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The Mighty Lemon Drops

Idioma disponível: inglês
Combining the rousing energy of garage rock, the angst of post-punk, and razor-sharp pop hooks, the Mighty Lemon Drops began their run as part of the U.K. guitar pop underground, famously appearing on the legendary C-86 cassette compilation. Their first two albums, 1986's Happy Head and 1988's World Without End, are captivating amalgams of styles topped off with memorable songs delivered with the passion of youth. Further albums like 1989's Laughter and 1992's Ricochet added layers of glossy studio production to the equation and the band gained a level of success on the U.S. college rock scene before they disbanded in 1992. The group had their origins in the band Active Restraint, who released a single in 1982 and comprised future Mighty Lemon Drops singer/guitarist Paul Marsh, guitarist Dave Newton, and bassist Tony Linehan. Newton went on to join the Wild Flowers, stayed with them for a couple of singles, then rejoined Marsh and Linehan (and drummer Martin Gilks) to form a new group they jokingly dubbed the Sherbert Monsters. Keith Rowley soon took over drumming duties and the band, now using their proper name, spent the early part of 1985 recording demos. The resulting tape of eight songs found a fan in the Television Personalities' Dan Treacy, who invited the band to London to play a show, then offered to issue the group's debut single. "Like an Angel" was released in December of 1985 on Dreamworld Records and it rose to number one on the U.K. indie chart. This earned them a spot on the influential C-86 cassette tape issued by the NME, which led to radio sessions, a support slot on a March Violets tour, and loads of love from the British music press. Record labels were also interested and the band signed with Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis' recently formed Chrysalis subsidiary Blue Guitar in the U.K., and with Sire in North America. The band headed to the studio with producer Stephen Street to begin work on their debut album. Happy Head was issued in September of 1986, earning positive press and scoring in the middle of the U.K. charts. The band toured the U.K., then headed to North America (where the Out of Hand EP was released in 1987) with the Chameleons, before returning to the studio. This time working with Pete Brown as producer, the group cleaned up the sometimes scrappy sound of their debut on World Without End, which was released in 1988. The band toured the U.S. -- where the album had reached the summit of the College Radio charts -- extensively afterward, playing with the Church and Love & Rockets, went to Brazil, and did a tour of large U.K. venues supporting the Mission. The process of making their third album was disrupted when Linehan left the band and took the songs he had written with him. Revamping the lineup with the addition of bassist Marcus Williams, the band forged ahead with Newton taking on the role of main writer. They finished the session with producer Mark Wallis and added keys and horns to their sound. The resulting album, 1990's Laughter, was their poppiest outing yet. It fared well in the U.S., debuting at number one on the College charts and even managing to crack the Billboard Top 200. The band continued writing and recording their brand of well-made, melodic alt-pop, releasing the Andy Paley-produced Sound… Goodbye to Your Standards in late 1991 and their final studio album, Ricochet, in 1992 before disbanding later that year. The group did a one-off reunion show in 2000, but haven't played together since. Interest in them has remained on a low boil since then with the occasional reissue surfacing. A 1988 KCRW radio session was issued as Young, Gifted & Black Country in 2004, a set of early demos was released by Cherry Red as Uptight: The Early Recordings 1985 - 1986 in 2014, and their first five years as a band were documented on the 2022 set Inside Out: 1985-1990.
© Tim Sendra & Timothy Monger /TiVo
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