ghostdance3d鍔ㄧ敾

在世界流行樂壇中,北歐常常能為我們帶來一些驚喜。而來自丹麥的Michael Learns To Rock(MLTR)就是其中之一,他們在九十年代風靡世界,帶來撫動我們心弦的音樂——斯堪的納維亞清新氣息和經典流行音樂的完美結合。沒有漂亮迷人的外表,沒有鋪天蓋地的宣傳,沒有引人遐想的緋聞;這些制造巨星的前提條件或副產品,MLTR都沒有,有的只是百聽不厭的原創作品。MLTR的故事可以說是世界搖滾音樂的一個經典:四個酷愛搖滾的年輕人走到一起,成立樂隊,和全球各地的樂迷分享他們的作品。

故事在1987年從他們的故鄉Arhus開始。樂隊的核心——JASCHA RICHTER(主音兼鍵盤手)和鼓手KARE WANSCHER、吉他手MIKKEL LENTZ組成了一個小組合,這就是MLTR的雛形。三人和搖滾樂的緣分從孩提時經已開始,所以他們決定以JASCHA創作的歌曲為基礎,組建一支樂隊,但原先的三人組合還不完全。1988年的春天,KARE的好友、吉他手SOREN MADSEN的加入使得MLTR正式成為現實,其音樂旅程由此開始。緊接著在88年5月,剛成立的這支樂隊在Arhus舉行的"Dansk Rock Grand Prix"上完成了他們的處子演出,并在夏季參加了當地知名的音樂比賽,令人信服地取得冠軍。正是在這次比賽中,作為評委之一的JP Andersen發現了這四個年輕人身上特有的天賦,很快他就成為了MLTR的經理人,直到現在。

接下來的兩年中,在他們的經理人的安排下,MLTR進行了大量的巡回演出,其范圍覆蓋了整個丹麥;在各種各樣的俱樂部、音樂會中,他們吸取豐富的演出經驗,也發展出一段緊密維系樂隊的友誼。在此過程中,他們不斷地以更新、更好的歌曲充實他們的表演曲目,為即將推出的專輯作好準備,同時他們在演奏、和音方面的默契也漸入佳境。在丹麥制作人Jens Hofman以及Oli Poulsen的協助下,MLTR在錄音室中花費了幾個月的時間,潛心制作他們的首張同名專輯《MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK》,并于1991年9月1日正式發行。1992年1月,該專輯成為丹麥的銷量冠軍,停留時間達5周之久。其中的單曲THE ACTOR在1992年1月成為丹麥電臺流行榜的冠軍,其后這首作品迅速登上挪威、瑞典、新加坡、馬來西亞等國的流行榜首,并進入加拿大、德國等許多國家,使得MLTR以閃電般的速度成為一個家喻戶曉的名字。

在這片MLTR的熱潮中,他們再次在丹麥開始巡回演出,并訪問了一些東南亞國家,進一步鞏固在樂壇所取得的成績。這段期間,JASCHA RICHTER也沒有放松,著手為第二張專輯編寫新曲。這張名為《COLOURS》的專輯于1993年10月發行,其范圍覆蓋了歐洲大部分地區及遠東,再次獲得巨大成功。單曲SLEEPING CHILD成為MLTR又一首席卷全球的作品。包括25 MINUTES和OUT OF THE BLUE在內的其他單曲都在各地流行榜占據極高位置,而專輯的全球銷量超過了1百萬張。在隨后的18個月里,樂隊的足跡遍布這個世界,所到之處無不受到樂迷的狂熱歡迎。1994年是樂隊成績輝煌的一年。作為一個完美的總結,MLTR在年末獲頒德國的權威音樂獎項RSH大獎,并在新加坡舉行的東南亞格林美(SEA Grammy Award)頒獎禮上被評為“The Best Performing Act Of The Year”。

MLTR的第三張專輯《PLAYED ON PEPPER》在1995年發行,其范圍進一步擴展到歐洲、南美、南非、中東,及東南亞的11個國家。當年10月樂隊在東南亞10國舉行25場巡回演唱會,受到皇室般的禮遇,并推出THATS WHY(YOU GO AWAY)和SOMEDAY等極受好評的單曲,其中THATS WHY(YOU GO AWAY)以前所未有的速度登上榜首。該專輯的全球銷量亦超過了120萬張。

