The trio initially named The Archers were formed in Bradford in the late 80s, but when they signed to EMI in 1990, it was decided that the focus should be on singer Tasmin Archer, and so it was that after quite a bit of development and recording with various producers, it was under her name alone that debut single “Sleeping Satellite” appeared two years later, with keyboard player John Beck and guitarist John Hughes relegated to the background.
“Sleeping Satellite” is a remarkable record: hit songs, especially number one hits, just don’t discuss the philosophical implications of shackling the dream of space exploration to the one-upmanship of the Cold War. This was a record about something, and it was a hit not despite but because it had a point of view on an interesting subject. What’s more, it was followed with a debut album, Great Expectations, which while it contained nothing else quite as special as “Sleeping Satellite”, was solid enough to ensure that Tasmin Archer was feted as the next big thing and got nominations for every award going. In a year so starved of major new talent that Undercover were shortlisted for the BRITs Best Newcomer award, Archer was a shoo-in. (She later claimed that she used her award as a hammer for tenderising steak!)
The great expectations never quite came to be, though. There were diminishing returns from subsequent singles and when her second album Bloom appeared in 1996, it was to almost complete indifference. A third album, On, appeared in 2006, and apparently Archer and Hughes are still writing together (Beck left the project way back in 1993), so we may hear from them again in the future.
Today’s tracks come from the third single, the number 26 smash “Lords Of The New Church”, which is a more upbeat rock-pop number than its predecessors. According to Archer (as quoted on Wikipedia) “it’s about the modern breed of politicians and it was written in the very early 1990s even before things became as bad as they are now.” It certainly brings a certain Republican golf fanatic to mind…
I’m offering all the tracks from the two CDs here. It didn’t really justify the 2-CD treatment; the only new song is “Strings Of Desire”, while “Hero” and “Sleeping Satellite” are lifted straight from the album.
Tasmin Archer – Lords Of The New Church (UK CD1+2, 1993)
Link: Tasmin Archer – Lords Of The New Church
Link: Tasmin Archer – Hero
Link: Tasmin Archer – Lords Of The New Church (Remix)
Link: Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite
Link: Tasmin Archer – Strings Of Desire
Link: Tasmin Archer – The Higher You Climb (Remix)