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Meshing dreamy, feedback-drenched guitars with airy, catchy melodies, Lush were one of the most prominent shoegaze bands of the early '90s. Led by guitarists Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson, the British band gained a cult following within the British and American undergrounds with its first EPs, yet the group never quite attained the critical respect given to its peers My Bloody Valentine and Ride. Even so, Lush lasted longer than any other of their contemporaries (with the exception of the Boo Radleys), developing sharp pop skills as their career progressed. By the time of their final album, 1996's Lovelife, they had converted themselves into a power pop band with dream pop overtones, which resulted in the greatest chart success of their career. That success was dealt a blow when drummer Chris Acland committed suicide in the fall of 1996, effectively bringing the band to an end. Miki Berenyi, Emma Anderson, Chris Acland, Steve Rippon (bass), and Meriel Barham (guitar) formed Lush in 1988 in London, England. Prior to the group's formation, school friends Berenyi and Anderson had collaborated on a fanzine together and played in a number of other bands individually. Anderson, who had been working as a DHSS clerical assistant, had played bass with the Rover Girls, while Berenyi had been a member of I-Goat, Fuhrer Five, and the Lillies. Berenyi's then-boyfriend, Acland, had previously played with several other groups as well, including Panik, Infection, and A Touch of Hysteria. Barham left Lush soon after the band's formation to form the Pale Saints, and the remaining members began playing around London, quickly earning a number of fans, including Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins. Guthrie helped the band secure a contract with 4AD, and they released their acclaimed debut EP, Scar, in 1989. Lush supported the EP with opening tours for Loop and the Darling Buds, and by 1990, they had graduated to headlining tours of their own. Throughout 1990, the band's reputation in the British music press began to grow as they released the acclaimed EPs Mad Love and Sweetness and Light, played high-profile gigs like the Glastonbury Festival, and became favorites of the music weeklies' gossip columns. Gala, an album compiling their three EPs, became the band's first American release at the end of 1990. Lush spent most of 1991 recording their debut album, releasing the Black Spring EP in the spring. Rippon left the band during the sessions, and was replaced by Philip King, a former picture researcher for NME and a previous member of Felt, Servants, and Biff Bang Pow. Lush finally released their delayed debut album, Spooky, in the spring of 1992. While the album sold well, reaching the British Top Ten and topping the U.K. indie charts, it was criticized in the press for Guthrie's heavy-handed production. The band supported the album in America by appearing on the second Lollapalooza tour, but their dream pop wasn't well-received by an audience hungry for metal. Lush released their second album, Split, in the summer of 1994 to mixed reviews. Split was lost in the twin waves of Brit-pop and American post-grunge, even though the band's songwriting was more pop-oriented than ever. After regrouping during 1995, Lush returned in early 1996 with Lovelife, an album that showcased a debt to the pop-single ideals of Brit-pop. The musical changeover paid off as "Single Girl" and "Ladykiller" became their two biggest hit singles, and the album became a British Top 20 hit; in America, it was their highest-charting album, even if it just scraped the charts at 189. Lush had completed their supporting tours and summer festival appearances when Chris Acland unexpectedly hanged himself in his parents' house on October 17, 1996. Devastated by his death, the remaining members of Lush went into a long period of mourning. The trio disbanded in February 1998. From 1998 through 2007, Anderson was one-half of Sing-Sing, who recorded for Alan McGee's Poptones, Simon Raymonde's Bella Union, and their own Aerial Records, among other labels. King performed with the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Fallen Leaves. In 2015, Berenyi, Anderson, and King announced their re-formation, as well as a forthcoming round of 4AD reissues, highlighted by a comprehensive box set titled Chorus. A London date was scheduled for the following May, with Justin Welch (Suede, Elastica) set to be the band's drummer. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Ladykillers
  3.   Sweetness and Light
  4.   Nothing Natural
  5.   Single Girl
  6.   Hypocrite
  7.   Superblast!
  8.   Olympia
  9.   Desire Lines
  10.   Kiss Chase
  11.   Ciao!
  12.   When I Die
  13.   Starlust
  14.   Papasan
  15.   Light From a Dead Star
  16.   I've Been Here Before
  17.   The Invisible Man
  18.   Childcatcher
  19.   Thoughtforms (1)
  20.   Heavenly Nobodies
  21.   Hey Hey Helen
  22.   Sunbathing
  23.   Love at First Sight
  24.   Matador
  25.   Never-Never
  26.   Blackout
  27.   I Have the Moon
  28.   De-Luxe
  29.   Scarlet
  30.   Thoughtforms (2)
  31.   Last Night
  32.   Stray
  33.   Scarlet (2)
  34.   Baby Talk
  35.   Scarlet (1)
  36.   Ethereal
  37.   Astronaut
  38.   Outdoor Miner
  39.   God's Gift
  40.   Fallin' In Love
  41.   Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
  42.   Mannequin
  43.   Plums and Oranges
  44.   Piledriver
  45.   Leaves Me Cold
  46.   Breeze
  47.   White Wood
  48.   Cul de Sac
  49.   Shut Up
  50.   Carmen
  51.   Ex
  52.   500
  53.   Tinkerbell
  54.   Half and Half
  55.   Undertow
  56.   Lovelife
  57.   Monochrome
  58.   Laura
  59.   Take
  60.   Fantasy
  61.   For Love
  62.   Ocean
  63.   Covert
  64.   Thoughtforms
  65.   Bitter
  66.   Second Sight
  67.   Etheriel
  68.   I'd Like to Walk Around in Your Mind
  69.   Outside World
  70.   Tralala
  71.   Demystification
  72.   Lit Up
  73.   50
  74.   I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend
  75.   Downer
  76.   Girl's World
  77.   Runaway
  78.   Vissi D'Arte
  79.   Heavenly
  80.   Cat's Chorus
  81.   Tiny Smiles
  82.   Untogether
  83.   Lakme
  84.   Problem Child
  85.   Dear Me
  86.   Sweetie
  87.   Pudding
  88.   All This Useless Beauty
  89.   Rupert

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