Morcheeba

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Morcheeba
MorcheebaCaprices2010.jpg
Morcheeba in concert, 2010
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Trip hop, electronica, alternative rock, R&B, downtempo
Years active 1995–present
Labels Indochina
Echo
Sire/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Discovery
Website www.morcheeba.co.uk
Members Paul Godfrey
Ross Godfrey
Skye Edwards

Morcheeba are a British band, consisting of Skye Edwards and the brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey. They mix influences from trip hop, rock, adult contemporary, folk-rock and downtempo. They have produced eight regular studio albums since 1995, two of which reached the UK top ten, the most recent Head Up High was released in 2013.[1] Edwards left the band in 2003, after which the brothers used a number of singers before reconvening as a trio in 2007. They recruit additional members for their live-performances and have toured internationally.

Biography[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Originally from Hythe, Kent[2] the Godfrey brothers (lyricist and DJ-producer Paul Godfrey[3] and multi instrumentalist Ross Godfrey[4]) moved to London when they were in their late teens.[5] In 1994, the brothers were introduced to Skye Edwards when they met at a party. This led to the formation of Morcheeba.[6] Together with engineer Pete Norris, the trio began producing tracks at their home studio.[5][7]

They were eventually signed to China Records by Angus Blair (A&R) and the band released their debut Trigger Hippie EP,[8] in October 1995. At the same time, Paul Ablett came on board as manager.[7] The band's debut album, Who Can You Trust? was released in April 1996 and fitted into the trip hop genre through a combination of Paul Godfrey's hip hop roots, Ross Godfrey's psychedelic rock influences and Edwards' soul-styled vocals. A second single Tape Loop appeared in July 1996. The band began to play live around Europe and North America[9] augmented by a rotating number of hired hands on stage.[10] At this point, the band had outgrown the home recording set-up and the brothers purchased their own studio.[11] In 1997, they contributed to the David Byrne album "Feelings" participating in the recording and production of the release.[5][12]

Mainstream Success[edit]

With a more professional recording set-up, the brothers began developing their ideas for a second album. Much of the material had already been written and with Norris involved again, the band moved towards a more mainstream sound.[11] At the same time, Edwards appeared on the BBC charity single Perfect Day. The follow-up, 1998's Big Calm, moved away from trip-hop towards a more pop-oriented, song-based sound. This was exemplified by the band's reworking of "Moog Island" (from their debut) into the pop-song "The Music That We Hear". One of the album's singles, "The Sea", became a radio favourite. The album proved to be a big seller and ensured Morcheeba's success as a breakthrough act.[13] In 1998, Morcheeba collaborated with Hubert Laws to record the classic song "Summer Time" for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody, a tribute to George Gershwin, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.

In 2000, Morcheeba released their third album, Fragments of Freedom. This repeated the sales success of Big Calm, but received a less positive critical response. The band's fourth album, Charango, was released in 2002 and saw a diminished role for Edwards. The singles Otherwise, and Way Beyond followed. The lyrics for Undress Me Now were written with Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, while other collaborators on the album were with emcees Pace Won and Slick Rick. In January 2003 the band undertook their first significant tour of the US since 1998.[14] In 2001 the Godfrey brothers contributed three songs to the Jim White album No Such Place.[15]

Split[edit]

By the end of 2003, the Godfrey brothers split with Edwards, citing creative and personal differences.[16] Edwards received 'a phone call from our manager saying that it was over. It was a relief to think we didn’t have to continue'.[17] She was under the impression that the band had ceased the operate. A greatest hits compilation, Parts of the Process, helped to retain interest in the band and featured two new tracks - What's Your Name (featuring a rhyming cameo from Big Daddy Kane) and "Can't Stand It." At around the same time, they released the live DVD Morcheeba: From Brixton to Beijing. A decade later Ross Godfrey reflected on this period saying that "We just felt like we couldn’t breathe, I’d been in the band and on the road since I was 18, so to have any kind of break from that was just amazing".[18]

The two brothers reunited the year after, leaving Paul to explain that 'Ross and I realised that Morcheeba was kind of our family company, and that we wanted very much to keep it going, hence the change'.[19] In 2005 Morcheeba released their fifth studio (and first post-Skye Edwards) album, The Antidote. Daisy Martey (formerly of the band Noonday Underground) was recruited to replace Edwards as the album vocalist. However, Martey's period with the band was brief and she was sacked in the middle of the promotional tour, to be replaced by Jody Sternberg. Martey subsequently sued the band for breach of contract and defamation.[20] Sternberg's own tenure with the band was similarly brief, and she only appeared to have been part of the band to fulfil tour dates. The entire episode 'was difficult to say the least. It left us in near-ruin' according to Ross.[21]

After a break of several years, Morcheeba released their sixth studio album, Dive Deep in February 2008. On this album, the Godfrey brothers fell back into their role as producers, selecting five vocalists to perform their songs. The folk-rock singer Judie Tzuke, Norwegian born Thomas Dybdahl and blues singer/guitarist Bradley Burgess appeared as lead vocalists together with the Korean-American rapper Cool Calm Pete, and French singer Manda (Amanda Zamolo).[22] Both Manda and Burgess toured with Morcheeba as lead singers on their 2008 tour.

