The music of Mark Almond is delightful for some, while others hate it. The Cavalier of the Order of the British Empire does not seek universal recognition and remains himself. Almond has published several autobiographical books, participated in various projects, including Marc And The Mambas. The musician recorded solo and pop duets.
The full name of the artist is Peter Mark Sinclair Almond. The British musician was born in Lancashire (Southport, part of Marsyside) on July 9, 1957.
The beginning of the way
The grandson and his younger sister were raised by their grandfather in childhood. The child often suffered from bronchitis, he developed asthma. Peter John Sinclair, father, was a second lieutenant in the Liverpool Royal Regiment.
The boy loved his parents' records. He was especially fond of Chris Montes's Let’s Dance and Twist at Chubby Checker. Almond managed to attend the Cockney Rebel and Lou Reed concerts.
David Bowie made an unforgettable impression on the future celebrity. The boy managed to get onto the stage through the fences and touch the idol.
When Mark was in school, his father drank himself to death. The son found salvation in music. The teenager got a job to buy records of his favorite artists. Mark was transferred to Southport Technical College for excellence in his native language and arts.
At one of the trendy discos in 1977, the young man met Dave Ball. Friends began to organize a kind of poetry parties, where Almond recited his poems to the electronic experimental music of Ball.
In 1979, taking the name Soft Cell, the duo made their first recording together on an old tape recorder. The musicians had a chance to perform in the hall of the Polytechnic Institute in Leeds, where Mark continued his education.
Road to fame
The new group showcased a mix of electronic beat and drama. The hits of the musicians conquered the charts of the country. Their composition "Tainted Love" took off in the UK to number one.
There was a lot of noise after the concert. But even after the recognition of "Tainted Love" as a national hit, Mark continued to huddle in the only room that served as both a bedroom and a living room.
Together with Dave, Almond received only a thousand pounds in royalties from the company "Phonogram". The contract was literally knocked out of the musicians by their young manager Stevo. Recognition of the Electro-pop duo Soft Cell significantly influenced the style of Erasure, Pet Shop Boys and Bronski Beat.
In 1984, the first solo album was released. The time passed neo-romanticism with Byronic outfits, heroics and electronics. Dave Mark did not want to rest on their laurels. The guys turned out to be with temper. They moved to New York.
A series of scandalous adventures began, quarrels with the VIPs of the music industry, the appearance of more and more gloomy records, which ensured the musicians' reputation as "difficult artists".
In parallel with Soft Cell, Almond created the non-profit Mark and the Mambas. It reflected the musician's desire for serious aggressive music. Soft Cell, meanwhile, has released its fourth album, This Last night … in Sodom.
The name "Night in … Sodom" fully reflected the essence of the music. She became very unpleasant and harsh. "Phonogram" was in shock, the popularity of the duo was dramatically declining. As a result, the company broke the contract with the musicians. Dave and Mark, who were in a very difficult relationship, went their separate ways.
Almond's solo songs constantly appeared in the charts, but the singer's relations with the record companies did not work out. The big firms didn’t understand why the eccentric records didn’t sell as well as EMR Virgin wanted.
Mark's creativity was more loved not at home, but on the continent. The English audience had a hard time tolerating the musician. Broadcasts of songs "with pepper" were even banned on the BBC.
The book of poems "The Angel of Death", which was received with enthusiasm by the critics, was not published for a long time due to its frankness. The Gay Men's Press took matters into their own hands. Everything went to that.
Mark was acutely aware of the transience of life. The convinced hedonist was constantly interested in the dark side of her. In his songs there are many themes of death, suicide, magic and passion. Almond created his own unique style of exotic post-punk cabaret.
The influence of chanson and flamenco is noticeable in them, the musician successfully keeps on the brink of high art and kitsch. The fortune-teller gypsy predicted an early death to the complete romantic. This, along with self-irony, is reflected in the stories he tells.
In 1985, with the Bronski Bit group, the musician decided on a provocation. Together with Jimmy Somerville, known as an openly gay, he sang a duet on Donna Summer's song "I Love". At this time, the singer made statements against homosexuals because of the problem of AIDS.
In the national charts of Britain, the single climbed to fifth place. The song of the sixties star Jen Pitney in a duet with Almond brought the musician first place in the charts. Old ladies, moved by his performance, appeared at Mark's concerts.
Together with Niko, in the last years of her life, Almond recorded "Your Kisses Burn". However, according to the star's keyboardist James Young, Niko was not very enthusiastic about the collaboration.
Living in the present
A longtime fan of Jacques Brel's work, Marc released an album. He was a resounding success in France. The musician's widow recognized Almond's work as the best interpretation of the works of her late husband.
In 1991, Mark's darkest song was performed. She found a place on the disc of the radical group "Coyle". Two years later, Stevo's firm released "Absinthe", a collection of songs by French chansonniers.
In 2000 Mark moved to Moscow to record the Russian three-year project "Heart in the Snow". Almond has performed more than once with Lyudmila Zykina, Russian folk ensembles.
In 2004, Mark had an accident. He did not release a single album for four years after her. In 2007, the song "Me (Beauty Will Redeem the World)" became the first song after a long hiatus.
In the same year, a mini-tour took place after the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary. On July 29, the first live performance took place in the singer's hometown. He sang "Tainted Love" and "Say Hello Wave Goodbye".
Talent in everything Almond is a talented writer. Critics say he has produced his best autobiographies, Search of The Pleasure Palace and Tainted Love.
The musician has a special place in show business. He is practically the only one who skillfully moves from one musical style to another.
For some, Almond is a pop singer and an idol of sentimental housewives. Others know him as a sophisticated Brel songwriter. The third famous performer is known as a gentle poet and cynic.
But there is another Mark, the demonic singer of the underground, associated with the darkest extremist representatives of music. Almond does not hide that he is gay. He actively fights for the rights of sexual minorities.
Almond's cramped apartment is filled with kitsch items. He believes in astrology and regularly replenishes his collections with magical items for him. And the loneliness of a celebrity is shared only by a two-meter python named Hose.