The Dream Academy

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The Dream Academy
The Dream Academy in 1991 Left to right: Nick Laird-Clowes, Kate St John, and Gilbert Gabriel
The Dream Academy in 1991
Left to right: Nick Laird-Clowes, Kate St John, and Gilbert Gabriel
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Genres
Years active
  • 1983 (1983)–1991 (1991)
  • 2014
Labels
Past members

The Dream Academy was a British band consisting of singer/guitarist[3] and primary songwriter[4] Nick Laird-Clowes, multi-instrumentalist Kate St John, and keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel.[5] The band is most noted for their 1985 hit record, "Life in a Northern Town".[6][7]

History[edit]

Laird-Clowes and Gabriel met each other in the late 1970s whilst the former was in a band called The Act. Their idea was to create a songscape different from the power pop groups popular at the time in the UK, by mixing instruments and sounds that had been rarely done prominently before, such as strings, woodwinds, percussion (timpani) and synthesizers. At first, Laird-Clowes and Gabriel called themselves the Politics of Paradise.[8]

The Dream Academy formed in 1983.[1][5] Laird-Clowes met Kate St John (then of The Ravishing Beauties) at a party and asked her to join his band. The trio settled on the name The Dream Academy and shopped their demos for nearly two years. Their work was rejected by every record label before they finally landed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1985. Along the way, they made connections with Adam Peters and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, a friend of Laird-Clowes. Gilmour would go on to produce and/or play on two of their albums and co-write one Dream Academy song, "Twelve-Eight Angel".[8]

The band's first single, "Life in a Northern Town" (1985), was a worldwide success and sizeable hit in the U.S., charting at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from an album co-produced by Gilmour.[1] The song also made number 15 in the UK Singles Chart.[9] The single was dedicated to the English singer-songwriter Nick Drake.[1][10] It was their only major chart success. The band's follow-up single, "The Love Parade" (1985), charted in the U.K.[11] and the United States.[12][13]

Also in 1985, The Dream Academy covered the Smiths' "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want".[14] Their version of the song peaked at number 83 on the UK Singles Chart.[15] The Dream Academy's instrumental version of this cover was used in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1986.[14]

The band launched a worldwide promotional tour based on the chart success of "Life in a Northern Town" and appeared on the television programmes Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, American Bandstand (with Dick Clark), MTV (interview with J. J. Jackson), and Top of the Pops. The Dream Academy's eponymous debut album also reached a wide audience in the U.S. Their two subsequent albums did not match their initial success.[1]

The Dream Academy disbanded in 1991.[14]

The band released a compilation album entitled Somewhere in the Sun... Best of the Dream Academy in Japan in 2000. In 2014, the band released another compilation album: The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective. The Morning Lasted All Day was compiled, annotated, and remastered by Laird-Clowes.[16]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart
positions
UK
[17]
US
[18]
1985 The Dream Academy 58 20
1987 Remembrance Days 181
1990 A Different Kind of Weather
  • Release date: 1990
  • Label: Reprise Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
2000 Best of the Dream Academy
2014 The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective[19]
  • Release date: 29 July 2014
  • Label: Real Gone Music

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
UK
[17]
AUS
[20]
BEL
[21]
CAN
[22]
[23]
CAN
AC

[24]
IRE
[25]
NLD
[A]
US
[27]
US AC
[28]
US
Main

[29]
1985 "Life in a Northern Town" 15 4 14 7 9 7 2 7 The Dream Academy
"The Edge of Forever" 37
"This World"
1986 "The Love Parade" 68 76 30 41 36 13 37
"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" 83 Ferris Bueller's Day Off (soundtrack)
"Indian Summer" Remembrance Days
1987 "The Lesson of Love"
"Power to Believe"
"In the Heart" Non-album single
1990 "Love" A Different Kind of Weather
1991 "Angel of Mercy"
2014 "Sunrising" The Morning Lasted All Day
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Notes
  1. ^ While none of the group's songs charted on the official Album Top 100 or Single Top 100, "Life in a Northern Town" was a hit on the Dutch Charts' unranked Single Tip chart.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Biography: The Dream Academy". AllMusic.com.
  2. ^ Stafford, James (13 October 2015). "30 Years Ago: Love and Rockets Evolve From Bauhaus With 'Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven'". Diffuser.fm.
  3. ^ "The Dream Academy special Gilbert Gabriel". www.c86show.org. 2 October 2022.
  4. ^ "Lunchtime with Joe on Monday 6th September from 12noon with Nick Laird-Clowes (Dream Academy), Andy McCluskey (OMD) and Ruth Lear". northmanchester.fm. 31 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Christopher (12 September 2020). "WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The Dream Academy".
  6. ^ Kamau, Eric (18 September 2022). "Top 10 Songs From The Dream Academy".
  7. ^ Jamison, Darren (7 March 2023). "100 Greatest Songs from 1986 - Singersroom.com".
  8. ^ a b Harris, Will. "Interview: Nick Laird-Clowes of The Dream Academy". www.rhino.com. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 168. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  10. ^ "Pop: Apprentice to the stars". The Independent. 26 March 1999. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022.
  11. ^ "The Love Parade". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  12. ^ "Billboard Database". billboard.elpee.jp.
  13. ^ "The Love Parade by The Dream Academy - 1986 Hit Song". 18 July 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Goodwin, Stuart (15 February 2012). "Old Music: The Dream Academy – Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Instrumental)". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Dream Academy - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want". Official Charts. Retrieved 19 June 2023.
  16. ^ "Real Gone Music - News - The Dream Academy". Real Gone Music. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  17. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company – Dream Academy". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  18. ^ "The Dream Academy Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  19. ^ "The Morning Lasted All Day A Retrospective: Music". Amazon. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  20. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 96. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.
  21. ^ "The Dream Academy – The Love Parade". Ultratop Hung Medien Portal (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  22. ^ "RPM100 Singles" (PDF). RPM. 1 March 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  23. ^ "RPM100 Singles" (PDF). RPM. 5 July 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Adult Contemporary" (PDF). RPM. 5 April 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  25. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  26. ^ "The Dream Academy – Life in a Northern Town". Dutch Charts Hung Medien Portal (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  27. ^ "The Dream Academy Album & Song Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  28. ^ "The Dream Academy Album & Song Chart History: Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  29. ^ "The Dream Academy > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 August 2010.

External links[edit]