Richard Marx

Marx, 23, has a full-blown, histrionic style, like Barry Manilow's, and there are a couple of moments on this debut album when he seems about to slide into the worst kind of Manilow shmaltz. Marx, however, has enough perspective to write such lines as "I feel I've more than made my contribution/ But I hope there's room in heaven for my ego and me." He also demonstrates a slick pop-rock style, complete with near falsetto, on Don't Mean Nothing, which has become a hit single. Marx has been singing professionally since he was a 5-year-old in Chicago, when he chirped out peanut butter-and-chocolate commercials for his jingle-writing dad. More recently he has sung backup on Lionel Richie's first solo album and collected writing credits for such hits as Philip Bailey's Love Is Alive and Chicago's Good for Nothing. This sharp, well-rounded album includes substantial backup work by such people as Fee Waybill of the Tubes and ex-Eagles Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmidt. Here is one of the answers to the question of where the next generation of mainstream pop-rock singers will come from. (Manhattan)

  • Contributors:
  • David Hiltbrand,
  • Ralph Novak,
  • Michael Small,
  • Eric Levin.