Blessid Union of Souls

Co-founded in 1990 by friends Jeff Pence and Eliot Sloan, who hailed from Morrow and Cincinnati respectively, genre-defying Ohio group Blessid Union of Souls promptly snapped up a coveted deal with EMI in 1992 after impressing the label with their unreleased demos. Distilling a vast array of influences from rock, country, jangle-pop and other genres into their music from the outset, the group found success with their gold-certified debut album, Home, which reached number 78 on the Billboard 200. Brimming with wholesome Christian messages, the LP yielded a major hit in 1994’s “I Believe”, which was penned by frontman Sloan after his girlfriend’s racist father stopped the pair from seeing one another. Resonating with audiences thanks to its ethos of love and compassion, the song soared to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s other singles, “Oh Virginia” and “Let Me Be the One”, reached the top 40 in the US too, and the group renewed their contract with Capitol Records. Their self-titled second album, which included the minor hits “I Wanna Be There” and “Light in Your Eyes”, arrived in 1997. Prioritising their live shows and taking a break from recording in the wake of their less successful follow-up Walking Off the Buzz (1999), the band reemerged in 2005, periodically releasing new albums every three years up until 2011. However, none of these efforts reached the Billboard 200, and the group reined in their output considerably before resurfacing in the late 2010s with a series of old-school demos and a slew of new singles.

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