Talk on Corners

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Talk on Corners
Talk on Corners.jpg
Studio album by The Corrs
Released 24 October 1997 (1997-10-24)
Recorded July 1996 – May 1997
Studio
Genre
Length 56:58
Label
Producer
The Corrs chronology
The Corrs – Live
(1997)The Corrs – Live1997
Talk on Corners
(1997)
Unplugged
(1999)Unplugged1999
Singles from Talk on Corners
  1. "Only When I Sleep"
    Released: October 1997
  2. "I Never Loved You Anyway"
    Released: December 1997
  3. "What Can I Do"
    Released: February 1998
  4. "Dreams"
    Released: May 1998
  5. "What Can I Do (Tin Tin Out Remix)"
    Released: August 1998
  6. "So Young (K-Klass Remix)"
    Released: November 1998
  7. "Runaway (Tin Tin Out Remix)"
    Released: February 1999

Talk on Corners is the second studio album by Irish pop rock band The Corrs. It was released on 24 October 1997 in Ireland and on 5 May 1998 in the United States by 143, Lava and Atlantic Records. Preceded by lead single "Only When I Sleep", which became a top ten hit internationally, the album was an immediate commercial success in several territories, including Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Its commercial performance elsewhere was initially modest, however.

The Corrs' entire concert from the Royal Albert Hall was broadcast live on BBC One on Saint Patrick's Day in 1998, where they were joined during their performance of "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood. This event did much to raise the band's international profile. A remixed version of "Dreams" went on to become their first top ten hit on the UK Singles Chart. The record was reissued the following month to include the song as a bonus track. This would be the first of several different editions of Talk on Corners to be released over the album's two year-long promotional cycle.

Over this period, the band released a string of increasingly successful hit singles, culminating with a Tin Tin Out remix of "Runaway" peaking at number two in the UK. The Corrs also toured extensively to promote the record: the "Talk on Corners World Tour" saw them perform almost 160 concerts across twelve separate legs. The album spent ten weeks at number one in the UK. On one of these weeks, previous album Forgiven, Not Forgotten reached a new peak of number two, making The Corrs the first act since The Beatles to simultaneously occupy the top two positions of the UK Albums Chart. It ended 1998 as the highest-selling album of the year, and remains one of the best-selling albums of all time there, as well as the highest-selling album ever by an Irish act.

Background and recording[edit]

The Corrs began work on new material in California in July 1996, initially under the supervision of producer David Foster. Lead vocalist Andrea Corr has described the making of Talk on Corners as being "a struggle", with the band put under pressure by Atlantic Records to deliver a successful follow-up to their 1995 debut album Forgiven, Not Forgotten. Their manager John Hughes cited second album syndrome as a common source of pressure for all recording artists, but said further demands came from the label, who were concerned that none of the songs they were being presented with seemed like potential hit singles. The label disliked "What Can I Do" and "So Young", particularly the latter, and the band had to fight hard for their inclusion on the album.[1]

Additional co-writers and producers were brought in to help improve the album's hit potential, including Carole Bayer Sager, Glen Ballard, Oliver Leiber, Rick Nowels and Billy Steinberg. The use of different producers on different tracks introduced further difficulties: the band found it hard to achieve consistency throughout the entire album, although this would be remedied by the Corrs using over forty hours of studio time to record overdubs. In May 1997, the finalised album was delivered to Atlantic, who were unimpressed by the material and ordered the band to continue recording new tracks. When they refused, the label threatened to sue the band for breach of contract. This dispute was only resolved when John Hughes signed a contract guaranteeing future album sales, with the manager being held personally liable if Talk on Corners failed to yield a profit for Atlantic.[1]

Composition and style[edit]

Talk on Corners is predominantly a pop rock album, although it also incorporates elements of Celtic and traditional Irish music. Andrea Corr was the album's primary lyricist, co-writing numerous songs with established composers and producers: she co-wrote "Queen of Hollywood" with Glen Ballard, best known for co-writing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" (1987), as well as for co-writing and producing the Alanis Morissette album Jagged Little Pill (1995). "Intimacy" was co-written by Pat Benatar guitarist Neil Giraldo, and Billy Steinberg—the writer of hit singles including Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (1984) and "Eternal Flame" (1989) by The Bangles. Several songs on the record were co-written and produced by Oliver Leiber, the son of composer Jerry Leiber who – alongside Mike Stoller – co-wrote some of the biggest hits of the fifties and sixties, including Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" (1953) and "Jailhouse Rock" (1957), as well as Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" (1961). Their cover of the Jimi Hendrix song "Little Wing" features Irish folk collective The Chieftains. The album's title is derived from a lyric in the song "Queen of Hollywood".[2][3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]

The record received generally positive reviews from music critics. AllMusic writer Becky Byrkit rated it four stars out of five and praised the band for their vocal harmonies, as well as the album's consistency, writing that "each and every cut sounds wired for radio play". She highlighted their cover of "Little Wing" as being the album's "best and most spirited Celtic cut".[4] Stephen Segerman of South African music magazine Rock rated the album eight out of ten, and complimented it for incorporating a "fuller and rockier atmosphere [than Forgiven, Not Forgotten]. He also praised the record for containing "generous sprinklings of traditional Irish sounds and touches", which he said helped enhance the material.[3]

