February 17, 2017
I’ve written about Echobelly before, back in April 2015, so I’ll spare everyone the biography. It was pleasing to see via the comments back then that others also recalled them with fondness.
This was their third single, released in June 1994 and by creeping into the higher end of the charts at #39 provided their first mainstream success. It was an ambitious effort – cracking along at a right good pace for the first two minutes before really slowing down for the chorus which is a complete reversal from the formula for most chart hits. It’s also bold in that a band, who were not all that well-known outside of certain music papers, would make such a grandiose and boastful statement in a song title. Loved it at the time and still do although when it popped up via shuffle the other day it was the first I’d heard it in years:-
mp3 : Echobelly – I Can’t Imagine The World Without Me
Here’s the two b-sides:-
mp3 : Echobelly – Sober
mp3 : Echobelly – Venus Wheel
It’s one of those 3-track singles which, while never threatening to change anything about music, was great value and has stood the test of time pretty well. The former is a fine ballad which shows that Sonya Madan was a fine singer while the latter is a more than adequate pop song that many others would probably have shoved out as a single rather than relegating it to the obscurity of a b-side.
April 22, 2015
The first time I heard Echobelly was back in 1993 via a compilation tape put together by Jacques the Kipper. I was immediately knocked out. It was as if a cracking Smiths tribute band (with added didgeridoo!!) was being fronted by the winner of a Debbie Harry soundalike contest.
mp3 : Echobelly – Bellyache
I immediately set out to track down the debut which wasn’t easy as it was on a small London indie label – Pandemonium Records – but thankfully the label would re-issue it as an EP in January 1994 with the other three songs all being more than half-decent as well:-
mp3 : Echobelly – Sleeping Hitler
mp3 : Echobelly – Give Her A Gun
mp3 : Echobelly – I Don’t Belong Here
Seems I wasn’t alone in falling for its charms as the band then experienced a bit of a bidding war and they eventually signed to a subsidiary of Epic Records, and enjoyed a hugely successful two-year spell in which they would have two Top 10 LPs and a handful of hit singles.
The mainstays of Echobelly were a bit of an odd couple. Vocalist Sonya Madan was born in India but raised in a strict environment in England (so much so that she didn’t attend her first rock gig until she was at college) while guitarist Glenn Johansson was a Swede whose previous work had including editing porno mags…
Their writing partnership however, worked a treat with many of their songs combining catchy indie pop and intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics that addressed many social issues. Their biggest hit addressed prostitution and homelessness:-
mp3 : Echobelly – King Of The Kerb
A series of health and legal issues in 1996 halted momentum and although the band returned with a third LP in late 1997, the Britpop-bubble with which they had been lumped in had burst and Echobelly soon became a mere footnote in indie pop history which is a real pity as they were more than half-decent but I don’t think they ever quite matched the brilliance of the debut single.