|Genres||Folk, pop, MOR|
|Labels||Dawn, EMI, After Hours|
|Past members||Chris Ringer
Prelude are an English based vocal folk group, who in their most famous line-up consisted of Brian Hume (vocals, guitar), his wife Irene Hume (vocals) and Ian Vardy (guitars, vocals). They formed in their native Gateshead in 1970.
They began to write their own material and built a following on the folk circuit and in 1973 they recorded their first album, How Long Is Forever?, on Dawn Records at Rockfield recording studios in Wales. From it came their best known recording, an a cappella version of the Neil Young song "After the Gold Rush", on Dawn. In the UK, it entered the Top 50 on 26 January 1974, had a nine-week stay, peaking at Number 21. In America, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 on 11 February 1974, and had a five-week stay, peaking at #22.
Hume explained (in 1974) how the song came about: “We were standing at a bus stop in Stocksfield and we just started singing it. There was no particular reason, it was just a nice song. The way we do it now is really no different from the way we did it at the bus stop. We included it in our act and it went down really well – even the rowdier clubs listened to it. We certainly never thought of it as a possible single. In any case we always thought of ourselves as an album group rather than making singles and included the song on the album How Long Is Forever as an afterthought”.
The group subsequently toured the U.S., but "After the Gold Rush" proved their only U.S. chart success. They then toured the UK, supporting Ralph McTell and Joan Armatrading. In 1981 they toured the UK with Don McLean. Also in 1974, they recorded backing vocals for the Ralph McTell's hit single, "Streets of London".
The group signed with EMI, and in 1980 scored their second UK hit with "Platinum Blonde". The group appeared on Top Of The Pops to promote the single. The follow-up "Trick Of The Light" failed to chart, but was noted in one review[who?] of its similarity to Fleetwood Mac. Further success was achieved in 1982 when a re-recorded version of "After the Gold Rush" made the UK Top 30. The group released three further singles in the same year, namely, "Only The Lonely" (a cover of the Roy Orbison song), "City Tonight" and "Silent Night". However, no album was released around this time.
Vardy left the band in 1985. Irene and Brian Hume continued as a duo until 1987, when they were joined by Jim Hornsby (guitar and dobro). By 1993, Hornsby had left and Prelude continued as a duo once more. They still write and perform on the folk circuit, along with Chris Ringer (bass/vocals).
As a three-piece band (Hume/Hume/Ringer) they performed as a trio but in 2008 they were rejoined by original member Ian Vardy and performed as a four-piece. Rediscovering much of their back catalogue with Ian Vardy back on board, the group are going from strength to strength and have added a percussionist to the line-up where stage space allows. A new album, with the line up Hume / Hume / Vardy with support from Steve Cunningham and Paul Hooper was released in February 2011
- 1973 "Out There" (Dawn)
- 1974 "After the Gold Rush" (Dawn) UK #21
- 1974 '"Here Comes the Sun" (Dawn)
- 1974 '"Dear Jesus" (Dawn)
- 1975 "Fly" (Dawn)
- 1975 "A Love Song" (Dawn)
- 1980 "Platinum Blonde" (EMI) UK #45
- 1980 "Trick of the Light" (EMI)
- 1981 "When Two Worlds Collide" (EMI)
- 1982 "After the Gold Rush" (new recording) (After Hours) UK #28
- 1982 "Only The Lonely" (After Hours) UK #55
- 1982 "City Tonight" (After Hours)
- 1982 "Silent Night" (After Hours)
- 1973 How Long Is Forever? (Dawn)
- 1974 Dutch Courage (Dawn) (titled After the Gold Rush in the USA)US #94
- 1975 Owlcreek Incident (Dawn) US #111
- 1976 Back Into the Light (Pye)
- 1982 Prelude (After Hours)
- 1984 Prelude (CMP)
- 1997 Archive (Rialto) (Compilation)
- 2000 Floating on the Breeze: The Dawn (Castle) (Compilation of 1970s material)
- 2011 The Belle Vue Sessions
- Vinylnet.co.uk | Prelude discography on Dawn records 1973 - 1975
- Billboard.com | How Long is Forever album
- Chartstats.com | "After the Gold Rush" UK Chart run
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 434. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Chartstats.com | Prelude UK Chart discography
- Billboard.com Prelude Biography
- Allmusic Chart positions