Friday, July 18, 2008

The Beloved - Conscience (1993)

In which we imagine a world where madchester, grunge and britpop took a backseat to music that meant something...

One of my favorite pop acts of the early 90's was The Beloved. After commercial and critical success with the album Happiness and the singles "Hello" and "The Sun Rising" expectations for the follow-up were high. The lead single from Conscience was the laid back "Sweet Harmony" and while it was decent (reaching the Top Ten in the UK), it was clear that the music scene had moved on from the rave/dance culture the band embraced. The album, and subsequent singles, failed to replicate earlier success, and some of the blame was (unfairly, I think) directed at Helena Marsh, who replaced Steve Waddington in the band and happened to be the wife of Jon Marsh, the other remaining member.

As is the case with a lot of the music I like, it's the less commercial stuff that holds my interest. Second single "You've Got Me Thinking" remains an all-time favorite due to the beautiful interplay between acoustic guitar and an electronic beat - while it may not be my favorite track of all time (step forward, "Blue Monday"!) it is probably the best track I can point to as an example of the type of music that I will always prefer. Other standout tracks include the trippy "Outerspace Girl" and the slightly ironic "Rock To The Rhythm of Love".

The video for "Sweet Harmony" is worth mentioning, as it features lots of tasteful nakedness, and I tracked down a "making of" segment that discusses the video and is quite interesting I think.

The Beloved - Conscience (1993)
  1. Spirit
  2. Sweet Harmony
  3. Outerspace Girl
  4. Lose Yourself In Me
  5. Paradise Found
  6. You've Got Me Thinking
  7. Celebrate Your Life
  8. Rock To The Rhythm Of Love
  9. Let The Music Take You
  10. 1000 Years From Today
  11. Dream On

The Beloved - Sweet Harmony CD Single

  1. Sweet Harmony
  2. Sweet Harmony (Live The Dream Mix)
  3. Motivation (Exercised)
  4. Sweet Harmony (Love The Dub Mix)

Official Website - includes an extensive downloads section
Wikipedia entry


Saputra said...

I bought the CD as soon as it was released. Originally, I was a bit disappointed, since it was not as good as 'Happiness'. A bit too mellow & monotonous.

Back then, I thought 'You've got me thinking' is a poor attempt to emulate 'Time after time'

However, it grows on me with time. My favorite tracks are identical to yours. 'Outer space Girl' is definitely a great tune.


Saputra said...

Sorry I forgot to add, thanks for the single.


Anonymous said...

Happiness was such a fantastic album... I played that constantly for a very long time. 'Wake Up Soon', 'Time After Time', 'Hello', 'I Love You More', 'Found' etc etc. OK, the follow up wasn't up there but 'Sweet Harmony' and 'You've Got Me Thinking' are beautiful pop songs and it's always great to hear them turn up on the Ipod. Great great memories!

arnoldtan said...

thanks for this...can i request of a band called NAIVE(DANISH BAND), WITH an album of FISH?......thanks