The Beloved - Peel Session 1985

The Beloved - early-on, Jangly Guitar-driven Post-Punk - then an abrupt turn for the Techno.

The Beloved - Peel Session 1985
The Beloved – early-on, Jangly Guitar-driven Post-Punk – then an abrupt turn for the Techno.

The Beloved – In Session for John Peel – recorded October 13, 1985 – Broadcast October 24, 1985 – BBC Radio 1 –

The Beloved, from an early incarnation of the band, recorded for John Peel on October 13, 1985 and broadcast on October 24th. The Beloved are an English electronic group best known for the singles “Sweet Harmony“, “The Sun Rising“, “Hello”, “Your Love Takes Me Higher“, and “Satellite”. However, this incarnation is prior to their step into Electronica – this is early-on Beloved, when they were guitar-based and bordered on Jangle with an emphasis on Post-Punk.

From their Wikipedia page:

In 1983, Jon Marsh (who played drums for Twelfth of August in 1982) placed an advertisement in the music press, which read as follows:

“I am Jon Marsh, founder member of the Beloved. Should you too wish to do something gorgeous, meet me in exactly three year’s time at exactly 11am in Diana’s Diner, or site thereof, Covent Garden, London, WC2.”

Meanwhile, he met Cambridge University graduate Steve Waddington when he joined Twelfth of August as an additional guitarist (other members were Steve Seale (Barrington) and John Seale).

At the initial meeting between Marsh and Waddington in 1986, Tim Havard was also present, and the three formed the core of a band named The Journey Through (the name taken from a line of the song “Heaven in Love”, written by Steve Seale and Jo Caney). When Guy Gausden later joined the band, the group changed their name to The Beloved. 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, which is a compilation of previously released material, consisting of singles and related B-sides, pressed onto one individual long playing work. The record includes all the early singles, “A Hundred Words”, “This Means War”, “Happy Now”, and the double A-side “Surprise Me” / “Forever Dancing”, all released between 1986 and 1987, all on Where It Is, all making the Top 30 in the UK Indie Chart,[1] and all failing in the UK Top 75.[2]

After slimming down to a duo consisting of Marsh and Waddington only, The Beloved began to embrace a dance sound more wholeheartedly and, in 1988, after another flop with another double A-side single, “Loving Feeling” / “Acid Love”, the single “The Sun Rising” became a club favourite, and crossed over to the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 26 in the UK in November 1989.[2] “The Sun Rising” featured a sample of “O Euchari” as sung by Emily Van Evera; a sample also used by trance group Orbital on their tune “Belfast”.[3] 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, from which the hit single “Hello” was also released. “Hello” became The Beloved’s first international hit, and reached Number 19 in the UK.[2] This song features rather peculiar lyrics, mostly consisting of names of real or fictitious people, groups and institutions, representing the band’s most important and varied influences (from religion with Saint Peter and Saint Paul, to music with Kym Mazelle, literature with Jeffrey Archer and cartoons with Flintstones). The LP included two more singles, “Your Love Takes Me Higher,” which made the UK Top 40 on its second release,[2] and the final cut, “Time After Time“, which was only a minor hit in Great Britain, failing at Number 48.[2]

A brand new song, “It’s Alright Now”, which also failed to make the Top 40, stopping at Number 46 in the UK,[2] was released to promote a remix album, titled Blissed Out, released in 1991. Almost all of the songs from the Happiness album were featured on Blissed Out in one or more remixed versions, along with another mix of “It’s Alright Now,” and some previously unreleased instrumental tunes. The work was released in 3 different editions, varying in length and track listing, depending upon the format: the vinyl LP, the shortest, includes 8 tracks; the CD version features 11 songs; and the MC edition contains 16 remixes.

“It’s Alright Now” and Blissed Out were the last works made by Marsh with Waddington at the time. By 1991 Waddington had left the group, and was replaced by Marsh’s wife, Helena Randall, who was working as a purchaser for the Parisian fashion house Comme des Garçons, 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. “Sweet Harmony”, which was originally used to promote the second season of the popular American soap opera Melrose Place in several European countries, has since been used in advertising for British home improvement chain Homebase as well.

But as I said, this is all before their switch to Electronica – this is The Beloved early-on – and you may not recognize them this way – but this is how they started.


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