Richard Marx is Richard Marx's debut studio album which was released on June 15, 1987 by Manhattan Records and EMI Records.
In the early 1980s, Richard Marx had started his music career in Los Angeles as a background singer and songwriter for other artists. Marx was determined to become a solo artist, stating that "I didn't want to give my best songs away. Should've Known Better, for instance, was written three years ago, and whenever I'd play it for an artist I'd get a real good response. It was the song I could've placed the easiest, but I knew that I should be the one to do it. When the deal with Manhattan Records came through early in '86, I put everything else on hold - I saw this album as a challenge to show what I could really do."
His relationship with the label was positive, with Marx stating that "Manhattan Records was behind my writing and my voice... that's all they needed. I wasn't told to go into the studio and write hits; I was told to make an album I believed in. Through trial and error, I came up with a record that feels right and that's me."
The album was co-produced by David Cole (whom Marx enjoyed working with Cole had previously produced singer-songwriter Bob Seger's album, "Like a Rock") which Marx stated that it "...sounded great. David and I worked closely together on the production to insure that the record had that kind of sound."
Another advantage for Marx was the roster of musicians who played on the album. Marx's manager convinced Eagles' guitarist Joe Walsh to play on the track "Don't Mean Nothing." Two other members of the Eagles, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit also sang background vocals on that track.
Marx wrote the lyrics for all of the songs on his debut, with the exception of "Lonely Heart" and "Remember Manhattan" which were written by Fee Waybill from The Tubes. Marx co-wrote the music for the album with Bruce Gaitsch, Jim Lang, and Michael Omartian.
In the liner notes, he dedicated the album to his parents, Ruth and the late Dick Marx.
- Should've Known Better 4:10
- Don't Mean Nothing 4:41
- Endless Summer Nights 4:30
- Lonely Heart 3:53
- Hold On To The Nights 5:12
- Have Mercy 4:33
- Remember Manhattan 4:18
- The Flame Of Love 3:37
- Rhythm Of Life 4:44
- Heaven Only Knows 5:40
"Richard Marx" peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 and #68 on the UK Albums chart. It was also certified triple platinum.
The album received praise from music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, who stated that "Richard Marx's self-titled debut album was a finely crafted record of mainstream pop/rock. ... Filled with carefully constructed radio-ready tracks, it was no surprise that the album became a huge hit."