Marilyn Martin is a singer and songwriter born in 1954. She is known for her songs “Night Moves,” “Move Closer,” and “Separate lives.” Her music career was heavily influenced by her parents, who were R&B, Country, and Bluegrass fans, while her grandmother was a gospel singer. Her music career has risen from trying out with different bands to recording a duet with Phil Collins. This post briefly describes her music career path and lists her top 10 songs. Continue reading to learn more.
Joining a Band
Marilyn Martin began her music career when she was 18 years old. She tried joining and working with different music bands until she settled on one in Ohio. She had five years performing in clubs until she got a chance to go on tour with Joe Walsh and Stevie Nicks. She hs also worked with Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald, and Kenny Loggins.
Martin moved to Los Angeles to start her career as a background vocalist. She was credited for her vocals on Stevie Nicks’ album “Rock A Little,” also lending her vocals for Kenny Loggins’s “Footloose” in 1984. While working with Stevie Nicks, Martin met with Atlantic Record Executive Doug Morris, who saw her potential. After sampling her demo, he signed martin to a two-year album deal. Her deal also saw Martin link up with Phil Collins and record a duet called “Separate Lives” in 1985.
Martin released her self-titled album in 1986. It peaked at number 72 on the Billboard 200 with notable songs such as “Night Moves”,” Move Closer,” and “Body and the Beat.” She followed with her second album, This is Serious, in 1988 with songs such as “Possessive Love” and “Quiet Desperation.” This album didn’t achieve much success, which saw Atlantic Record drop her.
Back to Background Vocalist, Solo Career, and Reunion
Following her unsuccessful releases, Marilyn Martin resumed being a background vocalist. In 1993, she tried recording another album with Atlantic Records, but they didn’t release it. She then did a duet with David Hasselhoff in 1997 titled “You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin.” which was part of his album Hooked on a Feeling.
Marilyn Martin released her first Christian album on September 2012 entitled Trust, love, Pray, featuring songs like “Every Way and Always.” “More than a Dream,” and “Stop and Listen.”
In 2016, she reunited together with Stevie Nicks for the “24 Karat Gold” tour and continued working as a background vocalist with the band Fleetwood Mac. She also released a single titled “All Hail Emmanuel” in 2020.
Top 10 Marilyn Martin Songs
We have always been big fans of Marilyn Martin’s powerful and passionate vocal performances. Here’s a list of top 10 Marilyn Martin songs you should know about:
#10 – Pretender
Written by Bob Mitchel and James Kaleth, “Pretender” was the last track off her This is Serious album. The mid-tempo track was released in 1988 and had the distinctive 80s pop feel. The song is about a jilted lover claiming how he treated her badly, wishing he never lived.
#9 – One Step Closer
“One Step Closer” is the sixth track from Martin Marylin’s first album. Gary Stevenson produced the track while he was at Atlantic records. Gavin Christopher also recorded a version of this song. “One Step Closer,” is defined by a good time feeling groove, It’s one of those songs that are just perfect for rolling the windows down on a hot summer day and turning it up loud.
# 8 – Love Takes No Prisoners
“Love Takes No Prisoners” is a song by Martin, released in 1988. The song is known for its contradictory hook, “Love takes no prisoners…gonna lock you up and throw away the key”. Bruce Woodley and Jimmy Scott wrote the rock track. One can easily hear the sounds of the Yamaha DX7 keyboard dominating the song’s arrangement. Of course, all of that is still overshadowed by Marilyn Martin’s captivating vocal.
#7 – Through His Eyes
The 1994 song “Through His Eyes” was martin’s second track from her third album by the same title. She recorded the country song and album in 1994 following a suggestion by Doug Morris after the failure of her second album. However, the album was never released, and the song “Through His Eyes” was aired as a release track. It was written by Jess Brown and Jeff Penning.
#6 – This is Serious
Written by Jimmy O’Neill “This is Serious” is the second track from Martin’s second album. It was produced in 1988 and produced by Jon Astley. This song failed to achieve commercial success despite Marylin Martin’s breathtaking vocal performance. Of course when we are talking about any songs on this album we need to mention that pretty much all the music on the record is performed and produced by the great Jon Astley.
#5- More Than a Dream
“More Than a Dream” is a song off Martin’s fourth album, Trust, Love and Pray. She released the album independently in 2012, years after she left Atlantic Records. The song and the album defined Martin’s new path into the contemporary Christian genre. It also signified her return to singing and writing music since the 90s. This song was produced by Greg Droman.
#4- Possessive love
This is the lead single from Marilyn Martin’s second album, “This is Serious.” It was released in 1988 through Atlantic Records and was written by Madonna, Jai Winding, and Patrick Leonard. The song showed her love for R&B but kept the 80s feel. The song was well received; however, it did not receive commercial success as songs from her first album.
#3- Move Closer
The 1985 track “Move Closer” was Martin’s eighth track off her “Marilyn Martin” album. It’s a cover of the song originally composed and recorded by Phyllis Nelson. While it never matched the original version’s success, Martin’s version peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
#2- Night Moves
Martin’s single “Night Moves” was the first track off her self-titled debut album. It was released in 1986 and was written by Martin, John Parr, and Jon Asley. It was written while Parr took a break from working on another track. Asley later came and co-produced the song, giving it its distinctive 80s feel. The track is Martin’s second most successful track behind “Separate Lives,” peaking at number 28 on the U.S Billboard Hot 100.
#1- Separate Lives
Martin’s 1985 duet “Separate Lives” with Phil Collins was the most successful track in her career. It was written by songwriter Stephen Bishop. The song received an Oscar nomination. Collins also recorded other versions of the song while on tour. Separate lives gained huge success and even topped the U.S Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary tracks. it also became recognized worldwide which anchored Marilyn Martin’s fame. The song was featured in the 1995 movie “White Nights.”
Top 10 Marilyn Martin Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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