Urlich performing live in Hawkes Bay, 2008. Photograph by Tim Whittaker.
|Born||24 January 1965|
|Genres||Rock, pop, new wave, jazz|
|Labels||CBS, Sony, Columbia|
Margaret Urlich (born 24 January 1965 in Auckland) is an ARIA Award-winning New Zealand musician based in New South Wales, Australia. Urlich moved to Sydney in 1988 to pursue her singing career. Her debut solo album, Safety in Numbers, released in 1989, was highly successful and won "Breakthrough Artist – Album" at the 1991 ARIA Awards. Its follow-up Chameleon Dreams was also a success when released in 1992. Urlich has been successful trans-Tasman, selling over 400,000 albums during her career, ranking her as one of New Zealand's most successful recording artists. She is the cousin of fellow New Zealand singer Peter Urlich.
Margaret Urlich began her career as the vocalist for the new wave group Peking Man with her brother Pat, Tim Calder, Perry Marshall, Jan Foulkes, Neville Hall, John Fearon and Jay F-bula. Peking Man won the 1984 Shazam! Battle of The Bands (a TVNZ pop show) nz on screen, had a number of hit songs in New Zealand, "Good Luck to You", which reached No. 6, "Lift Your Head Up High", reaching No. 21 and the number one, "Room That Echoes", in 1985. Later she was a member of an all-girl pop group in New Zealand called When The Cat's Away. Urlich moved to Australia during the late 1980s and released her solo debut album Safety In Numbers in 1989. The album peaked at No. 4 on the New Zealand album charts and No. 5 on the Australian album charts and went triple platinum in Australia. Urlich winning an ARIA Award in 1991 for "Best Breakthrough Artist."
Urlich made history when she became the first solo female artist from New Zealand to land a number one hit in the official New Zealand Music Charts. Escaping stayed at number one for three weeks, and remained in the charts for 19 weeks.
In 1990 Urlich, previously mostly unknown outside of New Zealand, provided backing vocals on a track for Australian artist Daryl Braithwaite, on his second album Rise, which released late 1990. The song she featured in was the Rickie Lee Jones ballad "The Horses", which was a No. 1 hit for Braithwaite. The video clip featured Braithwaite singing on a beach, with a model (riding a horse), lip-syncing Urlich's voice. Margaret chose not to appear in Braithwaite's film clip as she had just released Safety in Numbers and was working hard to establish herself as a solo artist.
In March 1991, Urlich, armed with a half-million-dollar recording budget, returned to the studio to commence pre-production for her second album, Chameleon Dreams, with English writer/producer Robyn Smith, the man behind her highly successful debut. By mid year, Urlich and Smith had entered Sydney's 301 Studios to record their two songs, plus a third track written by Smith and Barry Blue. The same team had been responsible for two of the best tracks on Safety in Numbers ("Escaping" and "Guilty People"), and their latest offering "Boy in the Moon", proved pivotal to the sound of the new album. Other tracks were collected by travelling all over the world.
First Urlich went to London to co-write with celebrated writers like Rob Fisher with whom she wrote the album's title track Chameleon Dreams. She then went on to Los Angeles, where she met up with Grammy Award-winning writer/producer Ian Prince, and with whom she wrote two songs for the album and he produced four tracks. She returned to London again, where she co-wrote a number of songs with Simon Law and Tony Swain before completing the project with three tracks produced by Swain.
The success of Chameleon Dreams earned Urlich the "Best Selling New Zealand Artist of the Year" award at The 1992 World Music Awards in Monte Carlo. She attended the awards ceremony and performed "Love Train".
In 1993 Urlich was part of Export Music Australia (EMA) and Austrade's second Wizards of Oz promotion, she toured Japan with fellow singer Rick Price and the group Yothu Yindi. Margaret Urlich and Dale Barlow recorded a version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" for Kate Ceberano's 1994 album, Kate Ceberano and Friends.
She spent much of 1994 living back in New Zealand and appeared as Mary Magdalene in a major concert production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. Urlich released a version of "I Don't Know How to Love Him" which reached No. 44 on the New Zealand singles charts.
For her third album, The Deepest Blue, Urlich returned to her long-standing partnership with British writer/producer Robyn Smith. She and Smith co-wrote all but two of the tracks on the album. The Deepest Blue was released in August 1995 but failed to have the same impact as her previous two albums, only reaching No. 18 on the New Zealand charts and No. 17 on the Australian charts.
Here she produced her fourth album, Second Nature, a recording project produced by Eddie Rayner from Split Enz that was recorded on and off over 12 months and involved musicians from Australia and New Zealand. The album comprised cover versions of some of Urlich's favourite NZ songs that she grew up with. These included artists like Split Enz, Crowded House, Dave Dobbyn, Max Merritt, Shona Laing, Don McGlashan and Tim Finn. The album was released in New Zealand in 1999 and reached No. 11 on the charts, achieving platinum status.
|1989||Safety in Numbers||
|1995||The Deepest Blue||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|1989||"Escaping"||1||17||Safety In Numbers|
|1990||"Only My Heart Calling"||—||46|
|"Number One (Remember When We Danced All Night)"||10||24|
|1991||"Guilty People / Give Me Some Credit"||—||99|
|1992||"Boy in the Moon"||9||21||Chameleon Dreams|
|1993||"(I Don't Want to Be) Second Best"||39||132|
|"Where Is the Love" (with Rick Price)||—||31||Live|
|1994||"I Don't Know How to Love Him"||44||—||Jesus Christ Superstar: New Zealand Cast Recording|
|"All by Myself"||26||100||Non-album single|
|1995||"Gonna Make You Mine"||—||29||The Deepest Blue|
|"Every Little Thing"||—||50|
|1996||"All for the Love"||—||148|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
Awards and recognition
|1985||New Zealand Music Awards||Best Female Vocalist||Won|
|1986||New Zealand Music Awards||Best Female Vocalist||Won|
|1989||New Zealand Music Awards||Album Of The Year||Won|
|1989||New Zealand Music Awards||Single Of The Year||Won|
|1989||New Zealand Music Awards||Best Female Vocalist||Won|
|1989||New Zealand Music Awards||Best Album Cover||Won|
|1990||New Zealand Music Awards||Best Female Vocalist||Won|
|1991||ARIA Awards||Breakthrough Artist - Album||Won|
|1991||ARIA Awards||Album of the Year Safety in Numbers||Nominated|
|1991||ARIA Awards||Best Female Artist Safety in Numbers||Nominated|
|1992||World Music Awards||Best Selling New Zealand Artist of the Year||Won|
|1993||ARIA Awards||Best Female Artist Chameleon Dreams||Nominated|
|1994||ARIA Awards||Best Female Artist "Burnt Sienna"||Nominated|
|1994||ARIA Awards||Best Adult Contemporary Album||Nominated|
- "1991 ARIA Award winners". ALLdownunder.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Peking Man". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Margaret Urlich". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "Margaret Urlich". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "ARAI Awards - Margaret Urlich". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
- "Trailblazers: Margaret Urlich". 16 September 2018. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Daryl Braithwaite - The Horses". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "charts.org.nz > Margaret Urlich in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
- Top 50 peaks: "australian-charts.com > Margaret Urlich in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- Top 100 peaks to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 290.
- "(I Don't Want to Be) Second Best" and "All for the Love": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur.com. Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
- "Man Overboard": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 4 April 2017". Imgur.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- "All by Myself": "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 4 Dec 1994". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 1 September 2016. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 290.
- Official Website (archived at Internet Archive)