from the album Cloudcuckooland (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #31 (two weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 6
Today's song of the day comes from the British modern rock act the Lightning Seeds, which started out as a moniker for singer/songwriter/guitarist Ian Broudie in the late 1980's. Broudie, who worked on producing a couple of early albums for Echo & The Bunnymen, released his first album under the Lightning Seeds name, Cloudcuckooland in 1990. The first single, "Pure", straddled the line between the dream-pop of acts like Aztec Camera and the Dream Academy with the alternative rock of OMD and the Bunnymen, all the instruments were handled by Broudie himself....
"Pure" became the Lightning Seeds' sole American top-40 pop hit in July of 1990. The single made it all the way to #8 on Billboard's Modern Rock radio chart, while it crossed over to their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list at #31. Internationally, the song peaked at #16 in Broudie's native UK, while it was a minor hit in Canada (#70) and Australia (#92). The next single from the album, the thumpier "All I Want", missed the pop chart, but went to #9 on the Modern Rock list.
After recruiting Simon Rogers from seminal alternative band the Fall to help in the studio, Broudie's second Lightning Seeds album, Sense, was released in 1992. The lead track, "The Life Of Riley", became their/his biggest rock radio chart hit, spending a week at #2, while slipping on to the American pop Hot 100 at #98. With this continued success, Broudie assembled an actual band to be able to tour behind, and although his fortunes in America were waning, with first single "Lucky You" his last rock radio hit (so far) at #38 (it also was their sole dance club play hit at #25), his concerts were gathering more fans in his homeland, and that song was the start of a nine-single streak of top-40 hits in the UK. In 1996, during the Britpop rage that was happening in music in the UK, Broudie teamed up with comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel for the (British) football anthem "Three Lions", which became a phenomenon unto itself, spending two weeks at #1 on the British singles chart. That single came in the middle of the promotion for the Seeds' fourth album Dizzy Heights, which was their highest-charting album in the UK (#11), while spinning off four top-20 hits there, including one, a cover of the Turtles' hit from the 60's, "You Showed Me", which climbed to #8 in 1997. A year later, a reprise of their football anthem as "Three Lions '98" by Broudie, Baddiel, and Skinner with different lyrics sent them back to #1 for an amazing three more weeks. In 1999, they re-emerged with Tilt, which veered off into dance music, and with it their most recent top-40 British hit "Life's Too Short" (#27). Its follow-up, "Sweetest Soul Sensations", was their last minor hit so far at #67. During this time Ringo Starr's son Zak playing drums for the act. Their most recent album, Four Winds, came out in 2009, and made the top 100 there. And since, "Three Lions" has been making semi-regular appearances on the British chart, with yet another version, including Robbie Williams, and got to #21.
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Here's the Seeds performing live for a television appearance...
and finally, an acoustic take from Broudie...
Up tomorrow: A rhythmic new mother seeks your return.