ace producers Robert John Mutt Lange (Shania Twain, Backstreet Boys) and Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow) on a bounty of memorable songs that incorporate new electronic textures into the Corrs special musical mixture. From the dynamic Give Me A Reason, to the rhythmic dance pop of Radio, and the stirring instrumental track, Rebel Heart, IN BLUE amply displays the many marvelous sides of this multi-faceted quartet. Every band says their latest record is their best, Andrea Corr says, but I really believe it. Its us.
It reflects how weve progressed and what weve learned. Its who we are and were very proud of it. After nearly three whirlwind years following the release of their international smash second album, TALK ON CORNERS the Corrs returned home to Dublin in late-1999 to begin work on IN BLUE. While the two previous Corrs studio albums were recorded in America, this time the group opted to cut IN BLUE entirely in Ireland.
The hometown vibe not to mention the ability to see friends and family, plus sleep in their own beds definitely gave the Corrs a sense of freedom both in and out of the studio. It was very liberating to work on our own turf, says Caroline. Recording in LA was a great experience, which we wouldnt want to change, but being at home was special. None of which is to say that the sessions were simply a lark. While in the studio, the Corrs kept up a relentless pace, putting in 16-hour days with producer Lange cracking the whip to get the best out of the group. Ive never worked like it in my life, Jim says. Hes a total perfectionist. IN BLUE sees all four members of the Corrs continuing to thrive as songwriters, separately and in various combinations.
Among the highlights are Sharons admittedly Oasis-inspired Say and Jim and Andreas melancholic Give Me A Reason, which Jim amusingly describes as Simon & Garfunkel meets William Orbit. Working with different people on TALK ON CORNERS taught us a huge amount, says Caroline. Seeing how they worked freed up our own creativity. Thats partly why we were able do this album our way. In addition to the intra-group collaborations, Andrea co-wrote three new tracks with Lange: the buoyant Breathless, the lush heartfelt ballad, All The Love In The World, and the frankly irresistible Irresistible. Mutts a really lovely guy, she says, recalling her pre-recording visit to Langes home in Switzerland. We went up into the forest with his guitar and wrote.
The way his songs work is very different. Its like being on a roller coaster. You dont get a seconds let-up, its just hook after hook. As the recording went on, the group enlisted the services of producer Mitchell Froom who had co-helmed 1999s international-only album, THE CORRS UNPLUGGED in order to incorporate yet another musical viewpoint. Bringing in someone else gives you an objectivity, explains Sharon. We were exhausted after being in the studio for months and so we needed some distance and a fresh perspective. Mitchell gave us that extra dimension. Sadly, in the midst of recording the album, the Corrs suffered a devastating personal tragedy with the death of their mother, Jean. Dedicated to her memory, IN BLUE is marked by the poignant and powerful No More Cry, which was written by Andrea and Caroline for their grieving father, Gerry. We wrote it for Daddy after Mummy died, Andrea says. Its saying, stop the pain. Reach out and believe in her love. It rocks a bit, too, like Garbage or Blondie. Weve never considered ourselves a rock band, but it felt natural to go there. That willingness to venture into previously unexplored musical terrain defines the enchanting IN BLUE.
With this record, the Corrs bring their immediately identifiable sound to the next level, a place where rock, pop, dance, folk, and Celtic tradition meet to make magic. Its the most versatile album weve made, Jim Corr enthuses. Weve a style that provides a common thread, but we love so many varied types of music, and that is now coming out in what we do. There are so many flavors on this record.
I think people are going to be surprised by that. Since the 1995 release of their RIAA gold-certified 143/Lava/Atlantic debut, FORGIVEN, NOT FORGOTTEN, the Corrs have been nothing less than a phenomenon. Their second album, 1997s TALK ON CORNERS, hit the #1 spot on the UK chart six times, with the added distinction of accruing top 10 reigns in 1997, 98, and 99. The momentum also resulted in the remarkable rise of FORGIVEN, NOT FORGOTTEN into the UK top 5, where it eventually rose to #2, giving the young group the rare achievement of having both of its albums stand in the top two positions on the influential pop chart. TALK ON CORNERS has sold some 8 million copies worldwide a figure which also includes the 1999 release of TALK ON CORNERS: SPECIAL EDITION. The popular second version of the hit album appended the international hit mixes of So Young, What Can I Do, and others, as well as their cover of Fleetwood Macs Dreams, which originally appeared on Lava/Atlantics 1998 LEGACY: A TRIBUTE TO FLEETWOOD MACS RUMOURS.
