Blessid Union of Souls

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This article is about the band. For the band's eponymous album, see Blessid Union of Souls (album).
Blessid Union of Souls
Origin Morrow, Ohio, United States
Genres Alternative rock, jangle pop[1]
Years active 1990–present
Labels EMI Records
V2 Records
Website www.blessidunionofsouls.net
Members Eliot Sloan
Brian Lovely
Chris Arduser
David Lessing
Dave Ramos
Past members Jeff Pence
C.P. Roth
Eddie Hedges
Kyle Robinson
Tony Clark
Bryan Billhimer
Shaun Schaefer

Blessid Union of Souls (sometimes abbreviated to Blessid Union) is an American rock band from Morrow, Ohio that was formed in 1990 by friends Jeff Pence and Eliot Sloan.

The band's first studio album, Home, had some success which lay with its lead single, "I Believe". The song popularized the band with local-area DJs[2] and became one of their greatest hits.[3] Their second album, the self-titled Blessid Union of Souls, did not have nearly the success of Home, but this did not last long, as their third album, Walking Off the Buzz, spawned the hit single "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)".[4]

After the release of their greatest-hits album, Blessid Union of Souls: The Singles, which actually collected more outtakes and B-sides than previous hits, they released Perception. The band's sixth album, Close to the Edge, was released in 2008.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Blessed Union of Souls formed in 1990 in Morrow, Ohio with guitarist Jeff Pence, vocalist/pianist Eliot Sloan, keyboardist C.P. Roth (who had been in Ozzy Osbourne's touring band) and drummer Eddie Hedges. Sloan and Hedges had previously played together in a band in the 1980s called The Movies. The band's name originated from an episode of the TV series M*A*S*H.[5]

The band was heavily influenced by the cowpunk scene that was burgeoning around the time they formed. They spent several years honing their craft in Newport News; their song "Oh Virginia" tells the story of their "second home."

In 1992, the band sent a demo to EMI Records who immediately offered them a contract and spread the word about them.

Home (1994-1996)[edit]

They began writing more songs in about 1993 for their debut album, Home. It took over two years to complete, but before it was released, DJs in the Cincinnati area began playing "I Believe", which would become the album's most popular single.

They finally released Home in March 1995. Later that year, it was certified gold by the RIAA. It is now certified platinum. The album released their major hit "I Believe", as well as Top 20 hits "Oh Virginia" and "Let Me Be the One," which was featured in the soap opera All My Children.

Blessid Union of Souls (1996-1998)[edit]

EMI Records collapsed in 1996, and the band re-signed to Capitol Records, adding bassist Tony Clark in the process.

They released their second album, Blessid Union of Souls in 1997. This album was not as popular as Home, but still released two Top 20 hits, "I Wanna Be There" and "Light in Your Eyes".

Walking Off the Buzz (1999-2000)[edit]

They released their third album, Walking Off the Buzz in 1999. This album was moderately popular due to "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)", a single from the album that reached the Top 40 but stalled at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2001-2005[edit]

Between 2001 and 2005, Blessid Union of Souls stayed away from the studio, but they released a greatest hits album that also featured a few previously unreleased songs that were recorded around 2000. During this time, they still toured. Roth and Hedges left the band in 2002 with drummer Kyle Robinson filling in for Hedges.[6]

Perception and reemergence (2005-2008)[edit]

At the end of this period, the band's fifth studio album Perception was released.

In the beginning of 2008, Blessid Union of Souls began touring with members Eliot Sloan, Tony Clark, Bryan Billhimer, and Shaun Schaefer, as Jeff Pence had amicably left the band in order to focus on his multimedia production career.

Close to the Edge (2008-2010)[edit]

Blessid Union of Souls's sixth studio album, Close to the Edge, was released on September 16, 2008 on Torque Records. Eight of its twelve tracks were taken from their previous album, Perception. There was only one single released for the album, "Could've Been with You".

The Mission Field (2011-Present)[edit]

Blessid Union Of Souls debut Contemporary Christian album was released on Salvation Road Records through Sony/Provident in March 2011. The first single "The Only Song" reached # 32 on the Nielsen BDS Christian AC chart. The video for "The Only Song" was also added to the Gospel Music Channel & JCTV. The second single, "Pray For You" slated for release on July 15, 2011.

Other projects[edit]

In 1995 they covered the song 'Way Over Yonder' by Carole King for the tribute album Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King.

In 1998, the band recorded 'Brother My Brother', for Pokemon the First Movie.

In 2000, several of the band's songs were scheduled for use during the production of a film entitled Standing at the Edge of the Earth by Fizzle Freak Productions. The film would have co-starred the band's bassist Tony Clark, and the rest of the band would have been featured in prominent roles as well. The film's production was canceled in around the end of 2000 due to legal and financial issues.