樂隊廣受歡迎的一個難以避免的負面影響就是大量盜版的出現,而在東南亞國家尤為猖獗。為了對付這個問題,MLTR特意在1996年向東南亞地區推出一張含金量極高的專輯——《PAINT MY LOVE》。這實際上是MLTR出道以來所得成績的一次小結,其中包含前面所有專輯中最熱門的單曲,并加入了同名單曲PAINT MY LOVE。盡管這首歌的MTV在許多國家都受到影視檢查處的嚴格審查,它再次證明了樂隊無與倫比的才華。最終專輯的銷量達到了340萬。1997年7月,作為主要表演嘉賓之一,MLTR參加了香港回歸中國的慶祝音樂會。

在向樂迷推廣《PAINT MY LOVE》的同時,MLTR第四張專輯的灌錄工作也在密鑼緊鼓地進行著。1997年9月,上一張專輯的熱潮仍舊持續,《NOTHING TO LOSE》就已正式發行。包括NOTHING TO LOSE、SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW、MAGIC在內的多首單曲相繼登上各國流行榜的冠軍位置。這已是MLTR連續第三畔The history of Michael Learns To Rock
With global record sales of more than 9 million units since the debut in 1991, the history of MLTR contains not only the story of one of the biggest international successes ever to come out of Denmark, its also the tale of how exceptions often confirm the rule. As opposed to so many other international names, the road to MLTRs success has never been paved with scandals, porces, drugs, or even extreme images of life on the edge ?Its strictly about music. Its about the formidable talent for writing fine pop songs, about the indisputable qualities contained in the songs, and above all the ability to cut through all the noise with material that has earned the group a faithful following and dazzling record sales.

MLTRs music has been described as a Scandinavian glow that meets the international pop song, something which has been refined through the years by artists such as The Beatles, The Eagles, Elton John and Billy Joel. Its precisely the perfect balance of the two elements described above that has been instrumental in forming the compelling sound of the band and won MLTR millions of fans around the globe

The whole saga begins quite modestly back in 1987 at a high school in Aarhus, Denmark. The singer and keyboard player Jascha Richter (b. 1963) forms a band with drummer K錼e Wanscher (b. 1969) and guitarist Mikkel Lentz (b. 1968) ?a little caf?band. All three are huge music fans who were virtually fed the history of pop and rock with their mothers milk. They decide to create a more serious band after Jascha plays them a few songs he has written. In the spring of 1988 S鴕en Madsen (b. 1967), whos otherwise a guitarist, agrees to sit in on bass during a rehearsal one evening. Michael Learns To Rock becomes a reality. The group debuts in Aarhus in May 1988 and later in the summer enters the citys annual talent contest. MLTR scores a resounding victory, and at the same time lands a manager, J.P. Andersen, who is a member of the jury. Andersen immediately falls for the talent radiating out of this sparkling young quartet.

The following two years bring an intensive period of concert touring. The group plays everywhere in Denmark, adds new and better songs to the repertoire, gets tighter and tighter as a band, fine tunes the precise harmonies that give the band its signature sound ?and along the way, lands a solid record contract. With the Danish producers Jens Hofman and Oli Poulsen working the dials, MLTR spends several months in the studio preparing for the September 1991 debut of the album MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK . Among other tracks, the set contains the hit ballad THE ACTOR a song that in January 1992 secures MLTR the pole position on the Danish album-sales chart. The song travels much faster than the band, and without MLTR even being there, it tops the charts in Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. The period marks hectic times for MLTR. In 1992 they frantically tour Denmark ?where they are the hottest thing going ?and a number of countries in the Far East where their presence is a follow-up force to smashing successes the debut album has already achieved. Along the way Jascha Richter writes songs for a second album that gets a rush release in October 1993 under the title COLOURS .

Once again, its the knack for creating the classic ballad that generates success. SLEEPING CHILD is the title of the song that sparks MLTR-mania. In the course of the next 18 months, the frenzy launches the band on a journey to many parts of the world and generates album sales far beyond the one-million mark. COLOURS is released in most of Europe and throughout the Far East, while SLEEPING CHILD and the singles that follow, 25 MINUTES and OUT OF THE BLUE land MLTR top slots on countless hitlists and earns the lads innumerable gold and platinum records. Fans in Thailand go berserk when the band arrives in Bangkok in November to perform for 12,000 followers at the Phoebus Concert Hall. And as the jubilant finale to a golden year, MLTR is given the prestigious RSH Award in Germany and at the SEA Grammy Awards in Singapore the band is named 揟he Best Performing Act of the Year.?

