Also Known As
- The Voice
24th November 1966 -
Top » Bands and Artists » W » Watson, Russell
Biography: “Good evening Wembley”And a capacity crowd scream their lungs out. And then Russell Watson wakes up. And he’s on stage and... and... and... well, he has only stood in front of a capacity crowd screaming their lungs out at Wembley. How did that happen?
In four years he has gone, in his own words, “from walking on stage at a working men’s club with five people there, spilt beer and cigarette smoke and joking to them ‘Good Evening Wembley’ to actually saying the same thing to 15,000 people crammed into Wembley Arena”.
It has been some journey.
It started with The Voice. A debut album that went double Platinum in several territories, stayed at number one in the UK classical charts for 52 weeks and announced the arrival of a major new talent. A year later, his second album, Encore, knocked The Voice off the top of the charts and sold over 1.7 million copies.
They are both still in the classical Top 20. And now we have Reprise.
“What are you going to call your tenth album?” I ask him. “Requiem,” he says, before pausing and then cracking a smile. “Or maybe R.I.P. ... I haven’t made my mind up yet.” The decision is not pressing.
In the twelve months since Encore went to the top of the charts Watson has played in front of the 43rd President of the United States, the Queen, Pope John Paul II and over one billion people who tuned into the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester this summer.
He has also played at the Sydney Opera House and both of the big Halls. That is, Carnegie and Albert. It seems like he might have made it. “I’d been told to expect polite applause when I walked onto the stage (at Carnegie Hall), but the roar was like a wall of sound which almost knocked me off my feet... as soon as I feel like the audience are up for it then I’ll respond and for the rest of that night I was on fire.”
His success has walked hand-in-hand with a coming of age in terms of musicianship. There is a new depth to his voice, to the voice. “This album is more classical than either of the others”, he says, “but the way we’ve done it is to take a completely different angle to Pavarotti or Plácido Domingo.”
“On tracks like Granada and the Neapolitan love songs we’ve brought in Nick Dodd to make everything more epic. He is a phenomenal orchestrator and turns any ‘song’ into a ‘big song’. The pop is still on there and a bit more poppy, Cleopatra is back with me doing a duet and, as I have said before, it’s a progression.”
Reprise is the next step. “The Voice was special because it was my first recording” he says. “Encore was a better recording but Reprise is the best thing I have done so far... this album has something for everybody.”
He’s not wrong, you know.
Contributed by: © Decca
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- Fans of Russell Watson - A photo gallery of the UK classical singer Russell Watson
- Russell Watson - The Official Site for English Tenor - Russell Watson (The Voice)
- Russell Watson UK - A dedicated fansite to Russell Watson - 'the voice', where the fans share stories, photos, news and memories.
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