Even though he put out a Christmas album last year, don’t expect Richard Marx to perform any Yuletide carols at his Nov. 1 show in Naperville.
“It’s way too early,” the Grammy Award-winning singer said flatly. “It’s not that Christmas music isn’t always beautiful and festive and all that, and it’s not that I’m not really proud of my Christmas record, but that would just be a d--k move. Let’s call it what it is.”
OK, so no Christmas ditties. But rest assured concert-goers will be treated to all of his hit songs when Marx performs at 8 p.m. Friday at North Central College.
Marx, a Chicago native who still has a residence here, has released four multi-platinum albums and 13 Billboard No. 1 singles, including “Hold On To The Nights,” “Right Here Waiting” and “Satisfied.”
“I’m going to come and I’m going to sing the songs I’ve been singing for 25 years,” he said.
From 1987 to 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the top five on the Billboard singles chart. Most recently, he’s added producer and songwriter to his list of credentials, working with artists Kenny Rogers, Josh Groban, LeAnn Rimes and Keith Urban.
Prior to 2012’s “Christmas Spirit,” his latest record was 2009’s “Emotional Remains,” and featured contributions from such artists as Matt Scannel of Vertical Horizons, country singer Jennifer Hanson and Kenny Loggins. Marx continues to tour and perform live.
He’s working on a new album which he hopes will be out next year, but he’s been quite wrapped up juggling other projects.
“As usual, my other job, which is producing and writing for other people, has kept me really busy,” he said. “I wrote a song on the new Jennifer Nettles solo record, and I wrote a couple songs for Vince Gill for his new record that he’s making.”
He’s also working with an up-and-coming singer in Nashville.
“It’s been hard to find time to work on my own record. It’s about 80 percent finished,” he said. “I’m really excited about it, because it’s a real straight-ahead, fun, pop record, unlike what I’ve made in a long time.”
He plans to slowly roll out songs from his new album through his web site and social media until its release next spring.
A father of three sons, Marx’s youngest son Jesse is becoming a rock star in his own right. He recently joined the metal band For All I Am.
“He loves heavy metal. When I say metal, I mean bands that make Metallica and Lamb of God sound like me. I mean, real hardcore bands,” he said. “It happened that his favorite band is based locally — like in Buffalo Grove — and he would go see them and talk about how much he loved them. It’s really exciting. I know what that feeling is like to be just beginning your career. The band is not my cup of tea musically, but I totally respect the band. They’re great players.”