Little was heard of this London-based band and their serene pop until their mini-album, Scar, was issued in October 1989 on 4AD Records. It was a critically-acclaimed debut and red-haired Miki Berenyi (vocals/guitar), Emma Anderson (guitar/backing vocals), Steve Rippon (bass) and Christopher Acland (drums) found themselves topping the independent charts.
Tours with The Darling Buds and Loop followed, plus an appearance on BBC2’s Snub TV and a John Peel radio session. The EP Mad Love, issued in February 1990, was less raw but soared to new heights with the help of producer Robin Guthrie from the Cocteau Twins.
Lush’s consistent coverage in the music press – not least for their perpetual appearances at pre/post-gig parties – made them one of the leading UK independent groups of the year, one that was taken up with tours in the UK and Europe and an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival.
Another EP, Sweetness and Light, was a further move towards a commercial pop sound and only narrowly missed the national charts. The three EPs were compiled, originally for the US market, on Gala.
Much of 1991 was spent recording their long-awaited full debut album, during which time the release of the EP, Black Spring (which included a cover of Dennis Wilson’s Fallin’ In Love) whetted appetites.
When Spooky was finally released, many were disappointed, some citing Guthrie’s production work as swamping the group’s sound. Nevertheless, the album reached the national Top 20 and #1 in the UK independent chart.
During the winter of 1991/1992 the line-up changed when bassist Steve Rippon left amicably, to be replaced by New Musical Express picture researcher Phil King.
Disbanding in the wake of the suicide of drummer Chris Acland, both singer Miki Berenyi and bassist Phil King have since worked at publishing house IPC media, the latter while moonlighting in The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Guitarist Emma Anderson formed Sing-Sing, who disbanded in 2008.