I mentioned last week that Dan Treacy of The Television Personalities had founded Dreamworld Records in 1985. Today’s lot, from Wolverhampton in the heart of the English Midlands, made their breakthrough on that very label.

The Mighty Lemon Drops debut single went to the top of the indie charts in April 1986 shifting almost 15,000 copies. They were much championed in the music press with many a comparison made to early-era Echo and The Bunnymen which is what got me interested in the first place; but having given them a listen, I didn’t see the comparison and I quickly lost interest in the band.

They were a four-piece classic line-up with vocal, guitars, bass and drums. The sales of the debut single led to a bidding war and by the following year they were on a subsidiary of Chrysalis Records in the UK while Seymour Stein had snapped them up for Sire Records over on the other side of the Atlantic. Big things were expected…..but in the end nothing really happened beyond very minor chart success and one Top 40 album from the three that were recorded.

By 1992 they had called it a day.

Thinking back, this was a band who were hyped to the nth degree by the press to such a ridiculous extent that the music could never live up to it. They were decent enough but they weren’t brilliant nor did they really stand out from the crowd. But their debut single on Dreamworld has stood the test of time better than many and it was the once chosen to feature on CD86:-

mp3 : The Mighty Lemon Drops – Like An Angel

Here’s yer b-side of the 7”

mp3 : The Mighty Lemon Drops – Now She’s Gone

While here’s the two b-sides of the 12″ version which had actually come out six months prior to the 7″…

mp3 : The Mighty Lemon Drops – Something Happens
mp3 : The Mighty Lemon Drops – Sympathise With Us


7 thoughts on “NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Part 41 of 48)

  1. Saw them play live in Leeds and agree with everything you say. They were okay if a,bit non descript and the massive hype was puzzling. Heard a track for the first time in ages on the excellent music for misfits tv prog and it was,better than I remembered. The gig was only really memorable for the fact that the girl I went with passed out .

  2. I saw them once too, in a dingy basement in Romford. Dry ice ago-go as I remember. It was a good night and it’s nice to hear ‘Like an Angel’ again.

  3. I always liked the MLDs. Agree that they weren’t exactly ground-breaking, but they had some good tunes and I enjoyed them live. I always detected a bit of a Bunnymen influence, possibly more so on some of their post–1986 releases.

  4. A very fair description of the band. Saw them at the Manchester International 1 in October 1986 (a band called Vee VV were supporting). The place was packed out, I guess most were there to see what the press fuss was about. They were “quite” good.

    Not long after Pop Will Eat Itself had a cover version of ‘Like An Angel’ which included lyrics from ‘When I Dream’ by The Teardrop Explodes and a ridiculous amount of feedback at the end. It was included on a Subway Organisation compilation album.

  5. I think the Bunnymen influence was there, but Paul Marsh always sounded like Julian Cope to me. They drew from the same garage psychedelia as The Bunnymen and Teardrop Expoldes, but never really explored in the same way. I finally saw them when they toured the US in 88 and enjoyed the show, but I too didn’t really follow through after the debut album.

  6. As an Indie kid living just outside Wolverhampton in the mid-80s, the Mighty Lemon Drops were heaven sent. Particularly, as a big Echo fan, they had arrived on the scene at the same time as The Bunnymen were on their first hiatus. Happy Head, The Other Side of You etc. sound like Crocodiles to these ears, and still sound amazing even after 30 years!

  7. Liked them at the time but the years haven’t enhanced them. ‘Like An Angel’ holds up but a lot fo the rest of tehstuff is very average.

    Whilst there was definitely a Liverpool Explodes vibe about them it always sounded more Wah! to me, but with a production akin to KIlimanjaro. Never got the Bunnymen references at all.

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