Wednesday, 8 August 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: The Beloved - Sweet Harmony

OK just in case anyone's a bit confused why today's, tomorrow's AND Wednesday's 'Song For Today' have already appeared on the blog, don't worry you haven't been caught up in some sort of weird time warp. I am going to be away in Plymouth for a few days to finally see the mighty Blur, and make my lifelong dream come true. 

A song I remember seeing loads of on 'The ITV Chart Show' back in the early 90's. Visions of lots of naked people sitting in a white room seem to come to me every time I hear this song, thanks to its accompanying video. A few years later I would also buy another great single by The Beloved (a 1997 remix of 'The Sun Rising'), but this is still probably their finest and most memorable moment. 

"The band originally had a guitar-oriented sound, but soon began using drum machines and dance music elements. They sounded at times like post-punk/dance group New Order, and a summation of this stage of their career can be found on their first studio album'Where It Is', consisting of singles and related B-Sides. After slimming down to a duo consisting of Jon Marsh and Steve Waddingto, The Beloved began to embrace a dance sound more wholeheartedly and in 1988 the single 'The Sun Rising' became a club favourite peaking at number 26 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1989. This was followed in 1990 by their second album, 'Happiness' the first and only album the band released as a duo and the first consisting wholly of previously unreleased new songs. 'Hello' became The Beloved's first international hit and reached Number 19 in the UK. 

By 1991 Waddington had left the group, and was replaced by Marsh's wife Helena Randall for the third studio album, 'Conscience'. The band faced some controversy for the video of the first new single 'Sweet Harmony' which consisted of a naked Jon Marsh, among a group of women, also naked (although it was shot and edited so as not to show anything which might cause it to be censored). One of the nude stars of this video is the television presenter Tess Daly. While "Sweet Harmony" went on to become their biggest hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in January 1993, the other four tracks taken from the Conscience album did not achieve the former's success. A fourth studio album entitled 'X' was released in 1996. Though the record peaked at number 25 in the UK Albums Chart, and three singles were released from it, only the first, 'Satellite', made the Top 20, peaking at Number 19. The band has never formally split up though Jon Marsh has collaborated with original band member Steve Waddington and others on new material, although as of September 2009 this remains in progress."

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