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1 August 1958, New York, USA. The brother of actors Sean and Christopher Penn (the former the one-time husband of Madonna), Michael Penn achieved a mainstream breakthrough with his 1989 AOR debut for RCA Records, March. Extracted from it, the single No Myth reached the US Top 20 and established Penn as a commercial force, not least through the extensive airplay granted its accompanying video. However, his second effort, 1992s Free-For-All, betrayed an artist lacking direction.
Mann was then silent for half a decade before re-emerging in 1997 with a third album for a new label, Epic Records. The delay in relaunching his career was reportedly aggravated by a protracted dispute with former employers RCA and a change in his management. The resulting album saw Penn move away from the studio-based writing of his previous recordings, with the drum machines dropped in favour of a band-type situation. The musicians...