The story about the Danish band MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK is a classic in the world of rock music. It is about four friends meeting in an orchestra, staying together in spite of all their troubles, becoming a success far beyond the Danish frontiers, and who are now, after three albums released and almost three million copies sold, facing the release of their GREATEST HITS album titled 'PAINT MY LOVE'.
In 1987, at a grammar school in the city of Århus, JASCHA RICHTER (b. 1963) formed a small café orchestra which included his sister and the two subsequent Michael musicians, drummer KÅRE WANSCHER (b. 1969) and guitarist MIKKEL LENTZ (b. 1968). Although younger than he, they had both listened to rock music at their mother's knees and had been playing with bands for years. Jascha played some of his demos to Kåre, and the two of them decided to start a band, based on Jascha's songs. Mikkel was an obvious third, but they could not seem to find a bass player. So Kåre asked his old pal, guitarist SØREN MADSEN (b. 1967) to play the bass in the first evening of practice. This temporary job became a permanent one. The chemistry worked from the start - and today the band holds the same four people that met in the practice room back in the spring of 1988.
Under the name MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK the quartet made its début at the event "Dansk Rock Grand Prix" that took place in rhus in May 1988. The band won the competition, and a few months later it registered for the then most prestigious musical competition in rhus. Michael Learns To Rock won convincingly at the finals in July 1988 and met on that occasion their future manager and booker JP ANDERSEN, promoter of one of the major festivals of Denmark. Over the next two years, through his efforts, the band gained access to numerous events in Denmark. They played in small and large clubs, at small festivals and in grammar schools. Soon MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK stretched their experience from large audiences in a rapture to very small ones. But first and foremost they learnt to play under all possible and impossible conditions - and particularly the latter produced a close friendship and a firmly constructed band.
After recording a comprehensive demo material and four songs for a promotional album for new artists, JENS HOFMAN, A&R and executive producer of the EMI Medley recording company initiated a close co-operation with both the band and JP Andersen. On 20 February 1989, this lead to signing the coveted recording contract. In the autumn of 1989 and the spring of 1990, MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK recorded their first album with Jens Hofman and OLI POULSEN as the producers. The American TONY PELUSO was brought over to Denmark to mix the eleven numbers, which on 1 September 1991 were released under the title "Michael Learns To Rock".
The first single "I Still Carry On" (released on 4 July 1991) broke the ice for MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK, who quickly became favourites of the air in Denmark. But after release of their second single and video "The Actor", MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK suddenly became a household word. On 3 January 1992 the first album topped the Danish charts, where it remained for the next five weeks. Now things got moving. "The Actor" topped the charts in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, and it was also released in Canada, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, and in several South American countries. At home in Denmark, the band had reached stardom at express speed, and it went on a tour playing to full houses until mid-August 1992. MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK became one of the main attractions at the "Green Concerts", Denmark's biggest mobile festival, where more than 200,000 audience heard the band. They performed on television in both Norway and Sweden, and MTV showed the video "The Actor" several times.