The Corrs' debut album "Forgiven, Not Forgotten" was released in 1995. It is a consistently brilliant showcase of the group's talents. Each track maintains an extremely high standard of music as well as having a very polished feel to it. Their songs range from simple love-ballads to lilting pop numbers to stunning instrumental pieces. Their fine debut album has allegedly sold two million copies. But three-quarters of the sales have been outside America and the UK. "Forgiven, Not Forgotten" has gone gold in Canada and Australia, Platinum in Denmark and an amazing four-times platinum in Ireland. The album is also closing in on gold in Japan. The band have been working their way around the world, filling venues from Australia to Japan.
Lead vocalist Andrea Corr has her own explanation of why British success has so far proved elusive. "The first album came out when it was all Britpop and techno was on the rise, and we didn't really fit into either category. But we're not blaming anyone else. We can only make the breakthrough by writing even stronger songs."
The Corrs grew up together on a musical diet of formal piano lessons, Irish traditional music, and the sentimental pop songs that went down well on a Saturday night in the bars of their native Dundalk, Irelaned which is situated 50 miles north of Dublin and is right on the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Corrs were a very musical family, their parents being musicians, and there was always a lot of music in the house. By the age of 15, Jim Corr, who plays guitar and keyboards, was performing with the parental outfit but listening to the likes of Crowded House, Prefab Sprout and Scritti Politti. Outgrowing his parents' repertoire of Abba and Carpenters hits, he put together a band with his sisters: Andrea, Sharon on violin, and drummer Caroline. It was in 1990.
After only being a band for a short period, John Hughes, their future manager discovered them whilst looking for musicians to take part in Alan Parker's film, The Commitments. The Corrs became friends with John and accepted his invitaion to perform in Dublin for part of a special The Commitments live concert. Not much later, the Corrs were lucky enough to have the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith hear them in a small club in Dublin. Smith then invited the group to play in Boston as part of a World Cup celebration. The Senior Vice President for Atlantic Records, Jason Flom became very interested in the Corrs and thus suggested that they meet with Atlantic Vice President, successful producer and 12-time Grammy winner, David Foster. Unfortunately, Foster was working with Michael Jackson at the time, and security made it impossible to meet even though Foster agreed to negotiate. The Corrs then took it upon themselves to be signed.
The group arrived at Atlantic Records in Manhattan in mid-July totally un-announced. They waited in the waiting room for their chance to see Foster, and they were lucky enough to catch him right at the fulfilment of his commitments to Jackson. The Corrs were invited into the studio to play and played live for Foster who was enthralled. After hearing what was no doubt a breath-taking presentation, Foster reportedly said, "Out of ten, I give you a ten . . . no, a ten plus."
Their second album, "Talk On Corners," was released in October 1997. In 1998, the album became their first number one hit album in the UK, and went on to become one of 1998's biggest success stories, earning multi-platinum status across Europe and around the world. In fact, "Talk On Corners" has now sold Five million copies worldwide (2.7 million in the UK). It's now 16 times platinum in Ireland!!
Having created a worldwide sensation with their albums "Forgiven, Not Forgotten," "Talk On Corners," and "Talk On Corners European Special Edition" (which was first released in the UK in November 1998, featuring five songs recast by some of Europe's hottest remix artists, including K-Klass ("So Young"), Tin Tin Out ("What Can I Do" and "Runaway"), Todd Terry ("Dreams"), and Oliver Leiber and Rob Chiarelli (the unnamed remix of "I Never Loved You Anyway" which was originally made for the US market)), the Corrs await the hit that will bring them the breakthrough in the US. To that end, they have issued a retooled version of their latest album, titled "Talk On Corners American Special Edition," on February 16th 1999. The American Special Edition is the same as the European Special Edition minus 3 tracks, but still featuring stunning new mixes of five songs by some of Europe's hottest mixmasters.
In November, 1999, the Corrs released their live album in the form of "Unplugged," which was taken from their appearance on MTV's acoustic concert programme of the same name. On the other hand, the Corrs had written and recorded songs for their third studio album. The Corrs' new album, titled "In Blue," was finally released in Japan on 12 July and in the UK on 17 July, 2000. The Corrs shot straight to the top of the United Kingdom singles chart with "Breathless", the first single off the new album "In Blue", as of 9 July 2000. This is the first time the Corrs got a number one in the UK singles chart. Besides, the album "In Blue" has already hit #1 in 10 countries: Ireland, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore. The album is also the #1 best-seller in all of Europe and at retail outlets in Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines. In the process, "In Blue" has earned an impressive array of international certifications: Quintuple platinum in Ireland; platinum in the UK, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore; and gold in France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, and Taiwan. In July 2000, the album also won an International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Platinum Europe Award for 1 million sales across Europe in just 11 days -- just a month after "Unplugged" received the award for 2 million sales in Europe. Worldwide sales of the Corrs' catalog, excluding their latest album "In Blue," were estimated by Atlantic at 14 million. But the Corrs still await the hit that will bring them the breakthrough in the US. To that end, they released "In Blue" (US Version) in the US on September 12 2000. In November 2000, "In Blue Special Edition" containing an additional CD with 8 tracks was released in Europe, Australia and Japan. In 2001, the Corrs have been nominated in two categories at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal - "Breathless" and Best Pop Instrumental Performance - "Rebel Heart". In Octover 2001, the Corrs released "Best Of The Corrs" worldwide. The album won an International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Platinum Europe Award for more than 1 million sales across Europe in just one week. It also went Gold in 12 countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland, Thailand, Spain; Platinum in UK, Australia, New Zealand; and double Platinum in Ireland and Indonesia. But the Corrs still await the hit that will bring them the breakthrough in the US. To that end, the Corrs taped a VH1 special at Ardmore Studios outside of Dublin on January 25th, 2002. This recording featured special guests such as Bono from U2 and Ronnie Wood from Rolling Stones. On March 12th, 2002, it was released in the US on CD, titled "VH1 Presents The Corrs Live In Dublin."
After that, they had a long break and spent some 18 months recording and writing "Borrowed Heaven" in Dublin and Los Angels with producer Olle Romo at their leisure. The Corrs' new album, "Borrowed Heaven," was finally released worldwide around 31 May, 2004. It debuted at #1 in Ireland and #2 in the UK, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong. One year after their last studio album, "Borrowed Heaven," the Corrs released their latest album "Home" in the UK on 26 September and in Japan on 28 September, 2005. As the title suggests, it is an Irish-themed album (compiled through a songbook of the late Jean Corr) that is a mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish music. In November 2006, the Corrs released their second compilation album, titled "Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection."
In any case, the Corrs have worked out sublime harmonies that reinvent the anthem as a lilting folk tune, fresh as an Irish summer's morn. So let's check it out!!
"The Irish have a lot of hope, despite all of the troubles they have gone through over the years. They've always know how to laugh and have fun. That's where the tradition of up-tempo Irish music and dancing comes from. But there's that mystical haunting sound as well, which I think reflects the Irish environment. . . when you get up first thing in the morning, there is literally a mist surrouding everything. Our music is influenced by our environment, and we play what we feel." - Sharon Corr -
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