The special edition of the album received mixed reviews from the American music press. James Hunter of Rolling Stone criticised Ballard's production on "Queen of Hollywood" for "forcing an Alanis-like edge where it's unneeded", and called the David Foster-produced tracks "goofy", but said that "Otherwise, this is a high-flying reintroduction to some blue chip popsters."[5] A writer for People was critical of the re-release, as well as the remixed tracks, calling it "A collection of pretty, pop-lite tunes that could use more Celtic flavoring and less studio gloss, the album is best when harking back to the sounds of the Old Sod: reeling fiddles, soaring harmonies and the haunting tin whistle played by sister Andrea. Her lead vocals are as pretty to listen to as she and her sisters are to look at, but the string-sweetened arrangements are as bland and flat as a Dublin car park."[6]

British rock magazine NME have retrospectively been highly critical of the album, placing it at number three in their 2014 list of "25 unfathomably popular albums of the 90's".[7] The album also appeared in a 2016 article titled "8 of the all-time best-selling albums in the UK [which] have no redeeming features whatsoever".[8]

Release and commercial performance[edit]

The original edition of the album was released internationally from October 1997, and was an immediate commercial success in several territories. Within five months of release, Talk on Corners had sold over a million copies worldwide, and was certified sextuple platinum in their home country, as well as double platinum in Australia and Spain, platinum in Denmark and New Zealand, and gold in both Japan and Sweden.[9] Its commercial success elsewhere was initially modest, however, with the album debuting at number 23 in France and at number 56 in Germany.[10][11] In the UK, it debuted at number 7, but would fall out of the top forty there within a month of release.[12] "Only When I Sleep" and "I Never Loved You Anyway" were released as the album's first two singles, with the former becoming a top ten hit in Ireland,[13] while both songs peaked within the top forty of the Australian Singles Chart.[14] "What Can I Do" was released as the album's third single, and also went on to be a top forty hit in Ireland.[13] All three singles failed to reach the top forty of the UK Singles Chart.[12]

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood joined the band at their concert in the Royal Albert Hall on 17 March 1998 during their performance of "Dreams", which the band had recently contributed to the album Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. The entire concert was broadcast live on BBC One as part of that organisation's coverage of Saint Patrick's Day, and the event did much to raise the band's profile.[9] The cover would become the Corrs' first top forty hit in the UK, after it peaked at number six.[12] The following month, Talk on Corners was reissued in numerous territories with "Dreams" included as a bonus track, and the album finally peaked at number one in the UK on 21 June 1998, its 35th week on the chart.[15] This edition of the album was the first to be released in the United States. It was released on May 5,[9] and peaked at number 17 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers Albums.[16] The Corrs: Live at the Royal Albert Hall was released in August.

Talk on Corners: Special Edition[edit]

A special edition of the record was released internationally from November 1998. This revised edition contained five remixed tracks, several of which were then released or re-released as singles. The previously released remix of "Dreams" by Todd Terry was included, along with a previously unreleased K-Klass remix of "So Young", as well as an alternate mix of "I Never Loved You Anyway", which was created by The Corrs. English electronic music duo Tin Tin Out remixed a further two tracks: "What Can I Do" and "Runaway"—a song from their debut album. Tin Tin Out enlisted European string ensemble the Duke Quartet to provide orchestration for both tracks. The former would go on to become the Corrs' first top three hit in the UK when it was released as a single,[12] while the remix of "Runaway" became their highest-peaking single yet, after it peaked at number two behind Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time".[17] "Dreams", "So Young", "What Can I Do" and "Runaway" have all been certified silver by the BPI for sales in excess of 200,000 units each.[18] As of 2017, "What Can I Do" and "Runaway" have sold 351,000 and 274,000 copies in the UK, respectively.[19]

Following the success of the album in Europe and Australasia, an abridged version of the special edition was released in the US on 16 February 1999, and peaked at number 72 on the Billboard 200.[16] To promote this edition, the band performed as the opening act on several dates of The Rolling Stones' No Security Tour,[20] as well as their own national concert tour and appearances on numerous talk shows: including Saturday Night Live, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman. The Corrs: Live at the Royal Albert Hall was repeatedly aired on PBS.[16]

This edition was the highest-selling incarnation of the album in several territories. Talk on Corners would go on to spend a total of ten weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart. On its final week atop the chart there, on the chart dated 4 April 1999, Forgiven, Not Forgotten reached a new peak of number two.[21] This made The Corrs the first act since The Beatles to simultaneously occupy the top two positions of the UK Albums Chart.[22] It ended 1998 as the UK's highest-selling album,[23] and was also the eighth highest-selling album of 1999.[24] As of 2016, Talk on Corners has sold over 2.96 million copies in the UK,[25] and remains the highest-selling album of all time by an Irish act there,[26] as well as one of the best-selling albums of all time in the country.[27]

Similarly, it was certified 20× platinum in Ireland,[28] indicating shipments in excess of 300,000 units, and remains the highest-certified album of all time there, as well as the twelfth best-selling album ever.[22] In 2001, the record was certified sextuple platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry for shipments in excess of 6 million units throughout Europe.[29]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by The Corrs, except where noted.