Reunion[edit]

As a solo artist, Edwards remained with the same management company as Morcheeba,[23] which led to a chance meeting in their London offices sometime in 2009. Edwards and the Godfrey brothers met again to discuss her possible involvement in a new project. Initially the singer was hesitant and pointed out that she 'really enjoyed doing my solo stuff and writing my own lyrics'.[24] Eventually Edwards rejoined the band and the trio began work on a new album,[16] with Edwards still on tour promoting her solo album, Ross Godfrey living in California and Paul Godfrey in France.[25] On 12 February 2010, NME revealed that Edwards was once again back with the band, which was confirmed by Paul Godfrey the day after on the band's Myspace blog. Edwards made her live return with the band at the Caprices Festival, Switzerland on 9 April 2010.[26] Edwards role in the band changed as she had 'become more confident in my ability as a singer and a songwriter' and found that during the recording process they were 'more honest with each other, and [thus] we have a more honest record'.[17]

Morcheeba released their seventh album Blood Like Lemonade on PIAS in June 2010, preceded by the single 'Even Though'. It was produced by Paul Godfrey, who described the album as 'a warm, fuzzy blanket of psychedelia' while Edwards found the lyrics as 'having dark themes'.[17] She also remarked on how the brothers had made her part of the creative process again.[24] An eighteenth-month tour followed that saw the band play around the Americas and Europe.[27]

Their eighth album, Head Up High was released on October 14, 2013 again on PIAS.[28] When touring the band currently consists of Sky Edwards (vocals), Ross Godfrey (guitars) Steve Gordon (bass), Richard Milner (keyboards), Martin Carling (drums) and James Anthony (decks).

Trivia[edit]

  • "Never an Easy Way" (from Who Can You Trust? release) was used in the opening sequence of the episode "Passion" (season 2, episode 17) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, partly under the narrative voiceover of the character Angel/Angelus (played by David Boreanaz).
  • "Everybody Loves a Loser" was featured in the first season for the television series, Hung, and was included on its soundtrack album issued in June 2010.
  • "Be Yourself" was covered by the top 5 contestants of American Idol: Season 10. The recording was used in the show's weekly Ford commercial.
  • "On The Rhodes Again" (from Beats & B-Sides release) was used as source music in the film Traffic.

Band name[edit]

The name "Morcheeba" comes from the initials "MOR" (indicating Middle Of the Road) and "cheeba", a slang term for cannabis.[29]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
[30]
AUS
[31]
AUT
[32]
FRA
[33]
ITA
[34]
NO
[35]
NZ
[36]
US
[37]
US
Dance

