Monday, September 10, 2007

Lighthouse Family

The Lighthouse Family were a British duo active from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Vocalist Tunde Baiyewu and keyboard player Paul Tucker formed the act in 1993 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK after meeting at university. Their 1995 debut album Ocean Drive sold more than 1.6 million copies in the UK alone and established them as a popular easy listening duo throughout Europe.
Although none of their singles reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, they did reach number one on the Australian Singles Chart with the song "High".
The Lighthouse Family split up in early 2003 because of what they called a "heavy promotional schedule" following the release of Whatever Gets You Through the Day in 2002. This led to both men pursuing individual projects. Baiyewu is now a solo artist, while Tucker joined a rock band, The Orange Lights.

According to their management, the band has not split up despite being inactive: "there is always the possibility of another Lighthouse Family album one day."
Both Baiyewu and Tucker were working in bars when they first met; together, they recorded demos of a number of songs Tucker had written during the late 1980s. Among these, a demo of "Ocean Drive" attracted the attention of Polydor Records A&R director Colin Barlow, who, in 1993, signed the band to a six-month development deal.

The band were funded for the recording of additional demos, and teamed with songwriters Martin Brammer (formerly of Kane Gang), Tim Kellett (formerly of Simply Red), and Tim Laws (co-writer of "Dreams" by Gabrielle). Eventually, the band was signed to record an album proper; finished in August 1994, Ocean Drive also included songs written by Shaun Ward (also of Simply Red), Junior Giscombe, and Alan Glass, and was produced by Mike Peden.
The band was managed throughout its career by Keith Armstrong and Phil Mitchell, co-founders of Newcastle-based Kitchenware Records; the label had gone on hiatus during the 1990s in order to handle the management of Lighthouse Family and other musicians.
In the wake of an economic recession in the UK, British record labels were, at the time, primarily signing artists with the goal of short-term profit. In contrast, Barlow, in The Times, expected that the band could last for "ten years or more". At the time of the launch of the first album, Polydor's investments in the band totaled ₤250000. Peden's hiring was described as a "big spend", and music videos were filmed overseas in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The lead single, "Lifted", received airplay on BBC Radio One as well as a number of BBC Local Radio stations, and The Chart Show aired its music video. Still, this did not translate to considerable single or album sales within 1995; it wasn't until "Lifted" was re-released in 1996 that it reached the top five on the UK Singles Chart, and Ocean Drive, which had been deleted, rebounded and was certified double platinum by the end of the year.

No comments: