Lush was a British Alternative Rock
band active from 1989 to 1996. It was, along with My Bloody Valentine
, one of the main examples of Shoegazing
, a genre from the early 1990s thus named because of its druggy Psychedelic Rock
music and the relatively static live performances.
The band was formed in 1987 and initially called itself The Baby Machines; its members were Meriel Barham (vocals), Emma Anderson (guitar), Miki Berenyi (guitar), Steve Rippon (bass), and Chris Acland (drums). The following year Barham left the band, Berenyi and Anderson took over as lead vocalists, and the band was renamed Lush. In 1989 Lush signed to famous alternative talent incubators 4AD Records
(see Cocteau Twins
, Dead Can Dance
, The Breeders
, The Pixies
, etc.), released Scar
, a 6-track mini-album, and put together a live show that proved extremely popular.
Lush further raised its profile with additional EPs, extensive touring during the years 1990-91 (when it acquired the "shoegazing" label), performing among other places at the Glastonbury festival and going to Japan and the USA. In 1992 it released its first full-length album, Spooky
, produced by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins
, resulting in a sound fairly similar to that of the latter band—namely walls of sound, ethereal vocals and plenty of guitar effects. Just before the release of the album Rippon left the band and was replaced by Phil King.
Lush played at Lollapalooza in 1992, and released two more albums in the following years, Split
, which featured a more stripped-down sound than Spooky
but otherwise continued with the trippy shoegazing, and the upbeat Lovelife
, which surfed on the mid-1990s Britpop
craze to great success in the UK. However the attempted breakthrough on the American rock scene proved unsuccessful, and the band broke with their management after the cancellation of tours in the UK and Japan. In 1996 Acland committed suicide and Lush went into hiatus, eventually disbanding in 1998.
A piece of trivia: Miki Berenyi is half-Japanese, half-Hungarian, and her mother, Yasuko Nagazumi, played minor roles in You Only Live Twice
and Space: 1999
- Scar EP (1989)
- Mad Love EP (1990)
- Sweetness and Light EP (1990)
- Gala (1990) - compilation including the previously released EPs and additional songs
- Spooky (1992)
- Split (1994)
- Lovelife (1996)
Tropes associated with Lush:
- Epic Rocking: The seven-and-a-half-minute-long "Desire Lines".
- Excited Song Title!: "Superblast!"
- Filk Song: "500 (Shake Baby Shake)", their ode to the Fiat 500 supercompact and its reliability.
- Grass Is Greener: "Single Girl". The song begins with "I don't want to be a single girl"... and then after she finds love and endures some fights and annoyances, the song ends with "I just want to be a single girl".
- New Sound Album: Split toned down the dream-pop and Lovelife turned up the Britpop.
- Non-Appearing Title: It'd be easier to list the songs that avert this trope (such as "Single Girl" and "Hypocrite").
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Definitely in the earlier stuff.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Sweetness And Light" turned up in a Volkswagen commercial in the late 90s.
- Shout-Out: "Laura" seems to be this to Laura Nyro, with its references to Nyro's songs "Luckie", "Stoney End" and "Sweet Blindness".
- Token Minority: Miki is an English woman of half-Japanese, half-Hungarian parentage.