Some seven years after bursting onto the scene and being labelled as one of the key members of the ‘shoegazing’ scene, Lush released an album that was a real surprise and delight.
Lovelife hit the shops in March 1996. It came on the back of two ridiculously catchy singles, Single Girl and Ladykillers, that had raised the profile of the band to a new height. It was as indie-pop (of its time) as could be, with catchy choruses and hooks amidst rhythmic guitars that demanded you get on the floor and dance. It would become one of the defining releases of the Britpop era, and unlike many others, it has dated very well. One of its many highlights is this:-
This was a time when many scenesters were namechecking Lee Hazelwood as an influence, often mentioning his duets with Nancy Sinatra as being among their favourite songs when they were growing up. Miki Berenyi and Jarvis Cocker really do channel their Nancy and Lee desires with a magnificently bitter song in which the two protagonists are absolutely delighted the relationship is finally over, both wondering why it took them so long and choosing to exit by throwing poisonous barbs at one another before the sign-off:-
Well, I’ve been in heaven since I walked away
I never thought that I could feel as great as I do today
‘Cause you were nothing but a waste of space
And life is wonderful now that I’m over you
It would have made for a great single but maybe Lush were a bit concerned they would be accused of jumping on the Pulp bandwagon as it was the period when the latter were enjoying, (if that’s the right word given what they did next), unprecedented chart success with Top 10 singles and millions of sales for the album Different Class.
As it turned out, when the time came, in 2001, for 4AD to release a ‘Best Of’ for Lush, it was decided to name the album Ciao! and to include it in the tracklisting.