The Dream Academy
This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Dream Academy were a British band consisting of singer/guitarist Nick Laird-Clowes, multi-instrumentalist (chiefly oboe, cor anglais player) Kate St John, and keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel. The band is most noted for their 1985 hit single "Life in a Northern Town" and 1985 cover of The Smiths' song "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," which was featured in the John Hughes film Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1986.
The Dream Academy
|Origin||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Associated acts||David Gilmour|
Laird-Clowes and Gabriel met each other in the late 1970s whilst the former was in a band called The Act. Their idea was to create a songscape different from the power pop groups popular at the time in the UK, 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.
Laird-Clowes met Kate St John (then of The Ravishing Beauties) at a party and asked her to join his band. The trio settled on the name The Dream Academy and shopped their demos for nearly two years. Their work was rejected by every record label before they finally landed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1985. Along the way, they made connections with Adam Peters and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, a friend of Laird-Clowes. Gilmour would go on to produce and/or play on two of their albums and co-write one Dream Academy song, "Twelve-Eight Angel".
The band's first single, "Life in a Northern Town" was a worldwide success and sizeable hit in the U.S., charting at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from an album co-produced by Gilmour. The song also made number 15 in the UK Singles Chart. The single was dedicated to the English singer-songwriter Nick Drake. It was their only major chart success, though the follow up single "The Love Parade" achieved moderate success in the United States.
The band launched a worldwide promotional tour based on the chart success of "Life in a Northern Town" and appeared on the television programmes Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, American Bandstand (with Dick Clark), MTV (interview with J.J. Jackson), and Top of the Pops. The Dream Academy's eponymous debut album also reached a wide audience in the U.S. Their two subsequent albums did not match their initial success.
The band toured once, in 1991. During the same year, Gabriel and St John decided to leave the group to pursue solo musical interests and projects. Laird-Clowes ultimately decided that he would not go further under the Dream Academy name, and took some time off to travel to Asia and Africa. Shortly thereafter, he began to work with David Gilmour on lyrics for Pink Floyd's The Division Bell, before recording his solo album under the name Trashmonk. Later, he composed the music for and consulted on numerous film soundtracks (including Nick Broomfield's Battle For Haditha, Richard Curtis's About Time and Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers).
"Life in a Northern Town" formed the basis of a dance remix by Dario G entitled "Sunchyme", released in 1997 to commercial success in Europe. The song was also recorded by U.S. bands Sugarland and Little Big Town in 2010, for which it was nominated for a Grammy Award. Also, a sample of "Life in a Northern Town" was the basis of Jakaranda's "Never Let You Go", released in 1998 as part of the soundtrack for Disney's The Parent Trap.
On 27 October 2016, Laird-Clowes and St John, accompanied by keyboardist Maxwell Cooke and Drummer/Percussionist Daisy Palmer, performed two shows in Tokyo, Japan (Shimokitazawa Garden and Shinjuku Marz) and one performance at Shinsaibashi Music Club in Osaka. Gabriel was not present. The performance setlist included In Places on the Run, Johnny New Light, Hampstead Girl, Love Parade, Life in a Northern Town, The Edge of Forever, One Dream from their first album, newer ones incl. Indian Summer, and Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want.
On 4 February 2017, Laird-Clowes and St John—again accompanied by Max Cooke—performed a 13-song acoustic set at The Tabernacle, Talgarth, Wales.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart|
|1985||The Dream Academy
|1990||A Different Kind of Weather
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|2000||Best of the Dream Academy
|2014||The Morning Lasted All Day: A Retrospective|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1985||"Life in a Northern Town"||15||4||—||14||7||9||—||7||2||7||The Dream Academy|
|"The Edge of Forever"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||37|
|1986||"The Love Parade"||68||—||30||41||—||—||—||36||13||37|
|"Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want"||83||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Ferris Bueller's Day Off (soundtrack)|
|"Indian Summer"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Remembrance Days|
|1987||"The Lesson of Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Power to Believe"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"In the Heart"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album song|
|1990||"Love"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||A Different Kind of Weather|
|1991||"Angel of Mercy"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014||"Sunrising"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||The Morning Lasted All Day|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- Monger, James Christopher. "The Dream Academy – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
- Stafford, James. "30 Years Ago: Love and Rockets Evolve From Bauhaus With 'Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven'". Diffuser.fm.
- "Biography by Jason Ankeny". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 168. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "The Dream Academy | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
- "Pop: Apprentice to the stars". The Independent. 26 March 1999.
- "Nick Laird-Clowes". Nicklairdclowes.com. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "Gilbert Gabriel Music". Gilbertgabrielmusic.com. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "The Tabernacle, Talgarth". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "The Official Charts Company – Dream Academy". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "The Dream Academy Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "The Morning Lasted All Day A Retrospective: Music". Amazon.com. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 96. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and 19 June 1988.
- "The Dream Academy – The Love Parade". Ultratop Hung Medien Portal (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "RPM100 Singles" (PDF). RPM. 1 March 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "RPM100 Singles" (PDF). RPM. 5 July 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "Adult Contemporary" (PDF). RPM. 5 April 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "The Dream Academy – Life in a Northern Town". Dutch Charts Hung Medien Portal (in Dutch). Retrieved 27 April 2019.
- "The Dream Academy Album & Song Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "The Dream Academy Album & Song Chart History: Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "allmusic ((( The Dream Academy > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 August 2010.