"So Alive" - Love and Rockets
from the album Love and Rockets (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 12
Today's song of the day comes from the band Love and Rockets, which was formed after the breakup of the seminal goth-rock band Bauhaus. Originally from Northampton, England, the group didn't have major success on the American charts (they went to #29 on the dance chart in 1981 with "Kick In The Eye"), they did respectably in their homeland, with three top-40 albums and a top-20 UK pop hit with a cover of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" in 1982. Splitting up shortly thereafter, lead singer Peter Murphy embarked on a solo career, while the three remaining members (guitarist Daniel Ash, bass player David J, and drummer Kevin Haskins) eventually reunited as Love and Rockets in 1985. Releasing their first album that year, it wasn't until their Express set from 1987 that they graced the rock chart in the U.S. with "All In My Mind" (#49), while the album made the top half of the albums sales chart in America. The following year, they got major MTV airplay with the navel-gazing thump of "No New Tale To Tell" (#18, Mainstream Rock). In 1989, the trio came out with a self-titled record, possibly done so to "re-invent" their sound back closer to the post-punk/goth scene Bauhaus began with. The first radio single "Motorcycle", brazen with fuzzy guitars and distorted vocals, landed at #20 on Billboard's newly-minted Modern Rock chart. But it was the more radio-friendly slinky rock of second single "So Alive" that naturally captured the public. A sonic offspring of T. Rex's "Bang A Gong (Get It On)", the track rode its bassline as Ash croons about the more carnal pleasures in life...
"So Alive" became Love And Rockets' biggest pop hit, reaching #3 on the American pop chart in August of 1989. The song also went to #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart for five weeks, while also climbing to #9 on their Mainstream Rock radio list as well. The 12" single peaked at #20 on the Dance Club Play chart, backed with "Bike Dance" which also garnered some dancefloor action. Internationally, while the track topped the chart in Canada, and made the top-40 in Australia and New Zealand, it sputtered out at #79 in their home country.
Two more singles came out from the Love and Rockets album, with "No Big Deal" reaching the Hot 100 pop chart at #82 and #19 on the Modern Rock list. But then they slipped off the map after touring behind the album, not re-emerging until 1996, when their Rick Rubin-produced "Sweet Lover Hangover" raced to #10 on the Modern Rock chart. They split by the end of the decade, with Ash releasing a few solo albums before they came back together to perform (but so far not record anything major).
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Here's the B-side of the 12" single, "Bike Dance", which appeared on the dance chart...
and finally, here's the trio in concert in 1996...
Up tomorrow: A Beatle isn't scared.