Fantastic Star

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Fantastic Star
Studio album by Marc Almond
Released 19 February 1996 (1996-02-19)
Recorded 1993–1996 at Red Bus Studios, London, The Stereo Society, New York, Skyline, New York, GCHQ, London.
Genre Rock
Length 76:53
Label Mercury Records, Some Bizzare
Producer Mike Thorne, Martyn Ware, Mike Hedges
Marc Almond chronology
Treasure Box
(1995)
Fantastic Star
(1996)
Marc Almond & La Magia Live in Concert
(1998)
Singles from Fantastic Star
  1. "Adored and Explored"
    Released: May 1995 (1995-05)
  2. "The Idol"
    Released: July 1995 (1995-07)
  3. "Child Star"
    Released: December 1995 (1995-12)
  4. "Brilliant Creatures" / "Out There"
    Released: February 1996 (1996-02)

Fantastic Star is the ninth studio album by the British singer/songwriter Marc Almond. It was released in 1996 and reached number fifty-four on the UK Albums Chart.[1] Fantastic Star includes the singles "Adored and Explored", "The Idol", "Child Star" and the double A-side "Brilliant Creatures" / "Out There". The album was Almond's last on a major record label until 2007's Stardom Road.

Almond accompanied by studio musicians and collaborators specifically guitarist Neal X and John Coxon recorded the songs for the album over several years. This was due to his moving from WEA to Mercury Records and professional and personal difficulties at Red Bus Studios, London, The Stereo Society, New York, Skyline, New York, and GCHQ, London. Receiving mixed to positive reviews the album was originally released as a CD and Cassette in February 1996. The album has since not been reissued. The artwork was designed by 950 Fahrenheit with a cover photograph by Mike Owen.

Background[edit]

Marc Almond records had sold very well during the initial years of the 1990s. It was expected in the business that his new album which would be Fantastic Star would sell very well. Therefore the record companies involved were prepared to spend money on the project. Originally the album was intended to be released by WEA UK and initially the sole producer was to be Soft Cell producer Mike Thorne under the working title Urban Velvet reflecting the Glam meets Electronica fusion.[2] However, Marc Almond's manager Stevo Pearce had the project moved to Phonogram Records. Based on this the new record company decided to bring new producers and remixers and even add new songs to the original project. Beatmasters, Martyn Ware and others reworked or created new songs to varying degrees of satisfaction and displeasure for Almond.

Release[edit]

The first single remixed by the Beatmasters called "Adored and Explored" was released and performed fairly well reaching No. 25 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] The second single called "The Idol" was released, but the songs Glam Rock style was out of tune with the 90's and despite a radio jingle version for the then top rated Chris Evans radio show, just missed the UK Top 40, stalling at #44.[1] Christmas saw the 3rd single release "Child Star", fairing slightly better than "The Idol", but just missing the all important Top 40 by one, halting at #41.[1] After the album was released a further Double A-side single "Brilliant Creatures"/"Out There" was released and also fared badly reaching #76.[3] Almond had addiction problems during the recording of this album and refers to it in his autobiography as 'Fading Star'.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]

Fantastic Star received good to mixed reviews from the majority of critics. The album was released to disappointing sales reaching UK #54.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Marc Almond and Neal Whitmore; except where indicated. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Caged"     5:38
2. "Out There"   Almond 5:37
3. "We Need Jealousy"   Almond, Steve Nieve 4:07
4. "The Idol (Parts 1 & 2 All Gods Fall)"     9:03
5. "Baby Night Eyes"   Almond, Nieve 3:39
6. "Adored and Explored"   Almond, John Coxon 3:53
7. "Child Star"     4:04
8. "Looking for Love (In All the Wrong Places)"   Almond 5:43
9. "Addicted"   Almond, Coxon 4:07
10. "The Edge of Heartbreak"   Almond, Coxon 4:49
11. "Love to Die For"   Almond 4:02
12. "Betrayed"   Almond, Coxon 3:20
13. "On the Prowl"     3:53
14. "Come in Sweet Assassin"   Almond 4:59
15. "Brilliant Creatures"     5:28
16. "Shining Brightly"   Almond, Jane Rollink, Kevin White 4:31

Personnel[edit]

  • Marc Almond – vocals, synthesizer, background vocals
  • Neal X – guitar
  • Rick Shaffer – guitar
  • Chris Spedding – guitar
  • David Johansen – harmonica on "We Need Jealousy", "Adored and Explored" and "Love To Die For"
  • John Cale – piano on "Love To Die For"
  • Andy Ross – guitar on "The Edge of Heartbreak"
  • Jeremy Stacy – percussion on "The Edge of Heartbreak"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Chart Stats – Marc Almond". chartstats.com. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  2. ^ The making of Fantastic Star
  3. ^ "UK Chartlog – 1994–2010 A – Azzido Da Bass". zobbel.de. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Allmusic review