The Dream Academy announced itself to American listeners in 1986 when “Life in a Northern Town,” the first single off the British band’s first album, made it all the way to No. 7 on the Hot 100. More than twenty years later, the strength of The Dream Academy’s music was made clear when country-pop duo Sugarland took the song back to the Top 40, this time on the country chart. The trio, consisting of Nick Laird-Clowes (guitars/vocals), Kate St. John (piano/accordion/saxophone/various) and Gilbert Gabriel (keyboards/vocals), only recorded three albums and a clutch of singles, but their innovative blend of pop, folk and electronica – sometimes classified as “dream pop” or “sophisti-pop” – has allowed the band’s small catalogue to endure. On July 29, Real Gone Music unveils a 2-CD anthology of the music of The Dream Academy. The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective has been sequenced and remastered by Nick Laird-Clowes, and presents the band’s hits, rarities, previously unreleased tracks and even one new recording.
Laird-Clowes states, “I wanted this to be a definitive ‘best of’ that would also include a few key unreleased rarities for the people who really know our work. I’m thrilled that I found some tracks that I think sit easily beside our best work so that any listener could enjoy the collection as a seamless whole.” All told, the collection features 24 tracks on 2 CDs drawing on all three albums recorded by the band between 1985 and 1990 with such well-known as co-producers including Hugh Padgham, Patrick Leonard, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. The Morning Lasted All Day, which takes its title from a lyric in “Life in a Northern Town,” includes such favorites as “The Edge of Forever” which appeared in the comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and two versions of “Power to Believe.” The latter song appeared in another eighties comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
After the jump: what will you find on this new set?
The Morning Lasted All Day premieres the new recording “Sunrising” and previously unreleased tracks “Living in a War” (with David Gilmour on guitar), “The Chosen Few” (with Gilmour on electric and slide guitar) and “The Last Day of the War” (recorded right after “Life in a Northern Town”); the previously unissued and much requested instrumental of “Power to Believe” co-produced by Hugh Padgham; the B-side “Girl in a Million,” and the rare 12-inch side “The Demonstration.” In addition to Gilmour and Buckingham, the band had other famous fans, many of whom contributed to their discography. Some of the participants heard on the new anthology include Polystyrene of X-Ray Spex and singer-songwriter and honorary Eagle J.D. Souther. Laird-Clowes’ new liner notes reflect on the band’s artistic inspirations (a diverse lot including Nick Drake, Steve Reich and Edie Sedgwick on their first album alone) and the recording process for each song, and share stories about the making of each of The Dream Academy’s three LPs. The booklet boasts photos taken from the band’s personal archive as well as from a lost session by Arthur Elgort.
Serving as a treat for longtime fans and an ideal introduction for those not familiar with The Dream Academy, The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective supersedes the controversial (and rare) 2000 compilation album Somewhere in the Sun: The Best of the Dream Academy which was released without the band’s participation and consent. This definitive compendium hits stores from Real Gone Music on July 29 and can be pre-ordered below!
- Life in a Northern Town
- The Love Parade
- The Edge of Forever
- Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (Blanco y Negro single NEG 20, 1985)
- Johnny (New Light)
- In Places on the Run
- Ballad in 4/4
- Girl In a Million (for Edie Sedgwick) (Blanco y Negro single NEG 16, 1985)
- Power to Believe
- This World
- One Dream
- Indian Summer (Blanco y Negro single NEG 27, 1987)
- Lucy September
- Hampstead Girl
- The Demonstration (Blanco y Negro NEG 46CD, 1990)
- Living in a War (previously unreleased)
- The Chosen Few (previously unreleased)
- It’ll Never Happen Again
- Power to Believe – Instrumental (previously unreleased)
- The Last Day of the War (previously unreleased)
- Sunrising (previously unreleased new recording)
CD 1, Tracks 1-3, 5-6. 10 & 12 from The Dream Academy, Blanco y Negro BYN 6, 1985
CD 1, Tracks 7, 9 & 11 from Remembrance Days, Blanco y Negro BYN 12, 1987
CD 2, Tracks 2-3, 6-7 & 9 from A Different Kind of Weather, Blanco y Negro BYN 23, 1990