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The Very Best of the Lighthouse Family

Lighthouse Family

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Album Review

Like M People and Simply Red, Newcastle duo Lighthouse Family defied the vicious music press to become one of the most successful acts of the '90s. MOR they may be, but armed with Tunde Baiyewu's rich vocals and a sun-drenched soul-pop sound designed to dominate the airwaves, it's easy to see why both Ocean Drive and Postcards from Heaven sold in the millions. The Very Best Of brings together their 12 singles plus their cover of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," album track "End of the Sky," plus two unreleased tracks, and surprisingly, reveals they were a little more adventurous than they were given credit for. Ocean Drive's singles, still staples of radio play lists ten years later, are fine examples of effortlessly chilled soul. The inspirational lyrics and breezy acoustic charms of the title track and "Lifted" instantly transport you to sunnier climates, while the gorgeous jazz-tinged "Goodbye Heartbreak" and "Lovin' Every Minute" sound like a warm bubble bath in audio form. Follow-up Postcards from Heaven wasn't exactly a huge change in direction but did provide arguably their two strongest singles, the Burt Bacharach-inspired "Raincloud" and the uplifting gospel pop of "High." But the dreary "Lost in Space" and the title track are so laid-back they're virtually horizontal, and "Question of Faith" sounded like a group on autopilot. Seemingly buoyed after a four-year break, their third and indeed final album, Whatever Gets You Through the Day, was actually their most inventive. "I Wish I Knew How It Feels to Be Free" is a clever fusion of Nina Simone's track of the same name and U2's "One"; their most club-friendly single, "Happy," mixed '70s disco with the Gallic house of Modjo and Stardust; while the brass-led "Run" wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Groove Armada album. There's nothing on The Very Best Of likely to convert their detractors but its polished production, pop harmonies, and classic songwriting justifiy their position as one of Britain's most popular soul acts. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Fantastic summary of the three amazing albums

Definately a definitive collection of the Lighthouse Family's songs. Such an amazing voice with soulful tunes make this one fantastic album to drive with. Or lie in bed on a rainy Saturday morning. Come back guys, the music industry needs you! Oh, and to the reviewer at the bottom: have you listened to any of this album? Few voices have this much soul or musicality.

Fantastic!

First heard "Lifted" in a garden centre, and searched through all the songs called "Lifted" in the iTunes music store to find the Lighthouse Family! Never knew they sang such cool songs. Buying the album today for sure.

Awesome

I have to say, I was gutted when these guys called it a day. They've done some fantastic songs and equally brilliant albums. They could have done so much more. Best songs? Hard to pick, they're all pretty amazing. The lyrics really speak to you sometimes, you know? Will always make me think of my dad whenever I hear them - he loves this band. Anyway, give them a try. They've got songs here to suit everyone.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Newcastle, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A Northern soul duo who recorded the single "Lifted" in 1995 but had to wait two years for it to become a hit, the Lighthouse Family was formed in Newcastle by vocalist Tunde Baiyewu and programmer/keyboard player Paul Tucker. Both had been born in London, though Baiyewu lived in Nigeria for ten years before returning to attend college in the north, where he met Tucker. The duo began recording, and though Baiyewu had trepidations about his vocal abilities, they recorded the singles "Ocean Drive"...
Full bio
The Very Best of the Lighthouse Family, Lighthouse Family
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