[37]
US Ind.
[37]
1996 Who Can You Trust? 57 - - - - - - - - -
1998 Big Calm 18 67 22 18 - 22 17 - - -
2000 Fragments of Freedom
  • Released: August 1, 2000
  • Label: Sire/WEA
  • Format: CD, LP
6 11 13 10 3 7 15 113 - -
2002 Charango
  • Released: July 2, 2002
  • Label: Sire/WEA
  • Format: CD, LP
7 19 8 10 6 18 17 - - -
2005 The Antidote
  • Released: May 31, 2005
  • Label: Echo
  • Format: CD
17 62 23 5 14 - - - - -
2008 Dive Deep
  • Released: February 19, 2008
  • Label: Echo/Ultra
  • Format: CD
59 - 42 15 - - - - 15 -
2010 Blood Like Lemonade
  • Released: July 13, 2010
  • Label: PIAS
  • Format: CD
111 - 30 13 - - - - 10 49
2013 Head Up High
  • Release date: October 14, 2013[28]
  • Label: PIAS
  • Format: CD, LP, MP3, AAC
99 - 39 25 75 - - - 8 -
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums and others[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Song UK
[41][42]
FRA
[33]
IRE
[43]
NLD NZ RUS SWI US Dance
[44]
Album
1996 "Trigger Hippie" 40 Who Can You Trust?
"Never an Easy Way"
"Tape Loop" 42
1997 "The Music That We Hear (Moog Island)" 47
"Shoulder Holster" 53 Big Calm
1998 "The Sea"
"Blindfold" 56
"Let Me See" 46 46
"Part of the Process" 38
"Summertime" Red Hot + Rhapsody: The Gershwin Groove
2000 "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" 34 48 82 2 33 Fragments of Freedom
"Be Yourself" 108 41
2001 "World Looking In" 48 36
2002 "Otherwise" 64 72 5 Charango
"Way Beyond" 147
"Undress Me Now"
2003 "What's Your Name" (feat. Big Daddy Kane) Parts of the Process
2005 "Wonders Never Cease" 86 86 114 The Antidote
"Lighten Up" 240
"Everybody Loves a Loser"
2008 "Enjoy the Ride" 182 163 Dive Deep
"Gained the World" 180
2010 "Even Though" 251 Blood Like Lemonade
"Blood Like Lemonade"
2013 "Gimme Your Love" 123 Head Up High
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MORCHEEBA | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  2. ^ "BBC Kent" Ross Godfrey interviewed on BBC Radio Kent by Jacob Rickard, 12 October 2013 (UK only)
  3. ^ "Paul Godfrey Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  4. ^ Ross Godfrey. "Ross Godfrey | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  5. ^ a b c "CC interview" Bob Gourley 'Morcheeba interview with Ross Godfrey', Chaos Control magazine August 1998
  6. ^ "Skye Edwards interview" Teddy Jamieson, 'Skye high as Morcheeba return' The Herald (Scotland), 15 November 2013
  7. ^ a b "Pete Norris interview" Tom Flint 'Pete Norris: Recording Morcheeba's 'Rome Wasn't Built In A Day' Sound On Sound October 2000
  8. ^ "Morcheeba - Trigger Hippie at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  9. ^ "Morcheeba Gigography, Tour History". Songkick. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  10. ^ "NYC live review" Doug Levy 'New York City Hall' live review in the NME November 16, 2000
  11. ^ a b "Sound On Sound Morcheeba studio 1997" Sue Sillitoe, 'Morcheeba: From Clapham to The Orb' Sound On Sound, December 1997
  12. ^ "Byrne collaboration" Gil Kaufman 'David Byrne Collaborates With Morcheeba', MTV News (Addicted to Noise) December 3, 1996
  13. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 660. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  14. ^ Klinge, Steve (2003-01-17). "Singer can't label Morcheeba - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  15. ^ "Jim White - No Such Place (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  16. ^ a b "Gimme Noise" Jen Edwards, 'Morcheeba: The revealing extended interview', Gimme Noise, February 13, 2011
  17. ^ a b c "Culture Compass: Sky interview 2010" Leila Hawkins, 'Exclusive, Sky Edwards, Morcheeba', Culture Compass, June 14, 2010
  18. ^ "Features | A Quietus Interview | Specs, Drugs & Rock & Roll: True Stories Of Morcheeba". The Quietus. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  19. ^ "OMH Interview with Paul Godfrey" Ben Hogwood 'Interview - Morcheeba' music OMH, 3 August 2005
  20. ^ "Gigwise newsitem" Daniel Melia, 'Former Morcheeba singer sues Bandmate for assault' Gigwise, 5th January 2006
  21. ^ "Dive Deep interview" Jack Foley, 'Morcheeba discuss the journey to Dive Deep', IndieLondon, Accessed March 21, 2014.
  22. ^ "Discogs entry" Discogs entry for the album with credits, accessed March 21, 2014.
  23. ^ "CMO Management" Brendan Coyle of CMO Management represents both artists
  24. ^ a b "Guestlisted interview" Leigh, Sky Edwards interview (2010), Digging A Hole, August 21, 2010
  25. ^ "IndieLondon interview with Paul Godfrey" 'Morcheeba - The IndieLondon interview', IndieLondon, June 2010
  26. ^ "Morcheeba to be rejoined by former singer for first time since 2003" (news story in NME, 12 February 2010)
  27. ^ "Joe's Pub at The Public - Public Theater". Joespub.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  28. ^ a b "Morcheeba Announce New Album 'Head Up High' Released October 14th 2013". contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14. 
  29. ^ "MORCHEEBA: From Clapham To The Orb". Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  30. ^ "Discography Morcheeba". theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  31. ^ "Discography Morcheeba". Australian-Charts.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  32. ^ "Discographie Morcheeba". AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  33. ^ a b "Discographie Morcheeba" (in French). lescharts.com. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  34. ^ "Discography Morcheeba". Charts.ord.nz. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  35. ^ "Discography Morcheeba". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  36. ^ "Discography Morcheeba". Charts.ord.nz. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  37. ^ a b c "Discography Morcheeba". billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  38. ^ a b c d "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 2011-10-30. Note: User needs to enter "Morcheeba" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  39. ^ "Certified Awards Search". Music Canada. Retrieved on 2011-10-30. Note: User needs to enter "Morcheeba" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  40. ^ a b "Certified Awards Search". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved on 2011-10-30.
  41. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 378. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  42. ^ Chart Log UK: M Zobbel.de
  43. ^ Morcheeba discography irish-charts.ie
  44. ^ "Morcheeba | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 

External links[edit]