MLTR – The band that won our hearts
MLTR – The band that won our hearts
By Nathasha De Alwis
Nov 06, 2017 | 8:57 pm
Michael Learns to Rock, popularly known as MLTR is a pop/soft rock band composed in 1988.
The band was initially composed by four founding members namely Jascha Richter, Mikkel Lentz, Kare Wanscher, and former band member Soren Madsen.
The band has been a popular for decades in history, and even now.
They have sold over 11 million records over the course of their career.
The band first entered the charts with their #1 smash hit Actor and followed up with a series of pop/soft rock classics including Sleeping child, Someday, Paint My Love, You took my heart away, Breaking My Heart, leading up to the millennium with the hit single Blue Night and many more which were all chart-toppers all around the world.
Over the years they have been receiving awards from all over the world. Some of them being the “Gold Preis Award” from RSH, Germany and “The Best Performing Act of the Year” at the SEA Grammy Awards in Singapore. In addition, their song Take Me To Your Heart was awarded for being “Most downloaded single of the year 2006”. The song had six million or more paid downloads. It also won the “The 2004 CD-Award” for the best selling album in China.
How did it all start for MLTR?
How did they reach the success & fame they have today?
The band was put together in 1988 by the bands lead singer and the keyboardist Jascha Richter with the intent of performing his songs.
He first asked his high School friend and drummer Kare Wanscher in Aarhus, Denmark. But the two realized the limitation that they would have to face if the band was to be a duo. Therefore, they recruited Mikkel Lentz who was then playing rock music with his band.
On the first night of their practice was when they realized that they needed a fourth member to the band so they requested the former band member Soren Madsen, who was then a guitarist who was into Led Zepplin, to join in on Bass guitar.
They quickly taped a demo on one of Richter’s original songs in the intention of sending it to ‘Rock Grand Prix’ which was a competition in their hometown Aarhus.
Origin of the name MLTR
The interesting story of this name is that none of the band members is called Michael -which raises the question how did they come up with this name, and why.
When the band was confronted with this question during an interview, the band reacted to question saying “I think basically because it was the most silly name we could come up with. So that was the main reason, really. And we also thought that rock music was what we would like to learn to play. We just picked the most silly name even if there’s no meaning to it. I’m sorry but there’s no real reason why we decided to call the band that.”
Richter also added that, “Several years ago we were inspired by Michael Jackson”
On May 22nd 1988 the band played their first public show in Aarhus in ‘Rock Grand Prix’ at the biggest venue in the place. The band was named as one of the two winning teams.
That Summer MLTR performed at an Outdoor festival but unfortunately only 20 people turned up. The disappointment was offset by a daily newspaper, describing the group as “an immensely positive surprise”.
Again the Band entered a city’s fame annual talent show named ‘We Have The Stage – Do you Have The Music’. The band was victorious in the show.
How did MLTR get into the business?
The Band first signed a record deal with a Danish label Medley in January 1989 but did not release their first album, Micheal Learns to Rock, until September 1991.
The album was backed by the American record label Impact Records and with much of the album including the first American single, “My Blue Angel”.
But the band did not make any headway at all in America despite airplay for My Blue Angel, but a later single from the album The Actor, topped the Danish chart as well as in Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines.
January 1992 the album topped the Danish Charts which was followed by success in Asia, Selling 25,000 copies and earning Gold Status in Indonesia alone.
Soren Madsen in 2000 decided that he is to pursue a solo career therefore left the band.
The three members then gave themselves the challenge of pursuing a sound different to the previous albums. Henceforth, they produced the album Blue Night, which almost went platinum in Denmark and sold over a million copies in Asia.
The following year, a biography about the band named by the Poul Martin-Bonde which was published along with a few recordings which was not released before.
The translation of the book was called It never rains in Bali.
Makes one wonder – why Bali? Well that was because of an incident that took place during the band’s 1955 Bali concert, where a no-rain forecast was proven wrong and the unexpected rain put a stop to the concert.
The long break after Blue Night. What really did Happen?
The Band took a little time off after they released their album Blue Night in 2000, while Jascha Richter went on a separate way during the break working on his solo album ‘Planet Blue’.
The band later revealed they were close to disbanding the group.
But ultimately it was disagreed to following the success of their greatest hits album releases, including 19 Love Songs / Love Ballads in 2002 which went to number 2 in Denmark.
In 2004, the group got together and put together the sixth album, departing from the name MLTR and using their original name Micheal Learns to Rock.
This was released in Asia as Take me to your Heart. This album has been one of the major successes of MLTR in Asia, especially China.
In 2007, the band performed at the Formula 1 Shanghai Grand Prix and the 6th Golden Eagle Award Ceremony.
Again in November 2008, MLTR released their seventh album titled Eternity under their own independent layer. This was the first ever album that produced solely by Mikkel Lentz. The second track from the Album reached NO.1 in Thailand within a few weeks after the release.
On 19 November 2011, Michael Learns To Rock unveiled the song Any Way You Want It from the forthcoming album
Then the studio album Scandinavia was released on 11 June 2012 in India digitally by Virgin Records on Nokia Music. The physical CD of Scandinavia was first released on 30 June 2012, in India.
In 2014, the group released 25: The Complete Singles in commemoration of the band’s 25 year anniversary, released on October 25, 2014.
It includes two new studio recordings – The first single, Silent Times was released on September 16, 2014. Followed by Call on Love released on December 18, 2014.
The group released their new single called I’ll Wait For You released on November 6, 2015.
In 2016, they released their new single We Shared the Night, released on February 5, 2016, their Valentine’s Day gift to their fans.
The band is loved worldwide. Their music inspires the people to love one another and just stay free.
They, even though not quite knowing it -give people hope.
Hope to love, hope for caring, and hope to keep looking for a person to love.
It is known as one of the best bands of the millennium. Simply put, MLTR is a legend for some and for some they are teachers.