Richard Marx (album)

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Richard Marx
Studio album by Richard Marx
Released June, 1987 (Debuted on the Billboard album chart the week ending June 20)
Recorded 1986-1987
Capitol Studios, Lion Share Studio, Lighthouse Recorders, The Mix Room, Sunset Sound
Genre Pop rock, AOR, adult contemporary
Length 44:41
Label Manhattan Records/EMI
Producer Richard Marx, David Cole, Humberto Gatica
Richard Marx chronology
Richard Marx
Repeat Offender
(1989)Repeat Offender1989
Singles from Richard Marx
  1. "Don't Mean Nothing"
    Released: May 26, 1987
  2. "Should've Known Better"
    Released: September 8, 1987
  3. "Have Mercy"
    Released: November 14, 1987 (Not released as single in the US)
  4. "Endless Summer Nights"
    Released: January 5, 1988
  5. "Hold On to the Nights"
    Released: May 3, 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Richard Marx is the eponymous debut album by singer/songwriter and record producer/arranger, Richard Marx, released in June 1987.

Richard became the first male solo artist (and second solo artist overall - the first being Whitney Houston) in recording history to reach the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 with four singles from a debut album, including his first number one Pop single "Hold On to the Nights" in mid-1988. The album's first single, "Don't Mean Nothing", hit #1 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart on July 4, 1987.


In the early 1980s, Richard Marx had started his music career in Los Angeles as a background singer and songwriter for other artists. Marx was determined to become a solo artist, stating that "I didn't want to give my best songs away. "Should've Known Better", for instance, was written three years ago, and whenever I'd play it for an artist I'd get a real good response. It was the song I could've placed the easiest, but I knew that I should be the one to do it. When the deal with Manhattan Records came through early in '86, I put everything else on hold - I saw this album as a challenge to show what I could really do."[2]

Marx's relationship with the label was positive, with Marx stating that "Manhattan Records was behind my writing and my voice... that's all they needed. I wasn't told to go into the studio and write hits; I was told to make an album I believed in. Through trial and error, I came up with a record that feels right and that's me."[2]

The album was co-produced by David Cole, whom Marx enjoyed working with. Cole had previously produced singer-songwriter Bob Seger's album Like a Rock which Marx stated that it "...sounded great. David and I worked closely together on the production to insure that the record had that kind of sound."[2]

Another advantage for Marx was the roster of musicians who played on the album. Marx's manager convinced Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh to play on the track "Don't Mean Nothing". Two other members of the Eagles, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit also sang background vocals on that track.[3] Marx was subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Rock Vocal Performance - Solo" for "Don't Mean Nothing" in 1988.[4]

Marx wrote the lyrics for all of the songs on his debut, with the exception of "Lonely Heart" and "Remember Manhattan" which were written by Fee Waybill from The Tubes. Marx cowrote the music for the album with Bruce Gaitsch, Jim Lang, and Michael Omartian.[2] In the liner notes, Marx dedicated the album to his parents, Ruth and the late Dick Marx.[3]


Five singles were released from the album, each of them doing well on the charts. Marx's future wife, Cynthia Rhodes, G.W. Bailey, and Fee Waybill appeared in the video for the lead single "Don't Mean Nothing".[5] The album went to number eight on the Billboard charts and spent 86 weeks on that chart.[6] The album was certified triple platinum.[7] In the United Kingdom, the album entered the charts on April 9, 1988 where it stayed for two weeks peaking at number 68.[8]

The album received praise from music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, who stated that "Richard Marx's self-titled debut album was a finely crafted record of mainstream pop/rock. ... Filled with carefully constructed radio-ready tracks, it was no surprise that the album became a huge hit."[1]

Chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1988 The Billboard 200 Albums Chart 8
UK Albums Chart 68
Year Single Chart positions
US Hot 100 US Main Rock US AC UK[8]
1987 "Don't Mean Nothing" 3 1
"Should've Known Better" 3 7 20 50
1988 "Endless Summer Nights" 2 34 2 50
"Hold On to the Nights" 1 3
"Have Mercy" 17

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Richard Marx, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Should've Known Better"   4:07
2. "Don't Mean Nothing" Richard Marx, Bruce Gaitsch 4:38
3. "Endless Summer Nights"   4:27
4. "Lonely Heart" Marx, Fee Waybill 3:48
5. "Hold On to the Nights"   5:07
6. "Have Mercy"   4:29
7. "Remember Manhattan" Marx, Waybill 4:14
8. "The Flame Of Love" Marx, Jim Lang 3:34
9. "Rhythm Of Life" Marx, Michael Omartian 4:40
10. "Heaven Only Knows"   5:35



  • All songs arranged by Richard Marx, except track 1 (Marx and Tom Keane), tracks 4 and 7 (Marx, Rhett Lawrence), track 8 (Jim Lang) and track 10 (Marx and the band).
  • Tracks 1, 3 and 10 produced by Humberto Gatica for Hum Productions, Inc. Recorded and mixed by Humberto Gatica, with additional recording by David Cole. "Should've Known Better" remixed by David Cole.
  • All other tracks produced by Richard Marx and David Cole. Recorded and mixed by David Cole.
  • Second Engineers: Peter Doell, Karen Siegel, Judy Clapp, Sam Ramos, Stephen Shelton, Jimmy Preziosi.
  • Mastered by Wally Traugott
  • Production Coordination: Susanne Marie Edgren
  • Creative Director: Ken Baumstein
  • Art Direction: Paula Scher
  • Design: Anthony Sellari
  • Photography: Nels Isrealson
  • Management: Steve Drimmer and Allen Kovac
  • Clothes: American Rags
    • "Should've Known Better", "Endless Summer Nights", "Hold on to the Nights", Heaven Only Knows" and "Have Mercy" published by Chi-Boy Music.
    • "Don't Mean Nothing" and "The Flame of Love" published by Chi-Boy Music and Edge of Fluke Music.
    • "Rhythm of Life" published by Chi-Boy Music and See This House Music.
    • "Remember Manhattan" and "Lonely Heart" published by Chi-Boy Music and Fee Songs.


  1. ^ a b Erlwine, Stephen Thomas. "Richard Marx: Overview". Allmovie. Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d Marx, Richard (1987). Richard Marx, Piano/Vocal sheet music. New York: Cherry Lane Music Company. p. 4. ISBN 0-89524-346-6. 
  3. ^ a b Marx, Richard (1987). Richard Marx CD Booklet. 
  4. ^ "Rock On The Net: 30th Grammy Awards - 1988". Retrieved September 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Don't Mean Nothing Music Video". Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Music Albums, Albums & Music Charts:". Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  7. ^ "RIAA Gold & Patinum". RIAA. Retrieved September 8, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Warwick, Neil; Jon Kutner; Tony Brown (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums. Omnibus Press. p. 705. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. Retrieved September 9, 2009.