knew his audience. The MOR crowd who bought into the show business and cast recordings of the 1980s from productions such as Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love could send a record high in the charts without too much need for promotion, as word of mouth and TV advertising often sold this genre far better than touring or hit singles. Indeed, an EP featuring four songs from the album Always
was released under the lead track's title of "If I Can Dream," but couldn't even reach the Top 50 during Christmas 1992, and while the album was being TV advertised, it spent six weeks inside the Top Ten. When the campaign had finished, it plummeted down the charts, remaining only for a further five weeks in total. As the star of both the previously mentioned Andrew Lloyd Webber
productions in London's West End, Ball
was well placed to capitalize on a recording career concentrating on songs that were theatrical in nature rather than currently in vogue, and so it was on his second album, Always
, the follow-up to his successful number one self-titled album from the previous year. Always
featured 12 songs in total, virtually all of them ballads and mostly familiar from other versions, including the Gershwin
song "Someone to Watch Over Me," Arlen
's "Stormy Weather," and Bacharach/David's "A House Is Not a Home." His version of "If I Can Dream" was a rather strangled Sammy Davis, Jr.
impersonation and his take on more contemporary songs "On Broadway," "Always on My Mind," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and "Cry Me a River," while admirably sung and orchestrated, lacked the emotion associated with the originals. In the early '90s Michael Ball
competed with fellow theatrical singer Michael Crawford
for the biggest-selling albums in this genre and proved that, although never in fashion, they never actually went out of fashion either.