The groups astounding international popularity has resulted in a remarkable register of success from around the globe, including: #1 status in the U.K., Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Singapore, Top 10 in Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, Twenty-times-platinum in Ireland, Nine-times-platinum in the U.K., Six-times-platinum in Spain, Quadruple-platinum in Malaysia, Triple-platinum in Australia and Singapore. The group made a number of high-profile performances in 1998, including stadium dates with the Rolling Stones (at the personal request of Corrs fan Mick Jagger), an appearance with Luciano Pavarotti at his War Child charity concert in Modena, Italy, a set at the Princes Trust benefit concert in Hyde Park, and a royal appearance for Queen Elizabeth II and 400 million others watching on television around the globe at the closing ceremony of The Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. In February 1999, the Corrs received a prestigious Brit Award in the Best International Band category, where they bested such illustrious competition as Air, the Beastie Boys, Fun Lovin Criminals, and R.E.M. The group also found time to tour the planet, a trek highlighted by main stage performances at the Glastonbury Festival as well as a triumphant homecoming gig at Dublins Landsdowne Road stadium. The year also saw the Corrs performing at the Nobel Peace Prize gala in Oslo, Norway and at the NetAid concert at Londons Wembley Stadium the live global musical event staged as part of a long-term initiative to help eradicate extreme poverty.
The Corrs closed off their incredible 1999 with an MTV Unplugged special and the subsequent release of UNPLUGGED, which featured orchestral and acoustic versions of such hits as Runaway and Only When I Sleep, plus a pair of brand-new Corrs-penned songs Radio and By My Side along with three special covers: Phil Lynotts Old Town, Jimmy McCarthys No Frontiers (a duet between Sharon and Caroline that has been a regular feature of the Corrs live shows), and R.E.M.s Everybody Hurts (first performed by the Corrs at their November 1998 benefit concert for the victims of that years terrorist bombing in Omagh, Northern Ireland).
Since its November release, UNPLUGGED has sold 2.7 million copies, earning platinum in 11 territories and gold in ten more. In January of 2000, all three Corrs releases were among the U.K.s Top 15, a previously unprecedented chart accomplishment. Here in America, the Corrs were among the best-received artists to perform at 1998s Guinness Fleadh Festival, while their October 98 U.S. club tour saw sold-out gigs at Chicagos Park West, Bostons Paradise, and New York Citys Mercury Lounge and Irving Plaza. In 1999, the Corrs performed five support slots with the Rolling Stones on their BRIDGES TO BABYLON trek, in addition to acclaimed headlining shows in six major cities. The Corrs have made countless TV appearances, both around the globe and on such U.S.-based programs as Late Show With David Letterman, Today, The Rosie ODonnell Show, Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night With Conan OBrien, Today, MTVs Total Request Live, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, CNNs Showbiz Today and Worldbeat, Access Hollywood, and Entertainment Tonight, not to mention a classic guest slot on Beverly Hills 90210. In addition, Andrea has prominently appeared as an actress in two films by director Alan Parker: The Commitments and Evita.
In March 1999, the Corrs were the special musical guest on the St. Patricks Day edition of Saturday Night Live, where they performed So Young and an extended medley featuring What Can I Do and the Irish traditional instrumental, Haste To The Wedding.
1999 also saw the Corrs Live At Royal Albert Hall TV special broadcast on public television stations across America. The special filmed on St. Patricks Day, 1998 and featuring a guest appearance by Mick Fleetwood for a rendition of Fleetwood Macs Dreams aired in at least 80 U.S. markets, including Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Denver. With the masterful new IN BLUE, the Corrs are set to build upon their ever-growing audience, both in America and around the world. At this writing, the album has already hit #1 in 10 countries: Ireland, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore. The album is also the #1 best-seller in all of Europe and at retail outlets in Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines. In the process, IN BLUE has earned an impressive array of international certifications: Quintuple platinum in Ireland; platinum in the UK, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore; and gold in France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Weve put our hearts and souls into this album, Jim says, and I hope the record speaks for itself. Everybody is asking if this is the definitive Corrs album, Sharon adds. Well, it is for now. But just wait until you hear the next one…