The Dream Academy

Alternative pop-meets-new wavers The Dream Academy formed in London in 1983 and called in a signature hit with their debut 1985 single, "Life in a Northern Town". Singer/guitarist Nick Laird-Clowes met keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel in the late 1970s when the former was a member of The Act and the pair shared a mutual desire to weave a raft of instruments into their sound, including timpani and strings, hoping to veer away from the straight-down-the-line power-pop of the day. After Nick Laird-Clowes met Kate St John at a party in the early '80s, The Dream Academy was born. The trio spent the next few years trying to secure record label interest before eventually acquiring a deal with Warner Bros. Recorded in 1985 and co-produced by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who was a friend of Nick Laird-Clowes', the band's debut self-titled 1985 album spawned a hat-trick of notable singles; "Life in a Northern Town" – which was a tribute to late beloved English singer-songwriter Nick Drake and soared to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – "The Love Parade" and "Edge of Forever", which was featured at the end of John Hughes' cult 1986 comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off. A second album, the Hugh Padgham-co-produced Remembrance Days, came in 1987 but didn't quite hit the same chart highs as their debut, although the album track "Power To Believe" did appear in another of John Hughes' comedies, 1987's Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. After disappearing into the shadows for a few years, the band returned in 1991 with what became their third and final studio album, A Different Kind of Weather, which was again co-produced by Dave Gilmour and contained a cover of John Lennon's "Love". After touring once more in 1991, The Dream Academy parted ways later that year.

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