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The Dream Academy – Complete recordings released by Cherry Red Records

7 CD box set issued with all 3 LPs, B-sides and remixes

Featuring their three official albums and including all official B-sides and remixes and unreleased tracks, Religion, Revolution & Railways is the story of one of the most eclectic and overlooked UK artists.

Formed in 1983, when songwriter Nick Laird-Clowes, met multi instrumentalist Kate St John at a party and asked her to join his band, with keyboard player Gilbert Gabriel, whom he’d met in the late 70’s whilst Gabriel was playing with a band called The Act. Their blueprint was to eschew the direction taken by power pop, which was the prevalent sound at the time, by mixing instruments and sounds that had been rarely done prominently before, such as strings, woodwinds, percussion (timpani) and synthesizers. At first, Laird-Clowes and Gabriel called themselves the Politics of Paradise, but with St John on board they agreed on The Dream Academy. It was by far from being an overnight success however, hawking their demos round the major labels for 2 years without so much as a door opening before finally in 1985, Warner Brothers signed them up. That time wasn’t entirely wasted as the band connected with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, who went on to co-produce their first album The Dream Academy, even contributing some guitar on a couple of tracks Bound To Be and The Party. The album was the only one of the three to dent the UK Top 75, peaking at number 58. However it was a Top 20 hit in the US. It did spawn their most successful UK chart entry, with debut single Life In A Northern Town reaching No.15. Again the band experienced more success in foreign lands with the track scaling the top 10 in Australia, Ireland and the US. The initial success was never repeated in terms of chart placings, with the Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) produced sophomore album Remembrance Days never troubling the UK charts and only reaching 181 in the US, despite including the atmospheric Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes, which strangely was never given a UK singles release.

Gilmour was reinstalled as sole producer for the third album A Different Weather but it failed to enter the charts, despite the band performing their first and only tour of the United Kingdom to promote its release, in 1991.

Laird-Clowes has searched the Warner Bros archives to find rarities and unreleased tracks and has been closely involved with remastering, creating all new artwork, and choosing photographic material as well as writing comprehensive liner notes for the set.

The cinematic nature of their recordings saw the band being asked to contribute music to films by both John Hughes (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Trains, Planes and Automobiles) and Diane Keaton (Heaven).
The group disbanded in 1990 and the intervening years have seen extensive sampling and cover versions of their debut single, (most notably by Dario G’s ‘Sunchyme’ and Sugarland And Little Big Town’s reworking of ‘Life In A Northern Town’) resulting in further international chart success and a Grammy nomination.

All three members remain active in the music business with Nick Laird-Clowes’s subsequent career as a film composer, Kate St John in demand as both musical director and string arranger while Gilbert Gabriel’s doctorate sees his continued involvement with both film music and multi-media exploration.

Religion, Revolution & Railways is available now from Cherry Red Records here

Track Listing

Disc 1
The Dream Academy
1 Life In a Northern Town
2 The Edge of Forever
3 (Johnny) New Light
4 In Places on The Run
5 This World
6 Bound To Be
7 Moving On
8 The Love Parade
9 The Party
10 One Dream

Disc 2
Remembrance Days
1 Indian Summer
2 The Lesson of Love
3 Humdrum
4 Power To Believe
5 Hampstead Girl
6 Here
7 In The Hands of Love
8 Ballad In 4/4
9 Doubleminded
10 Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime
11 In Exile (For Rodrigo Rojas)

Disc 3
A Different Kind of Weather
1 Love
2 Mercy Killing
3 Lucy September
4 Gaby Says
5 Waterloo
6 Twelve-Eight Angel
7 St. Valentine’s Day
8 It’ll Never Happen Again
9 Forest Fire
10 Lowlands
11 Not For Second Prize

Disc 4
1 The Love Parade (Remix) – US Single
2 Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want – Single
3 Girl In a Million (For Edie Sedgwick) – B-Side
4 In Places on The Run – Edit
5 In The Heart – Japanese Single
6 The Chosen Few
7 Indian Summer – Single Version
8 Hampstead Girl – B/V Mix
9 Sunrising
10 The Demonstration – B-Side
11 The Last Day of The War (Pt 1) – Unreleased
12 The Last Day of The War

Disc 5
1 The Day It Rained Forever – Unreleased
2 Poised On the Edge of Forever
– B-Side
3 Test Tape No.3 – B-Side
4 Bound To Be – Demo
5 Things We Said Today – B-Side
6 Doubleminded – Demo – Unreleased
7 These Walls – Unreleased
8 The Party – Acoustic Version 9 Living In a War
10 Immaculate Heartache – B- Side
11 House Of Heartbreak – Unreleased

Disc 6
1 Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want – Instrumental
2 The Love Parade – Instrumental
3 Humdrum – Instrumental – Unreleased
4 Power To Believe – Instrumental
5 Hampstead Girl – Instrumental – Unreleased 6 Here – Instrumental – Unreleased
7 In The Hands of Love – B/V Mix – Unreleased
8 Ballad in 4/4 – Instrumental – Unreleased
9 Doubleminded – Instrumental – Unreleased
10 Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime – Instrumental – Unreleased
11 In Exile (for Rodrigo Rojas) – Instrumental – Unreleased
12 The Demonstration – Instrumental – Unreleased
13 In Suspendium – B-Side

Disc 7
1 Life In a Northern Town – Extended
2 The Love Parade – 12 Mix
3 Indian Summer – Extended Version
4 Angel Of Mercy – 12/8 Mix
5 Mordechai Vanunu – B-Side
6 Love (Is Seven) – B-Side
7 Love – Dreamstrumental
8 Love – Dream House
9 Love – Love Is 12
10 Love – Whales in Love
11 Love – Hare Krishna Mix
12 Heaven – Pts 1 /2 – Unreleased

About The Author

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Andi Callen (Contributing Editor)

Original punk. Done everything there is to do in music, except run a record label! Addicted to noise and taking photographs of live music. Based on NW England, I've previously contributed to Louder Than War, MancAndi, The Punk Site, and Backseat Mafia, where I was Punk/Post Punk & Live Editor. Part of the original review team when Rocksound Magazine first started.
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