MeluaMary Pickford [single]
with a fabulous
voice and fabulous looks,
Katie Melua was the best-
selling female artiste in
the UK in 2004 and 2005.
In 2006 she became the
female artiste in the world.
Impressive for a singer
on an independent label
and one who goes about
her business quietly
WITH THE SALES OF HER FIRST TWO ALBUMS Call Off The Search
and Piece By Piece exceeding 7.5 million, Katie's third
album Pictures (released 1 October 2007) was awaited with genuine anticipation.
According to German Chart compilers Media Control, Katie is the first artiste
for 30 years to stay within the top 100 with two different albums for more than
100 weeks. The biggest selling international album in Germany for 2006, Piece
By Piece was the second biggest overall. It was also the biggest selling
album in Holland and Norway
in 2005 and has been high (reaching number 2) on the Billboard Top 100 European
Chart for over 70 weeks.
Furthermore, she was given four Platinum Awards in the UK and Ire-land; three
in Norway, Denmark, Holland, Germany and Poland; two
in Switzerland and one in France, Iceland, South Africa and Belgium. Canada,
New Zealand and Sweden awarded her Gold.
her extraordinary achieve-ments it is difficult to imagine how Katie Melua could
beat that, but Pictures is an album that will enchant her legion of fans
and confirm her status as a unique and remarkable vocalist her voice
'expands' as she reaches for higher notes and she then schmoozes her way into
Such success could turn the head of the most modest of artistes, but is the
pressure on to keep turning out suitable material? Katie explains: "The one
thing that I've learnt from making three albums is that you don't know what
is going to happen when you start recording. The fact that I am a bit older,
have different interests, have more experiences, and that I have grown and developed
as an artist means that this album would be different in some way from the first
two. I would not want to just try and emulate the success of the previous albums
but I also don't feel the need to change for change's sake or to please anyone
other than myself."
As well as inspiring the title, Mary Pickford is a delightful poem set
to music. A tribute to the early days of the silver screen, the song per-fectly
sets the tone for Pictures and it suits Katie Melua's clear
and expressive voice. The notes resonate as she sings and there is
a catchy melody. It sounds retro perhaps with a hint of folk and Burlesque.
It's All in My Head is hopelessly romantic and If The Lights Go Out
is optimism of love in the face of global devastation. The bittersweet tale
of love and loathing in What I Miss About You is expressed in softer,
Best known and loved for singing open-hearted ballads, Katie didn't disappoint
with the first single If You Were A Sailboat, set to follow previous
lead singles The Closest Thing To Crazy and Nine Million Bicycles
onto the airwaves. On Perfect Circle, Katie teams up with co-writer Molly
McQueen for another classic Katie Melua song that could easily have been released
as a single.
Continuing the silver screen theme with Scary Films and the Spaghetti
Western feel of Dirty Dice which Katie wrote with Andrea McEwan
the album then closes with Katie's version of Leonard Cohen's In My
Secret Life. One of my favourite tracks by the great poet/crooner
who has been part of my life (sadly only in my music collection cabi-net!) since
the early Seventies. It is full credit to Katie Melua that she sings it so well.
Pictures is terrific and a must-have not only for Katie's loyal band
of followers but also for the musically curious. Once heard; never for-gotten.
And Katie is justifiably proud of Pictures. She says: "It defin-itely
feels like the third part of the trilogy that Mike and I have collaborated on
as a creative team. It stays true to what we have always tried to focus on
the lyrics and melody, with emotional songs that hark back to the roots of songwriting."
Katie Melua's album Pictures was
released on 1 October (2007).
Her second single from the album, Mary Pickford, will be released on
26 November (2007) on Dramatico Entertainment Limited.
As a child (and before she changed her name from the less glamorous Gladys Smith),
Mary Pickford ate rose petals as she wished to absorb their beauty. She was
discovered by the director D W Griffith, and moved (with her soon to be infamous
beauty) from Broadway to Holly-wood.
By 1917 Pickford and Charlie Chaplin were the two highest paid movie stars in
Hollywood. The moustachioed and swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, meanwhile,
had become romantically linked to Pickford and the three travelled across the
US by train, selling war bonds. Setting up his own production company, Fairbanks
soon became the third highest paid movie star.
In 1919 Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and the director D
W Griffith formed the independent film company United Artists. Pioneering, and
also seen as a threat to the power hungry major movie companies, United Artists
returned the artistic control and the profits to the actors.
Speaking of the independent nature of United Artists, Katie remarks:
"I like the similarity between United Artists as an independent film com-pany,
and my record label Dramatico Entertainment. Working with a small company we
have stood up to the big guys, proving that an artist on an independent label
can be successful around the world and, in some way, opening the door for other
artists and independent labels to do the same."