In 2003, the band released Blessid Union of Souls: Play Ball, an album about the Cincinnati Reds. The title track was used to promote the team in their first season in Great American Ballpark. This album did not receive much attention outside of Cincinnati.

In 2006, Jeff Pence headed a project in which the band contributed two tracks for Clutch Hits, a CD that featured a variety of artists who contributed songs about the Cincinnati Reds. The songs were entitled "Play Ball" and "Me, Marty, Joe, Ted & Louise." The project was a fundraiser for the Reds Community Fund.

In 2012, they began the project Hear 2 Heal which is an interactive, performing arts project featuring Eliot Sloan along with the performing arts students of selected schools in order to give the students an opportunity to be heard and address their issues through the music of Blessid Union and their media of choice (choir/band/theatre/AV/dance) and heal through the process of expression and opening lines of communication. The project began with Brownsburg High School in Brownsburg, IN on November 2 and will reach to other schools in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak positions
US
[7]
US Heat
[8]
1995 Home
  • Release date: March 21, 1995
  • Label: EMI
78 1
1997 Blessid Union of Souls
  • Release date: May 20, 1997
  • Label: Capitol
127
1999 Walking Off the Buzz
  • Release date: April 27, 1999
  • Label: V2
143
2005 Perception
  • Release date: May 10, 2005
  • Label: Ultrax Records
2008 Close to the Edge
  • Release date: September 16, 2008
  • Label: Torque Records
2011 The Mission Field
  • Release date: March 1, 2011
  • Label: Salvation Road Records

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak positions
US
[7]
US Heat
[8]
2001 Blessid Union of Souls: The Singles
  • Release date: February 27, 2001
  • Label: V2
178
2007 Almost Acoustic (Volume 1)
  • Release date: October 30, 2007
  • Label: Alert Entertainment

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US
[9]
US Top40 Main.
[9]
US Adult Pop
[9]
US Adult Cont.
[9]
AUS
[10]
CAN
[11]
GER
[12]
NL
[13]
NZ
[14]
UK
[15]
1995 "I Believe" 8 2 24 5 18 6
[16]
56 7 29 Home
"Let Me Be the One" 29 14 24 24 48
[17]
74
1996 "Oh Virginia"" 23 27 30 16
[18]
"All Along" 70 26 27 58
[19]
1997 "I Wanna Be There" 39 22 25 19
[20]
Blessid Union of Souls
1998 "Light in Your Eyes" 48 25 29 16
1999 "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)" 33 8 16 17 7
[21]
73 44 Walking Off the Buzz
"Standing at the Edge of the Earth" 35
"Rev It Up (Nascar Rocks)" Non-album single /
Blessid Union of Souls: The Singles
2000 "That's the Girl I've Been Telling You About" 100 Walking Off the Buzz
2001 "Storybook Life" Blessid Union of Souls: The Singles
2008 "Could've Been With You" Close to the Edge
2011 "The Only Song" The Mission Field
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

They also performed a track in Pokémon: The First Movie titled "Brother My Brother" and main theme for Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls titled "It's Alright".

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1995 "I Believe"[22] Michael Salomon
1997 "I Wanna Be There"[23] Bill Fishman
1999 "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)"[24] Geoff Moore

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Demalon, Tom. "allmusic (((Home > Overview)))". Allmusic. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ TNT Booking's summary of the band's career. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  3. ^ Home tracklisting on Blessid Union of Souls' official website. "I Believe" is the most played song.
  4. ^ CD Baby's review of Perception, which also describes the history of the band. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  5. ^ "Blessid Union of Souls Releases Long-Awaited Album". VOA News. March 3, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ Blessid Union of Souls biography on Yahoo! Music
  7. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Blessid Union of Souls > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  8. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Blessid Union of Souls > Home > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  9. ^ a b c d "allmusic ((( Blessid Union of Souls > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  10. ^ australian-charts.com - Blessid Union Of Souls
  11. ^ Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada (search) - Blessid Union of Souls
  12. ^ Chartverfolgung / Blessid Union Of Souls
  13. ^ dutchcharts.nl - Blessid Union Of Souls
  14. ^ New Zealand charts - Blessid Union Of Souls
  15. ^ Blessid Union Of Souls - The Official Charts Company
  16. ^ Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Top Singles - Volume 61, No. 22, July 03 1995
  17. ^ Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Top Singles - Volume 62, No. 17, November 27 1995
  18. ^ Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - Top Singles - Volume 63, No. 11, April 29 1996
  19. ^ Top Singles - Volume 64, No. 2, August 26 1996
  20. ^ Top Singles - Volume 65, No. 21, July 28 1997
  21. ^ Top Singles - Volume 69, No. 19, August 23, 1999
  22. ^ ""I Believe" by Blessid Union of Souls". VH1. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  23. ^ ""I Wanna Be There" by Blessid Union of Souls". VH1. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  24. ^ ""Hey Leonardo" by Blessid Union of Souls". VH1. Retrieved September 30, 2011.