The Mighty Lemon Drops
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|The Mighty Lemon Drops|
|Also known as||Sherbet Monsters|
|Origin||Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England|
|Genres||Alternative rock, college rock, indie rock, jangle pop|
|Past members||Paul Marsh (vocals, rhythm guitar)
Dave Newton (guitars)
Tony Linehan (1985-1989, bass guitar)
Marcus Williams (1989-1992, bass guitar)
Keith Rowley (drums)
Originally called the Sherbet Monsters, the quartet first formed in the spring of 1985 in Wolverhampton, in The Black Country. Paul Marsh, Dave Newton and Tony Linehan had played together in a band called Active Restraint in 1982, with Newton later leaving to become a founding member of The Wild Flowers. Dave Newton and Tony Linehan were the principal songwriters for the group. Their sound can best be described as a more psychedelia influenced post punk, played with a ringing Rickenbacker guitar as the lead instrument. They drew comparisons to Echo and the Bunnymen, who were also influenced by psychedelia.
After losing original drummer Martin Gilks (later to join The Wonder Stuff), the Drops line-up settled as Paul Marsh (vocals), David Newton (guitar), Tony Linehan (bass), and Keith Rowley (drums). In December 1985 the quartet, now officially The Mighty Lemon Drops, released their first independent single, "Like An Angel," on Daniel Treacy of Television Personalities "Dreamworld Records" label which went to the top of the UK Indie Chart and sold 14,000 copies. They also recorded a session for John Peel around the same time. Becoming part of the C86 movement, which was championed by the New Musical Express, they were soon snapped up by Geoff Travis of Rough Trade for his new Blue Guitar label, a subsidiary of Chrysalis Records. They signed with Sire Records for the United States and Canada around the same period. Derek Jarman produced the video for the "Out of Hand" single in 1987 which was followed by their hit "Inside Out" in 1988. In the UK, albums Happy Head and World Without End both charted (#58 and No. 33 respectively). In the US World Without End was a Number 1 Modern Rock/College album in 1988 and Happy Head was one of the 50 best album of the year 1986 according to Sounds magazine critics poll. These two albums relied heavily on Newton's use of a vintage Vox Mark VII semi-acoustic "Teardrop" 12-string electric guitar and a Micro-Frets Spacetone 6-string guitar. The band eventually parted company with Chrysalis in the UK after three albums (Happy Head, World Without End and Laughter), failing to repeat their initial independent success, but remained signed with Sire in the US, with Laughter, another US Modern Rock No. 1 entering the lower regions of the Billboard 200 in 1990. During the sessions for Laughter, Linehan left the band and was replaced by Marcus Williams.
The band released two more albums, Sound...Say Goodbye To Your Standards and Ricochet before finally breaking up in 1992. Three more albums followed (live albums All The Way and Young, Gifted, & Black Country, and the greatest-hits package Rollercoaster) and at the end of 2000 the band played a one-off comeback gig in Wolverhampton. In 2007 the band were reported to have been offered the chance to reform at the Coachella festival.
Linehan now works as a project manager and emigrated to New Zealand in April 2007.
David Newton (guitarist) still works as a recording engineer and record producer, and has completed projects for The Little Ones, The Blood Arm, The Soft Pack, The Henry Clay People, Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now!, The Sweater Girls, Torches, The Movies. In 2006, he produced a cover version of "Inside Out" (as well as playing bass guitar on the track) for The Lassie Foundation's double album, Through and Through.
All of The Mighty Lemon Drops albums are now officially available again through Wounded Bird Records, licenced through Warner Bros, all with extra tracks, b-sides and liner notes.
In March 2014, the band released Uptight: The Early Recordings 1985-1986, on Cherry Red Records.
- "Like An Angel" 1985
- "The Other Side Of You" 1986 - No. 67 UK Singles Chart
- "My Biggest Thrill" 1986
- "Out Of Hand" 1987 - UK No. 66
- "Inside Out" 1988 - UK No. 74
- "Fall Down (Like The Rain)" 1988
- "Into The Heart Of Love" 1989
- "Beautiful Shame" 1989
- "Too High" (Remix) 1991
- "Unkind" (Remix) 1991
- Happy Head 1986 - UK No. 58
- Out of Hand 1987
- World Without End 1988 - UK No. 34
- Laughter 1989 - US No. 195
- Sound... Goodbye to Your Standards 1991
- Ricochet 1992
- All The Way (Live In Cincinnati) 1993
- Young, Gifted, & Black Country 2004
- Rollercoaster: The Best Of The Mighty Lemon Drops 1997
- Trouser Press Record Guide: The Mighty Lemon Drops
- "Biography by Richard Skelly". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
- (Polish) Buda, Andrzej (2006). Historia rocka, popu i hip-hopu - według krytyków: 1974 - 2000. Wydawn. Niezależne (Independent editors). ISBN 8-391-52728-X; ISBN 978-83-9152-728-3.
- "About The Blood Arm". Thebloodarm.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- "Cherry Red Records - The Mighty Lemon Drops - Uptight (The Early Recordings 1985-1986)". Cherryred.co.uk. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 585. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- In Everything You Do - The Mighty Lemon Drop Archives (includes history, discography, gallery, interviews and reviews)[dead link]
- The Mighty Lemon Drops at AllMusic
- David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels (David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels Facebook page)