Marcus Collins (album)

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Marcus Collins
Studio album by Marcus Collins
Released 12 March 2012
Recorded January 2012 - March 2012
Genre Soul, pop
Length 35:00
Label RCA, Syco, Sony
Producer Matt Furmidge, Alex Smith, Brian Rawling, Mark Taylor, Paul Meehan, Lee McCutcheon, Gary Barlow (also exec.)[1]
Singles from Marcus Collins
  1. "Seven Nation Army"
    Released: 23 September 2011[2]
  2. "Mercy"
    Released: 3 March 2012[3][4]

Marcus Collins is the self-titled debut studio album by Marcus Collins, who finished as the runner-up of the eighth series of The X Factor. The album was released in Ireland on 9 March 2012 and on 12 March 2012 in the UK.


For just the third time in the history of The X Factor, a judge continued to work with a contestant after the show; the first time being after Leona Lewis won the show's third series in 2006 and the second being after Jedward finished sixth in the show's sixth series in 2009. Collins' mentor Gary Barlow continued working with him after the final, and in December 2011, offered to join him in the studio to record some material to pitch to a record label. In January 2012, Collins signed a record deal with RCA Records, which would see his debut album be release in March 2012. Barlow subsequently offered to help write, oversee and produce the album. Collins began recording the album on 1 January 2012. The album's track listing was unveiled on 11 February 2012. It contains eight original recordings, as well as covers of "Seven Nation Army", "Tightrope" by American singer Janelle Monáe and Collins' version of "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher", a song he performed on The X Factor.

In terms of the album's actual musical background, when questioned in May 2012 by Blues & Soul about its retro-Motown and northern soul influences Collins stated: "I absolutely love the fact you've just mentioned northern soul, because when we were in the studio that was something that we really CONNECTED to. You know, I was watching YouTube videos of all the dancing and things from way back that I'd never SEEN before. And, because I thought it was really cool, we did try and put as many references in there as we could from the Sixties and the artists from that time that had really inspired me - Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Temptations..."[5]


  • "Seven Nation Army" was released as the album's lead single on 4 March 2012.[6] The audio premiered on 23 January, and the official music video was unveiled on 16 February. Album track "Break These Chains" will serve as the single's B-side. Collins performed Seven Nation Army live on 18 March 2011 on the seventh series of Dancing on Ice. It was a Top 10 hit at #9.
  • "Mercy" was released as the album's second single in June 2012. Its release was confirmed by Collins in a radio interview on 16 February. He claimed it is his personal favourite track on the album. According to an insider of SYCO music, his time at the label would be down to the sales of this song. It became a minor hit at #194.


Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Daily Express 4/5 stars[7]
Digital Spy 3/5 stars[8]
Female First 3/5 stars[9]
Media Essentials 3.5/5 stars[10]

Early critical reception towards the album has been positive. The Daily Star stated that "any doubts about whether the shy Scouser had a personality as big as his soulful voice are well and truly answered on a cracking, varied debut album. There are none of the usual soft ballads among the 11 tunes. Instead, Marcus, 23, is like a British Cee Lo Green with his dazzling falsetto vocals tackling funk, grime, soul and pure pop." The review also praises "the insanely catchy brass of Mercy to Break These Chains’ dazzling disco" and states that "perhaps the biggest compliment is that X Factor mentor Gary Barlow’s slick new tune Feel Like I Feel – more urban than Take That – is just one of about eight potential singles." The review concludes by stating that "Marcus deserves top marks."[11] The Express awarded the album 4 stars out of 5 and stated that "On the show he came over as a modern-day Jackie Wilson, slick and sophisticated with a strong voice and an even stronger sense of his own style. This debut is a classy portion of pop-soul with character."[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the UK, the album debuted at number seven on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 24,343 copies.[13] In the album's second week in the charts it fell to number 18 and on its third week it charted at number 38 before leaving the top 40. The album has also at number 24 in Ireland and number 8 in Scotland.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Seven Nation Army" Jack White Matt Furmidge, Alex Smith,
Brian Rawling
2. "Love & Hate" Mark Taylor, Marcus Collins,
Jamie Scott, Patrick Mascall
Taylor 3:48
3. "Innocence" Collins, Smith, Paul Barry Furmidge, Smith, Paul Meehan 3:17
4. "Don't Surrender" Collins, Meehan, Scott Rawling, Meehan, Furmidge 3:48
5. "Mercy" Collins, Lee McCutcheon,
Lisa Greene
Furmidge, McCutcheon 2:51
6. "Higher & Higher" Carl Smith, Raynard Miner,
Gary Jackson
Furmidge 2:30
7. "That's Just Life" Collins, Taylor, Tim Woodcock Taylor 2:49
8. "Tightrope" Antwan Patton, Nathaniel Irvin, Janelle Monáe Robinson,
Charles Joseph
Rawling, Meehan, Furmidge 3:22
9. "It's Time" Collins, Ayak Thiik, Meehan Rawling, Meehan, Furmidge 3:38
10. "Feel Like I Feel" Gary Barlow Furmidge, Barlow 3:11
11. "Break These Chains" Collins, Meehan, Scott Rawling, Meehan, Furmidge 2:27


Chart (2012) Peak
Irish Albums Chart[15] 24
Scottish Albums Chart[16] 8
UK Albums Chart[17] 7
UK Digital Albums (OCC)[18] 15

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Ireland 9 March 2012[19] CD, digital download RCA Records, Syco Music, Sony Music
United Kingdom[20] 12 March 2012


  1. ^ "'X Factor' Marcus Collins: 'Gary Barlow will write my debut album' - X Factor News - Music". Digital Spy. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "X Factor's Marcus Collins Bites back At Cher Lloyd and reveals that 'Mercy, Mercy' will be his second single!". Unreality TV. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Marcus Collins interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' May 2012
  6. ^ "Marcus Collins reveals debut single 'Seven Nation Army' artwork - Music News". Digital Spy. 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  7. ^ "Review: Marcus Collins - Marcus Collins". Express. 
  8. ^ "Review: Marcus Collins - Marcus Collins". Digital Spy. 
  9. ^ "Review: Marcus Collins - Marcus Collins". Female First. 
  10. ^ "Review: Marcus Collins - Marcus Collins". Media Essentials. 
  11. ^ First Listen - Marcus Collins review, The Daily Star, By Kim Dawson with James Cabooter, 11 February 2012
  12. ^ Express 9 March 2012 Simon Gage
  13. ^ Jones, Alan (19 March 2012). "Official Chart Analysis: Military Wives album sells 59k to hit No.1". Music Week. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Marcus Collins: X Factor 2011: Marcus Collins (2012): CD". 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  15. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Albums Chart. GfK. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  16. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Archive Chart". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^
  20. ^;0;-1;-1;-1&sku=522646