The Beloved (band)
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|Genres||Alternative dance, house, synthpop, post-punk (early work)|
|Labels||Flim Flam Productions, Atlantic Records, Warner Bros., EastWest, WEA|
|Associated acts||Twelve of August, Journey Through|
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).
Initial indie success
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, and all failing in the UK Top 75.
Early United Kingdom hits
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. "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". 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. 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, and the final cut, "Time After Time", which was only a minor hit in Great Britain, failing at Number 48.
A brand new song, "It's Alright Now", which also failed to make the Top 40, stopping at Number 46 in the UK, 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.
The video is not the first to witness Jon Marsh naked. Due to the huge success of the 1990 album Happiness, a VHS video collection was created in 1991, containing all four singles from that album, and a final ghost video track, where Jon is openly making love to Helena, then his girlfriend, backed by a long extended remix of a track from the Blissed Out album. While "Sweet Harmony" went on to become their biggest hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in January 1993, the other four tracks taken from the Conscience album, pressed onto three singles, one a double A-side, did not achieve the former's success. "Celebrate Your Life"/"You've Got Me Thinking" peaked at number 23, "Outerspace Girl" at number 38, and the final single, "Rock to the Rhythm of Love" did not chart. This latter song was performed live at a concert during London Gay Pride in 1994.
After Conscience, a fourth studio album entitled X was released in 1996. Though the record peaked at number 25 in the UK Albums Chart, and three singles were released from it, only the first, "Satellite", made the Top 20, peaking at Number 19; while the second, "Deliver Me", failed to chart -and the third, "Ease the Pressure", did not enter the UK Top 40, stalling at number 43. To date, X is the last original album from the group. This album includes soundscapes by Robert Fripp.
After X, the compilation Single File followed in 1997, promoted by a new remix of "The Sun Rising" (which reached Number 31, only five positions lower than the original 1989 release). Subsequent compilations followed in 2005 and 2011.
The Beloved released a number of underground 12" singles in the following years under different names, including: It's A Universal Thing / All That Jazz (1998, as Adam & Eve); Ride With Me (1998, as Lucky Hole); Baby Sheik (1998, as The London Authority); With You, a cover version of Sparks' 1981 song When I'm With You which was originally recorded for the compilation DJ Empire Presents: A Tribute To Giorgio Moroder (2000); Stella Does Tricks (2000, as Adam & Eve); Timeslip (2001); Density (2001, as Adam & Eve); and King Of Deep / Peking Dub (2003, as Deepo King).
Jon Marsh later became a respected club DJ, most notably working for the famous London nightclub Fabric. Marsh also collaborated with original band member Steve Waddington and others on new material, which remains unreleased.
Collaborations with other artists or bands
Both Jon Marsh and Steve Waddington have collaborated with other artists or bands. Steve Waddington co-wrote, co-produced, and contributed 'Wah-Wah' guitar to the System 7 track "Habibi". Jon Marsh has contributed vocals to tracks from Laid and Luke Solomon. He also worked with Bent on Beautiful Otherness from their 2003 album The Everlasting Blink and We Watch the Stars, which was released in 2013.
Awards and Nominations
|1991||Brit Awards||"Hello"||Best British Video||Nominated|
|1993||MTV VMA||"Sweet Harmony"||Viewer's Choice (Europe)||Nominated|
- Where It Is (Flim Flam Productions, vinyl LP, HARPLP2, 1987, CD, HARPCD2, 1988) – UK Indie Chart No. 17*
- Happiness (Atlantic 1990) – UK No. 14, AUS No. 104, US No. 154
- Blissed Out (East West 1991) – UK No. 38
- Conscience (East West 1993) – UK No. 2, AUS No. 144, AUT No. 22, GER No. 47
- X (East West 1996) – UK No. 25, AUS No. 88, SWE No. 53
- Single File (East West 1997) – UK No. 171 [compilation]
- The Sun Rising (WEA 2005) [compilation]
- Flim Flam (Not On Label 2005) [Recorded in 1987 but not released. Made available via their website to download on 21st July 2005.]
- Sweet Harmony: Very Best of the Beloved (Music Club 2011) [compilation]
|1986||"A Hundred Words"||—||15||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||singles only|
(Where It Is)
|"This Means War"||—||22||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Surprise Me / Forever Dancing"||—||15||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1988||"Loving Feeling"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||single only|
|1989||"Your Love Takes Me Higher"||91||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Happiness|
|"The Sun Rising"||26||—||—||—||—||—||—||28||—||—||—|
|"Your Love Takes Me Higher" (reissue)||39||—||148||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Time After Time"||46||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"It's Alright Now"||48||—||150||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Blissed Out|
|"You've Got Me Thinking / Celebrate Your Life"||23||—||200||—||—||—||—||21||—||—||—|
|"Rock to the Rhythm of Love" (US only)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Ease the Pressure"||43||—||204||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1997||"The Sun Rising / The Sun Rising (remix)"||31||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Single File|
|2000||"With You"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||singles only|
|"Timeslip" (white label)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- "Up, Up and Away" (1990 - from Happiness)
- "The Remix EP" (1991 - from Blissed Out)
- "1000 Years From Today" (1993 - from Conscience)
- "Crystal Wave" (March 1995 - from X)
- "Sampler" (1996 - from X)
- "Physical Love" / "3 Steps to Heaven" (1996 - double promo - from X)
- "This Means War" (1987)
- "Forever Dancing" (1987)
- "Loving Feeling" (1988)
- "Your Love Takes Me Higher" (1989)
- "The Sun Rising" (1989)
- "Hello" (1989)
- "Your Love Takes Me Higher" (second version) (1990)
- "Time After Time" (1990)
- "It's Alright Now" (1990)
- "Sweet Harmony" (1993)
- "You've Got Me Thinking" (1993)
- "Outerspace Girl" (1993)
- "Satellite" (1996)
- "Deliver Me" (1996)
- "The Sun Rising (remix)" (1997)
- Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
- "Official Charts > Beloved". The UK Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1. Exact dates of single releases from the Happiness album can be found in the 9th edition of The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, 1993. ISBN 0-85112-526-3. As for the dates of further album and single releases, please see The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and Albums.
- Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
- Top 100 singles and albums chart peaks: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- "Your Love Takes Me Higher" (reissue), "Time After Time", "It's Alright Now", "Sweet Harmony", "You've Got Me Thinking" and "Outerspace Girl": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur.com. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "The Sun Rising", "Satellite", "Deliver Me" and "Ease the Pressure": "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 12 September 2016". Imgur.com. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Happiness and Conscience: "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 13 September 2016". Imgur.com. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Billboard > Artists / The Beloved > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "austriancharts.at > The Beloved in der Österreichischen Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > The Beloved – Conscience (album)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "swedishcharts.com > The Beloved in Swedish Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Chart Log UK 1994–2010 > Darren B – David Byrne". zobbel.de. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Ultratop > The Beloved in Ultratop Vlaanderen" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "lescharts.com > The Beloved dans les Charts Français" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- German singles chart peaks:
- "Sweet Harmony": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > The Beloved – Sweet Harmony (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Outerspace Girl": "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > The Beloved – Outerspace Girl (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for 'The Beloved' (from irishcharts.ie)". Imgur.com (original source published by Fireball Media). Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "dutchcharts.nl > The Beloved in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "The Beloved in der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 September 2016.