In 1989, Ian Broudie holed up in a closet-sized Belgian studio with his “bandmates” – a drum machine, a couple of guitars and a cheap Casio keyboard – and two weeks later he emerged with a collection of 12 bittersweet pop songs that became CloudCuckooLand, an album that superimposed newfangled recording techniques on old-fashioned melodies.
A veteran of Liverpool’s post-punk music scene, Broudie was a pedigreed producer whose resume boasted production credentials for Echo & The Bunnymen, Wah! and Icicle Works – a vanguard of Mersey bands that shared his penchant for majestic pop.
Before producing commitments tied him to the mixing desk, Broudie had been a member of Care, Original Mirrors and Big In Japan, an infamous ensemble of local scene-makers that included Holly Johnson (later of Frankie Goes To Hollywood) and Budgie (long-time drummer for Siouxsie & The Banshees).
As The Lightning Seeds, Broudie’s debut single, Pure, reached the Top Five.
Broudie revived the “band” in 1992 for Sense, adding synth programmer Simon Rogers (ex-The Fall) as a full-blown member of Lightning Seeds.
He finally extended the line-up to a full band for Jollification (1994), adding Ali Kane on keyboards, Martyn Campbell on bass and Chris Sharrock (ex-Icicle Works) on drums.
The football song Three Lions – the theme song for the 1996 UEFA European Football Championship – went to #1 in the UK. Broudie retired the Lightning Seeds name in 1999, although he returned to the live scene in 2006, and released the studio album Four Winds in 2009.