M is for Mighty Lemon Drops

Mighty Lemon DropsThe Mighty Lemon Drops were the Tfronky Pick of the Week for November 19, 2013. Now maybe this band is not in the same league as Elbow in terms of writing about them over and over but they sure as heck are one of my top M bands. One of my favorites period actually.

The first disc I purchased from The Mighty Lemon Drops was the 1987 Out of Hand EP. The lead track is incredible, “Rollercoaster” is another one of their best tracks plus the tape had live versions of three songs,  “My Biggest Thrill”, “Hypnotized” and “The Other Side of You”. I loved their psychedelic style of Britpop with emphasis on the pop. This foursome infused so many hooks in the mix it at times bordered on absurd. Why they never got the due they deserved is beyond me, truly sad.

This is a band I can listen to over and over, they never get old and this is without any new material since 1992. After wearing out the Out of Hand cassette due to some massive overplay I picked up the band’s 1986 full-length debut Happy Head. The album was a bit more straight-forward in terms of simple indie rock and packed a bit more punch than the EP. Once again I loved what I was hearing with particular emphasis on the tracks “The Other Side of You”, “All the Way”, “Pass You By”, “Take Me Up” and the title track “Happy Head”. Now that I was caught up I anxiously waited for new material from the band.

The Mighty Lemon Drops delivered their best and most complete album next (IMO), World Without End in 1988. The post punk was still there, the pop hooks even more pronounced but most important for me the band was progressing in much the same manner as one of my all-time favorites Echo and the Bunnymen. The song structures had become more complex and the band much more proficient on their respective instruments. The comparisons were obvious on both albums and the EP but The Mighty Lemon Drops still delivered their own signature sound. There is not one below average song on the entire album and tracks such as “Fall Down (Like the Rain)”, “Inside Out”, “Hear Me Call” and “Closer to You” are some of the band’s best. It was once this disc came out that I had opportunities to finally see them play live and as good as they were in the studio live they were explosive. I am very grateful that I had more than one opportunity to experience The Mighty Lemon Drops in concert!

The original bass player Tony Linehan left the band during the recording sessions for the next album Laughter. The album was good and contained some great songs such as “Into the Heart of Love” but for this listener the overall album did not pack the punch of the previous three releases. That tour was the last time I saw the band live. The Mighty Lemon Drops released two more albums, Sound… Goodbye to Your Standards in 1991 and Ricochet in 1992 before hanging it up. In 2000 the band played a one-off comeback show in their hometown of Wolverhampton, England but there have never been any plans of a full-scale reunion.

I know of a few of you that remember this great band. For the rest of you here is a clip from their sophomore effort World Without End, a remix version of “Fall Down (Like the Rain)”. I slightly prefer this version over the one on the album.

Album Inspiration: Rollercoaster: The Best Of The Mighty Lemon Drops


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