by Michael Ball



Best-known for his starring roles in Andrew Lloyd Webber productions The Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, and The Woman in White, and more recently his Olivier Award-winning turn as Hairspray's Edna Turnblad, Michael Ball has recently started to move away from the musical theater-based material that defined his early recording career. Following the contemporary MOR of 2006's One Voice and the lounge-pop of Back to Bacharach, his fourteenth studio album, Heroes, is a collection of romantic classics originally performed by some of the musical icons he grew up listening to. The array of song choices may have changed, but his signature sound remains the same, as its 15 tracks stick to the same easy listening orchestral arrangements of their predecessors, with the tempo never straying beyond walking pace, besides an enjoyable duet with '70s crooner Tony Christie on his The Protectors' theme tune, "Avenues and Alleyways." A rare spark of invention occurs on his rendition of Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind," which cleverly opens with a few bars from George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," but elsewhere, Heroes is very much faithful to the originals, and includes covers of songs from the '50s (Nat King Cole's "When I Fall in Love," Johnny Mathis' "Misty"), the '60s (Tom Jones' "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," Long John Baldry's "Let the Heartaches Begin"), and and the '70s (Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England," Neil Diamond's "Play Me"). Of course, when performing tracks by such legendary icons as Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles, Ball is always going to come off as second best, but although he occasionally descends into tribute act territory, particularly on the likes of Elvis Presley's "I Can't Help Falling in Love," for the most part he manages to inject enough of his own personality into the material to avoid it being a pure karaoke affair. Heroes' old-fashioned nature means it's unlikely to transcend his loyal, predominantly older, female fan base, but it's perfectly timed for Mother's Day, and will undeniably preserve his status as the natural successor to Michael Crawford.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/22/2011
Label: Universal Uk
UPC: 0602527629797
catalogNumber: 2762979

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Ball   Primary Artist
Simon Gardner   Trumpet
Neil Sidewell   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Neal Wilkinson   Drums
Tony Christie   Vocals,Background Vocals
Mary Pearce   Vocals
Neil Angilley   Piano
Billie Godfrey   Vocals
Julian Poole   Percussion
Bryan Chambers   Vocals
Louise Claire Marshall   Vocals
Martin Williams   Tenor Saxophone
Phil Laughlin   Bass Guitar
Callum McLeod   Conductor,Musical Direction
Martin Williams   Tenor Saxophone
Neil Sidwell   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Pete Walton   Guitar
Lewis Osborne   Guitar
Pete Billington   Keyboards
Tony Christle   Vocals

Technical Credits

Eddy Arnold   Composer
Kris Kristofferson   Composer
Neil Diamond   Composer
Billy Joel   Composer
Erroll Garner   Composer
Lonnie Donegan   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Joe Allison   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Peter Callander   Composer
Luigi Creatore   Composer
Tony Hatch   Composer
Edward Heyman   Composer
Hugo Peretti   Composer
John MacLeod   Composer
Henry Mayer   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Robin Sellars   Engineer
Neil Sidewell   Arranger
Nigel Wright   Arranger,Producer
Victor Young   Composer
Ron Miller   Composer
Michael Ball   Liner Notes,Executive Producer
Tony Christie   Duet
Jackie Trent   Composer
Tony Macaulay   Composer
Ron Miller   Composer
Orlando Murden   Composer
Audrey Allison   Composer
Hans Bradtke   Composer
Mitch Murray   Composer
Louise Claire Marshall   Arranger,Vocal Arrangements
John MacLeod   Composer
Callum McLeod   Arranger,Musical Director,Music Direction
Yann McCullough   Vocal Editing
Paul Chandler   Pro-Tools
George Weiss   Composer
Neil Sidwell   Arranger
Gordon Charlton   Orchestral Coordinator
James Currie   Composer
Randy Edelsman   Composer
Phil Bowdery   Executive Producer

Customer Reviews

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Heroes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
littlegiry More than 1 year ago
This is really one of Michael's most beautiful albums, his respect and love for the songs and original artists is evident throughout. Definitely recommended for any fan. "Joanna" is a favorite of mine, but hearing it in Michael's fabulous baritone is a wonderful treat.