Talk on Corners
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Only When I Sleep" Leiber 4:24
2. "When He's Not Around"   David Foster 4:25
3. "Dreams" (1998 re-release bonus track) Stevie Nicks
  • Leiber
  • Peter Rafelson[a]
4:01
4. "What Can I Do"   Jim Corr 4:18
5. "I Never Loved You Anyway"
Foster 4:27
6. "So Young"  
  • Jim Corr
  • Leiber
3:53
7. "Don't Say You Love Me"
  • The Corrs
  • Sager
Foster 4:39
8. "Love Gives Love Takes"
  • The Corrs
  • Dane Deviller
  • Sean Hosein
  • Leiber
  • Stacey Piersa
  • Elliot Wolff
Leiber 3:42
9. "Hopelessly Addicted"
  • The Corrs
  • Leiber
Leiber 4:03
10. "Paddy McCarthy" (instrumental)  
  • Jim Corr
  • Leo Pearson[a]
  • Larry Robinson[b]
4:58
11. "Intimacy"
  • Nowels
  • Steinberg
3:57
12. "Queen of Hollywood"
  • Ballard
  • Deviller[a]
  • Hosein[a]
5:02
13. "No Good for Me"   Foster 4:00
14. "Little Wing" Jimi Hendrix John Hughes 5:08
Total length: 60:59

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer.
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer.
  • ^[c] signifies a remixer.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the 1998 re-release of Talk of Corners.[30]

The Corrs

Musicians

Technical

  • Glen Ballard — production (track 12)
  • Philip Begley — engineering (track 3)
  • George Black — programming (track 11)
  • Blinkk — photography
  • Bryan Carrigan — engineering (track 12)
  • Felipe Elgueta — engineering, synth programming (tracks 2, 5, 7, 13)
  • Chris Fogel — engineering (track 12)
  • Stuart Grusin — Pro Tools (track 3)
  • John Hughes — production (track 14)
  • Yazuru Koyanazi — recording assistant (track 11)
  • Al Lay — recording assistant (track 11)
  • Tim Martin — engineering (track 14)
  • Brian Masterson — engineering (track 14)
  • Leo Pearson — co-production, engineering (track 10); programming (tracks 2, 4–6, 10)
  • Peter Rafelson — co-production, programming (track 3)
  • David Reitzaz — engineering (tracks 5, 7, 13)
  • Colleen Reynolds — production coordinator (track 11)
  • Larry Robinson — additional production (track 10)
  • Brenda Rotheiser — art direction and design
  • Barry Rudolph — engineering (tracks 1, 3, 6, 8, 9)
  • Matt Silva — mix engineering (track 3)
  • Billy Steinberg — production (track 11)
  • Randall Wine — engineering (track 11)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[62] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Belgium (BEA)[63] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[64] Gold 50,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[9] Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[65] Gold 26,356[65]
France (SNEP)[66] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[67] Gold 250,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[28] 20× Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[68] Platinum 100,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[9] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[69] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[70] 6× Platinum 90,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[71] Gold 25,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[42] 6× Platinum 600,000^
Sweden (GLF)[72] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[73] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] 9× Platinum 2,960,000[25]
United States (RIAA)[74] Gold 500,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[29] 6× Platinum 6,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Version Format Label Catalog #
Ireland 24 October 1997 Original Edition 7567 83051-2
Germany 27 October 1997
Japan 29 October 1997 AMCY-2319
Australia 2 November 1997 83051-2
Worldwide April 1998 1998 reissue (with "Dreams") 83106-2
August 1998 Tour Edition 80885-2
November 1998 Special Edition 80917-2
North America 16 February 1999 83164-2

References[edit]

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  5. ^ a b James Hunter (1 April 1999). "The Corrs: Talk on Corners – Special Edition". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  6. ^ People Staff (3 May 1999). "Picks and Pans Review: Talk on Corners: Special Edition – Vol. 51 No. 16". People. Time Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
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Preceded by
The Good Will Out by Embrace
5ive by Five
Jane McDonald by Jane McDonald
Where We Belong by Boyzone

I've Been Expecting You by Robbie Williams
UK number one album
27 June 1998 – 3 July 1998
11 July 1998 – 17 July 1998
27 June 1998 – 3 July 1998
19 September 1998 – 25 September 1998

27 February 1999 – 19 March 1999
Succeeded by
5ive by Five
Hello Nasty by Beastie Boys
Where We Belong by Boyzone
This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
by Manic Street Preachers
Performance and Cocktails by Stereophonics

External links[edit]