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Irish siblings take Britain, world by storm

Web posted on:
Monday, March 22, 1999 4:39:04 PM EST

From Brooke Alexander
CNN WorldBeat Correspondent

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Not your average family band, the Corrs have done some remarkable things, like open for the Rolling Stones and record with legendary Irish band The Chieftains.

The group with the squeaky clean image formed eight years ago in Dublin, and had a worldwide success with their debut album, "Forgiven, Not Forgotten." But a chart-buster in neighboring Great Britain eluded them -- until this year, with "Talk on Corners."

The Coors: (left to right) Jim, Andrea, Caroline and Sharon

CNN WorldBeat anchor Brooke Alexander caught up with Irish siblings Jim, Caroline, Andrea and Sharon in New York, and the quartet shared some of their family secrets.

'A deep love for music'

JIM CORR: We've a deep love for music, first of all. We get fantastic satisfaction from the job that we're in, and for people to like us to the extent that we do is just -- it's one hell of a bonus. We're just thrilled with it.

Watch the full interview
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CAROLINE CORR: The whole time, we had a small bedroom studio and, like, an eight-track studio around the corner from our family house. And we used to plod around there every day, and we used to record.

ANDREA CORR: Bringing back nightmares.

CAROLINE CORR: And it was great for us. In a sense, it gave us a lot of experience within the studio, and I think it also got us ready for -- if -- to have some material, at least to have -- to give to a record company when the time came.

ALEXANDER: What were your musical influences growing up in Dundalk?

ANDREA CORR: We listened to a lot of music, and our parents are musicians. So it was always very, very melodic, and harmonies were a very big thing in our house. And stuff like the Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, and, you know, and then growing up, the Police, Sting, Genesis.

Right across the board, really, it's hard to pin down, but it was always pretty melodic.

SHARON CORR: To be honest, "Talk on Corners" was a very difficult album to make. So a lot of days we were here or there, whether it was good enough or whether it was the right direction. This time, it's lovely that on the remix album we got "Runaway" back on, because that was always a song that we felt that was lost.

ALEXANDER: Sharon, how did you use your music to react to the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland?

SHARON CORR: We felt totally helpless, because here are we, you know, jet-setting around the world, way off on a flight to sunny Mabaya. People's lives have just been ruined in an instant in our country. The more we thought about it, we felt we really wanted to do something about it, and we put a program together and including a lot of other artists like U2. We had Paul Brady and a lot of other people on it.


Listen to a clip of "Dreams"

[185k MPEG-3} or [255k WAV]

(Courtesy WEA/Atlantic)

And the audience was made up of Omagh victims. And it was an absolutely wonderful night, I mean, absolutely wonderful experience. It was very emotional backstage.

ALEXANDER: So tell me, what was it like to work with the Stones?

JIM CORR: It certainly was a daunting task to actually open up for them because of the story we heard about Meredith Brooks, she had got things thrown at her. But the audience with us were great.

ANDREA CORR: I know sometimes I myself would tend to get a big kind of, 'Oh, my God, he's a huge star, I can't speak,' you know? And -- but with the Stones, they're just kind of really cool, and they just kind of, you know, hang out all day long, and they're -- they were really nice, and really, really friendly towards us.

CAROLINE CORR: It was a brilliant experience working with the Chieftains. I mean, they are legendary in traditional Irish music all over the world, and for us to -- with our blend of music being pop rock with a hint of traditional Irish, it was really flattering that the Chieftains wanted us to play and -- with them for their album that -- "Tears of Stone."

SHARON CORR: One of our biggest breaks was -- our turning point, more so than breaks, was ... last year on St. Patrick's Day. That's really what, I suppose, was the catalyst for breaking England.

ALEXANDER: Sharon, as a drummer, what was it like to work with Mick Fleetwood?

SHARON CORR: For me, personally, as a drummer, this is a dream come true. I mean, this guy was beside me playing, and it worked brilliantly. So he was great. He was a great guy, still is.


The Corrs have had their work on the international music charts for months. See for yourself, check the WorldBeat Top 30.

Read more about the Corrs' "Talk on Corners"

Are the Corrs touring in your area? Search the WorldBeat Tour Dates

CAROLINE CORR: This year has been fantastic. We got a Brit award, and that was phenomenal, because Britain was a big challenge for us. Then another ceremony with the Amigo Awards in Spain. And Spain is so fantastic, because it's really strange to be a foreign language and to have such success in that country.

JIM CORR: We're very confident that this is going in the same direction that the U.K. and the rest of the world has gone.

ANDREA CORR: We're just having a good time, anyway.

CAROLINE CORR: Jim, you're going to jinx us.

SHARON CORR: In the meantime, we just try and keep...

ANDREA CORR: Yes, we wait and see, you know, and if it does, you know, hopefully, it goes well for us, then that the all -- the people like it. Really, that's what's important.

JIM CORR: Well, as I was saying, I'm confident.

'Talk on Corners' reveals Irish band the Corrs
July 28, 1998
WorldBeat Spotlight: Celtic Connection
August 20, 1998

The Corrs on Atlantic Records
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