Sometimes, I find that pieces that have previously appeared on the blog would work perfectly for some sort of series that has been thought-up and introduced many years later.  These are my words from 17 September 2014:-

Ian Broudie was a big part of the Liverpool new wave scene in the late 1970s. A member of Big in Japan (which also featured Holly Johnson and Bill Drummond) he then formed The Original Mirrors in the early ’80s, and was credited as a member of Bette Bright and the Illuminations on their lone album from 1981.

In 1983, he formed the band Care with vocalist Paul Simpson and the duo released three outstanding singles before breaking up. Though he was a busy writer, performer and session musician through the 1980s, Broudie was much more well-known a producer, working with Echo and The Bunnymen, The Icicle Works, The Colourfield, The Pale Fountains and The Fall amongst many others, often using the pseudonym “Kingbird”.

In 1989, Broudie began recording alone under the name The Lightning Seeds – he has since said it was an experiment to see if he could cut it as a muso – and in this guise as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, he would achieve much success beginning with this wonderful debut single:-

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Pure

A #16 hit in the UK, the two follow-up singles from debut LP Cloudcuckooland failed abysmally and like most folk, I reckoned that could very well have been the end of The Lightning Seeds. But two years later, he/they returned and hit the Top 30 with Sense and for much of the rest of the decade became chart regulars, picking up lots of new fans in particular after the huge success of Three Lions, the official anthem of the England football side for the Euro 96 championships.

Some later material might have been bigger hits, but I don’t think there was ever anything better than that debut single. Here’s the excellent b-sides from the 12″ copy that’s been sitting in the cupboard all these years after I picked it up for 99p in a bargain bin in Woolworth’s.

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Fools
mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – God Help Them



  1. Umm….it starts as a weak Bunnymen imitation, moves on to The The for the chorus, then lifts the melody from ‘Love Vigilantes’ for the guitar solo. He “cut it as a muso” by cutting and pasting, so to speak.

  2. Pure is a great song, but I have always been partial to Joy. Broudie’s writing partner on some of the early tracks was Lotus Eater, Peter Coyle – a genius move really. Broudie would bring on heavyweight songwriter (IMO) Terry Hall to collaborate on the brilliant Sense single and album. As an artist he was a very, very smart producer…

  3. I can appreciate the song a lot more now, but early Lightning Seeds just didn’t hook me at all, despite being aware of Ian Broudie’s production history with so many bands I did like. Possibly not far off JTFL’s comments, Lightning Seeds initially felt and sounded a bit too derivative and indebted to the past to really appeal. It was Sense (and, no surprise, Terry Hall’s involvement) that made me pause. Whilst for me, that was Lightning Seeds’ peak, it did make me go back and appreciate their earlier material more. Pure and simple every time may have been the mantra, but the single sounds great 30+ years on.

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