Monday, 3 September 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: 3 Colours Red - Beautiful Day

Brilliant 1999 single from a Creation Records band who mellowed slightly for their album 'Revolt' and scored a UK number 11 hit with this track. 

'Beautiful Day' was the first single from the second 3 Colours Red album 'Revolt'. The song was written by frontman/ bassist Pete Vuckovic. It surprised many, showing a more sensitive and epic side to the band's previously punk/ pop dominated sound. It went on to become the band's biggest commercial hit, reaching number 11 in the U.K charts in January 1999, throwing them further into the media headlights at a time when the talk around the band was of them being dropped and paving the way for the band's American campaign where the song received considerable radio airplay, even entering the charts. It was later rather incorrectly and naively blamed for splitting the band up having 'allegedly' distanced Vuckovic from his bandmates and fueled a creative powerstruggle between him and his co-writer Chris McCormack, although this remains highly doubtful when taking into consideration they reformed 3 years later and went on to play the song at every gig. 

In 1995 guitarist Chris McCormack (ex-Forgodsake/Gunslinger) and singer/bassist Pete Vuckovic (ex-Diamond Head) moved to London and began putting a band together. Guitarist Ben Harding had been a founder member of Senseless Things, and Keith Baxter's drumming with Skyclad provided the band with a backbone. The band was named by sticking a pin in a London listings magazine, Time Out. It landed randomly on an advertisement for the concluding part of the Polish film director Krzysztof Kieślowski's, Three Colors, trilogy. They went on to record two UK Top 20 albums, and six Top 40 singles. 

Fierce Panda Records released their first single'This Is My Hollywood', before the band signed to Creation Records, after Alan McGee, Creation's founder and discoverer of Oasis, said that 3CR were the "most exciting band since the Sex Pistols". While with Creation, the band recorded two albums. The first, 'Pure' (1997) was produced by Terry Thomas. There was controversy over the resulting single "Sixty Mile Smile", the lyrical content of which referred to frontman Vučković's overnight hospitalisation after taking the drug ecstasy. 'Revolt' (1999) was produced by Dave Eringa. At the peak of their success, following the band's biggest hit, "Beautiful Day", they embarked upon US tours with Marilyn Manson, Aerosmith and Silverchair. However, the group disbanded after the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 1999, citing musical and personal differences.

Vučković was signed to Sony Records and spent two years writing an album for his new project Elevation (which also featured Baxter), which was never released and he was dropped by the label. McCormack joined Rich Battersby and EMF producer Ralph Jezzard for a stint in Grand Theft Audio, who spent considerable time touring America before also being dropped.

In 2002 Vučković and McCormack reconciled their differences and reformed the band with original drummer Keith Baxter. Ben Harding had by this time, forged a career in public relations and was replaced by Paul Grant (ex-Pornstar). The new line-up signed to Mighty Atom Records and recorded 'The Union of Souls' album with producer Joe Gibb (Funeral for a Friend/ Million Dead) in 2004 to critical acclaim but little commercial success. 'Repeat To Fade' and 'The World is Yours', taken from the album, were released as singles.

The band split again in September 2005 after a UK farewell tour with The Yo-Yos, having been dropped by Sanctuary and disappointing sales of the third album, and continuing personal differences between Vučković and McCormack. Drummer Keith Baxter died in January 2008 due to liver failure. He was 36. 

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