May 26 – Sundays Preached Lovely Melodies

Here’s where the story started, in a way of speaking, for The Sundays. The Brits hit the top of Billboard’s alternative rock chart this day in 1990 with the lovely “Here’s Where The Story Ends.

It was a promising start to the career of the band with at its core ethereal-voiced Harriet Wheeler and guitarist David Gauvrin, who happen to be a couple. They started writing songs while attending university together despite having no musical background; they built up quite a following playing live in London and appearing on John Peel’s radio show and signed to Rough Trade Records in Europe, with Nirvana’s label DGC handling them in North America. Their debut, Reading, Writing And Arithmetic won rave reviews; Entertainment Weekly noticed it and rated it “A-” calling it “an album radiant with apparently effortless sophistication”; Rolling Stone called it an “alluring slice of lighter-than-air guitar pop.” Allmusic likewise gave it 4.5-stars and, like many others, compared them to The Smiths but with “ethereal vocals and a stronger backbeat” while considering the single “lilting melancholy…thoroughly engaging.” Comparisons to the Cocteau twins and The Cure (Wheeler’s hair bore a striking resemblance to Robert Smith’s at times) were drawn and the album went gold in the U.S. and hit #4 at home. However, two subsequent albums were fairly-well received and didn’t exactly flop (their breezy  ’97 single “Summertime” hit the UK top 20 and was another alternative radio hit here)  but the band lost momentum and essentially retired by 1997 with Wheeler and Gauvrin preferring to put their time into their family life.

8 thoughts on “May 26 – Sundays Preached Lovely Melodies

  1. Badfinger (Max)

    Very 90s…I like Summertime… I ran across them looking for power pop songs. Too bad they dropped out…she sounded as good or better than some of the others at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah. I had the first album, didn’t listen to it a lot but I did like it and think there were several good tunes on it… “This is where the story ends’ was strange in that I always loved it when I heard it but it took me a few years to find out who it was. She sounded as good as many of her 90s contemporaries and looking at the ‘summertime’ video , looked it too! But good for them in putting the family first…. would have been good if they could have done both though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max)

        Oh yea…..she was a looker! Oh yea you have to respect them completely. They were ahead of the curve on that first song… they didn’t sound 80s….they sounded 90s and it was only 1990.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good jangly pop, and I also agree its a shame they didn’t kick on. But who can diss anyone who wants a happy family life? It seems they were talented enough to do well, but didn’t need all the hassle that comes with ‘living the dream.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yep, can’t discredit them for that… probably made a decent amount of money from their few albums and , meeting in college or univ., they probably are bright enough to have routine careers to fall back on as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have the vaguest memory of hearing ‘Here’s Where the Story Ends’ on the radio. It’s very nice. I would have liked to hear more from them, and her voice. It could have come down to unfortunate timing. They may have found it particularly hard to get noticed, with the Cranberries, and 10,000 Maniacs, and then Sixpence None the Richer, all having pleasant-sounding female leads during those years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. perhaps…though on the other hand, you’d perhaps think those contemporaries would widen the market and make it easier to get airplay, but that didn’t seem to be the case. “Here’s Where the Story Ends”wasn’t a big hit where I was, but I heard it from time to time, liked it right away but took me forever to find out who it was in those pre-Google (and I guess pre-Shazam, though I don’t have that) days.

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