Best known as the frontman for the long-running Scottish pop group Wet Wet Wet, Marti Pellow has also enjoyed success as a solo act. Born Mark McLachlan in Clydebank, Scotland, on March 23, 1965, Pellow was 17 when he co-founded Wet Wet Wet with friends Neil Mitchell, Graeme Clark, Tommy Cunningham, and Graeme Duffin; upon signing to PolyGram in 1985, the group scored their first hit two years later with "Wishing I Was Lucky," followed in 1988 by their first U.K. number one, a cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" cut for the charity ChildLine. Hits including "Sweet Surrender" and "Goodnight Girl" preceded a 1994 cover of the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" which spent an astounding 14 consecutive weeks atop the British charts; however, in the wake of 1997's 10, the Wets began splintering amid copyright squabbles, and in May 1999 Pellow left the group.
His debut solo effort, Smile, arrived in mid-2001, notching the minor hits "Close to You" and "I've Been Around the World." A covers collection, Between the Covers, hit retail in late 2003, and the following year Pellow co-starred as attorney Billy Flynn in a West End production of the hit stage musical Chicago. In 2004, the Wets announced plans for a reunion tour, also recording a brand-new track, "All I Want," for an upcoming Greatest Hits collection. At the end of the tour Pellow teamed with famed soul producer Willie Mitchell to record a new solo effort, 2006's Moonlight Over Memphis. In 2007, the Wets released their eighth album Timeless, and scored a British Top 10 single, "Weightless." Pellow's jazz album Sentimental Me followed in 2008, with help from pianist Jim Watson. That same year, he appeared as the Arbiter in a Royal Albert Hall staging of Chess; one year later, the show was released in both audio and video incarnations as Chess in Concert. Devil and the Monkey appeared in 2010, and his seventh album, 2011's Love to Love, broke the British Top 40. Hope followed in 2013 and Boulevard of Life in 2014. For 2017's super-funky, soulful Mysterious, Pellow pulled out all the stops, traveling to the iconic Ocean Way studios in Los Angeles, where he got the opportunity to collaborate with many of his musical heroes including percussionist Lenny Castro, guitarist Dean Parks, drummer Herman Matthews, bassist Freddie Washington, and the legendary Tower of Power horns. ~ Jason Ankeny