The year 1995 sees the release of MLTRs third album, PLAYED ON PEPPER . The number of international territories MLTR has conquered grows, putting the band is on top-priority lists in faraway places such as Brazil, South Africa, The United Emirates Republic, and no fewer than 11 countries in the Far East. It goes without saying that Scandinavia is on the bandwagon along with other European countries, including Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland where the album is released. In October of the same year MLTR embarks on their biggest tour of the Far East -- with 25 shows in 10 countries ?where new hits like THATS WHY (YOU GO AWAY) and SOMEDAY become pearls on the string of hits that make up the setlist. PLAYED ON PEPPER ends up selling more than 1.2 million units, while in efforts to curb pirate copying of MLTR material, the band releases the best-of album, PAINT MY LOVE . The album is released exclusively in the Far East. The title track ?and the accompanying video which touches the edges of censorship laws in some territories ?reinforces MLTRs enormous popularity and indisputably makes the band the biggest name in countries such as Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. Down by the opposite pole, MLTRs popularity explodes in South Africa. Following a hectic four-day promo tour in July 1997, the band lands at the top of the countrys hitlists . PAINT MY LOVE sells a whopping 3.4 million units worldwide. MLTR is chosen as headliner for the Celebrate Hong Kong Concert on 6 July 1997, the climax to festivities marking the transfer of Hong Kong to China.

While promoting PAINT MY LOVE on the international highways, MLTR squeezes in some time to record a fourth studio album NOTHING TO LOSE . The set is released in September 1997 while MLTR still has a firm foothold atop hitlists in the Far East as well as South Africa. The rocker SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW helps pave the way for yet another success by the band. NOTHING TO LOSE logs sales of more than one million units and when the band heads off in January 1998 for a tour of South Africa to play sell-outs in Johannesburg and Pretoria, the critics write: 揟his is as good (if not better) a band as any current big name group out of America or the UK.?

Nine turbulent years takes its toll on the four musicians who decide to take a break from each other and from the world of pop music. But shortly thereafter, in the autumn of 1998, Jascha Richter has some new songs written. The single STRANGE FOREIGN BEAUTY is chosen as the trump card for a new retrospective album released under the fitting title, GREATEST HITS. The set contains a selection of top hits from the four previous albums, but the tracks have either been remixed, re-recorded or fine tuned in some way or another. Upon the albums 1999 release, MLTR once again lands at the summit of the Danish hitlist and opens the ears of music fans in new, untapped areas such as Portugal. Another million seller is added to the bands discography, and the success was achieved without any promotional work done in MLTRs main markets in the Far East.

When MLTR begins initial work for studio album number five in the spring of 2000, S鴕en Madsen decides to leave the group to try his hand at a solo carrier. Richter, Lentz and Wanscher opt to continue as a trio and that summer they head for the studio. As it has been for previous albums, the band decides once again not to hire a costly international star producer, but allies itself with the incredibly talented Danish musician, arranger and producer Boe Larsen. Uniting with the band, he and MLTR find a new musical direction and set some new challenges for themselves. The outcome is BLUE NIGHT ?MLTR in the year 2000. A dozen new, sharply-profiled quality pop songs. The new tracks are a fine extension of what is already an impressive repertoire that may be postmarked in Denmark, but surely demonstrate how the most remote corner of the world is no more than a good song away.

BLUE NIGHT becomes another huge success for MLTR ?sales come close to the platinum level at home and score successfully on Asian hitlists as well as the groups new found market in Sweden. In 2001 the band sets out on a five-week-long tour with stops in Dubai, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and China. Just before the tour kicks off, the compilation 19 LOVE SONGS ?including the not previously released track GHOST OF YOU -- is released in Southeast Asia. (Danish release 2002). Before setting off on the tour the boys agree they will take a long break upon completion of the tour. The break allows Richter, Lentz and Wanscher a chance to pursue inpidual projects, one of which leads to Richters solo album PLANET BLUE.

At the start of 2003, the band members gathered once again and began to plan their sixth album. It was released in February 2004 and titled: "Michael Learns To Rock".

Since this release the band has been concentrating on playing concerts around the world.

http://www.mltr.dk

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