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Marilyn Martin

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Album Review

In late 1985, there was good reason to believe that Marilyn Martin would become a pop/rock superstar. Her duet with Phil Collins, "Separate Lives," soared to number one on the pop charts, and her supporters assumed that she was going to become as big as Stevie Nicks, Laura Branigan or Pat Benatar. But regrettably, Martin's commercial success turned out to be short-lived — after 1988's This Is Serious, she was dropped by Atlantic and never recorded another album. Nonetheless, the Southern vocalist had a lot of potential, and she showed considerable promise on this self-titled debut album of 1986. Although this LP doesn't contain "Separate Lives," it's still a solid pop/rock outing and is the more essential of her two Atlantic albums (which isn't to say that This Is Serious isn't highly enjoyable). The producers of Marilyn Martin include, among others, Arif Mardin, Jon Astley and Philip Chapman — all of whom favor a very slick, glossy, high-tech approach. The high-tech effects make tracks like "Turn It On," "Beauty or the Beast," and the single "Night Moves" sound very dated; everything on this record screams "1980s" in no uncertain terms. However, dated isn't necessarily a bad thing if you hold a particular era in high regard — and if you're obsessed with all things '80s, the dated production might actually be a plus. Whatever you think of the production, Marilyn Martin is definitely a strong debut.

Customer Reviews

Underrated 80's Album

This album screams "80's" and rightly so. Incredible vocals by Marilyn, who gained fame and notice with the duet "Separate Lives" with Phil Collins. She had previously sung back-up for Stevie Nicks, amongst others. This album has both ballads and rock flavors to it. The single "Night Moves" has always been one of the favorites. The creepy video, owing huges amounts to the movie The Hunger, is what hooked me on Marilyn. However, her strong vocals, ability to deftly move between rock and pop and adult contemporary, reeled me in. Next to "Night Moves", my next favorite track is "Beauty or the Beast". Highly recommended to those who lived and love the 80's and those who are fans of the era. Two Thumbs up and 5 stars.

Atlantic's loss---and our gain

Like most people, I became aware of Marilyn through the "Separate Lives" song. The promise of her performance in that song led me to buy her new album, sight unseen (or song unheard). Though the production definitely suonds a bit dated today, the qality of the songwritning and, most especially Ms Martin's powerful vocal performance, still stand out as noteworthy, and could easily compete with--or even blow away--many of today's "American idols".

Marilyn Martin knows how to interpret a song, and to "live" the lyrics. Listen to "Wildest Dream" where the longing in her voice is so apparent. And the upbeat optimism of "One Step Closer" with its huge, 80's beat is hard to listen to only once.

Whoever at Atlanta failed to recognize the talent and potential of this gifted artist in the 80's is truly at fault for what was undoubtedly a huge loss for that corrupt, mismanaged company---but the release of this album is a great gain for fans and new fans alike. Highly recommended.

Lost hits

Definitely an album overlooked during the '80s and Miami Vice. Separate lives was the song that she hooked me with, and if you like that song, then Move Closer will surely win you over!


Born: May 4, 1954

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s

Eighties pop/rock vocalist Marilyn Martin is best known for "Separate Lives," a 1985 duet with superstar Phil Collins that soared to number one on the pop charts and was heard in the film White Nights. When that single was burning up the charts and Martin was signed to Atlantic as a solo artist, there was plenty of reason to believe that she would become a major star herself. She had toured with Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh as a background vocalist, and Atlantic president Doug Morris seemed to believe...
Full Bio
Marilyn Martin, Marilyn Martin
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Customer Ratings