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The Dream Academy

The airy baroque British pop trio dubbed the Dream Academy emerged in the mid-'80s as one of the leading lights of the psychedelic revival movement. The group was led by vocalist/guitarist Nick Laird-Clowes, a former member of the short-lived Act; also comprised of multi-instumentalist Kate St. John (an alumna of the Ravishing Beauties) and keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel, the Dream Academy issued their eponymously titled debut LP in 1985. Co-produced by David Gilmour, the atmospheric lead single "Life in a Northern Town," an elegy for Nick Drake, quickly reached the Top 20 of the U.K. charts; issued in the U.S. the following year, it became a Top Ten hit.

The trio's follow-up single, "The Love Parade," failed to repeat the success of its predecessor, however, and the band's commercial momentum stalled. After 1987's Remembrance Days quickly dropped from sight, the Dream Academy went into seclusion; when their 1991 comeback, A Different Kind of Weather, failed to restore their chart luster, the group promptly disbanded. In subsequent years St. John was the trio's most visible graduate; in addition to touring with Van Morrison, she teamed with Roger Eno, Bill Nelson, and others in the group Channel Light Vessel, and in 1996 issued her solo debut, Indescribable Night. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
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Comments

'Life in a nothern town is one of my favorite songs...defi n a t e l y a desert island pick
garymendes15
Great band....like many of you said, they came to early in life's timeline. Ahead if their time.
Thank you Pandora! Just when I think there cannot be a more atmospheric and undescribabl e song by these guys, you find another one. Well done. It's as if Nick Drake has found solitude.
nick co-wrote some of the songs on pink floyd's division bell just an fyi...and i think he re-emerged around the late 90's as trashmonk or something like that...
For me, Life In A Northern Town was not only timeless, but also ubiquitous. It was many years later before I knew that it was Dream Academy (a group of normally mortal humans) that created that song. I love it, but it has some extraterrest r i a l aspects, it hovers over multiple decades and countries like a star, ungrounded.

For me, the real measure of this band is the song Power To Believe. That song is deeply hooked in time and place and could probably only have come from The Dream Academy.
kingfamilyba
Always loved this song . . . haven't heard it for years.
this was an awesome song! it always takes u back 2 one place in time..
cowniew
Nothing special. But i give them some credit for trying to do something different.
Agreed, Levy. This is really music of the 2000s, not the 80s. They were visionaries, but it's evident that bands like the Decemberists were strongly influenced by them.
it's a shame that some artist peak before their time. i would love to hear what this group could do in today's musical climate. they could be this eras radiohead, coldplay or dido.
i loved this song when it came out. it was a time when i was discovering passion and pain in life. heavy stuff. this song helped. it was 20 years later that i finally discovered nick drake.
btw, a late 90's rap song used the synth chorus.
actually, kenneth, sad to say we have had more snow since March 1 than we did all winter...... a n d lots, lots of rain.......t h i s song still helps when I get the blues!
This is one of the great, overlooked 80's classics of all time..Carla, don't you mean snow instead of rain? LOL I come across these classics on Pandora and hardly anyone ever comments on them! This song has been remade by a country group actually!
i love "life in a northern town"....... . . r e m i n d s me of curling up by my fireplace, with a mug of hot tea, watching the rain coming down........ t h e r e were some really dark periods in my life, but the music always helped me hang in there.

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