The Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town (1985)

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Produced by David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, The Dream Academy released the original version in 1985 as the first single from their self-titled album. It was a Top Ten pop hit for them, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. There were two different versions of the music video. The first one was made in 1984 and was filmed in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, England. It was directed by Tim Pope. The second version was filmed in 1985 and was directed by Leslie Libman and Larry Williams. It was filmed in and around Newcastle upon Tyne with some scenes filmed in Manchester in the UK and in the USA. The video featured footage from one of their first TV appearances, on the British music show The Tube. The lyrics are references to English singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who suffered from depression and insomnia throughout his life and often reflected those topics in his lyrics. Gilbert Gabriel, a member of The Dream Academy and co-writer of the song, has also said that the inspiration for the tune came from his experience at Dartington College of Arts. Nick Drake died of an antidepressant overdose in 1974 at the age of twenty six, but his music has influenced songwriters and guitarists well after his death. He was best known for sombre pieces composed on his favorite instrument, the guitar, and The Dream Academy intended the song as a tribute to Drake. The song, which took a year to record, also includes elements of classical music, an “african-esque” chant, and hints of psychedelia.

First video version:

Second video version:

Extended Version:

B-Side (“Test Tape No. 3”):

[via Henrik Queitsch]

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