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.