The Beloved popped up to say “Hello”, just as the sun was rising. Oh yea. Oh yea!
Jon Marsh (b.1965) and Steve Waddington formed British duo The Beloved in 1983 and while they released singles and albums, had to wait till the end of the decade and a radical change of musical direction before any one paid attention to them. Marsh and Waddington met when in the band Twelfth Of August but very soon decided that wasn’t for them and went off to do their own ‘thing’. By 1984, they had recruited bass player Timothy Havard and keyboard player Bill Anderson and made their first performance and a quartet on BBC Radio 1 in January 1985. They released their debut single proper, “A Hundred Words”, the following year, which went top twenty on the UK independent chart. The single was the lead track from their debut album, “Where It Is”, which followed in 1987.
Both the album and the following two singles, “The Means War” and “Surprise Me”, made the top twenty on the independent chart but did nothing commercially. Havard and Anderson would depart over the coming two years, leaving just Jon and Steve as The Beloved once again, who released their first single as a duo, “Loving Feeling”, in late 1988. This did not even chart on the UK indie chart but wider success would come the following year with “Your Love Takes Me Higher”, which became their first charting single on the UK commercial singles sales chart, albeit at a lowly No.91. It was the first taster of a completely new Beloved sound that would mature at the end of 1989 with the haunting “The Sun Rising”, the song that would break them into the UK top 40 when it reached No.26 in November.
By now, the pair had nearly completed work on their second album and in January 1990, a third single, “Hello”, was released, this time going even further, to No.19. The album, “Happiness”, followed in February, eventually peaking at No.14, while a reissue of “Your Love Takes Me Higher” in the Spring took the song into the top 40, but only just. A fourth single, “Time After Time”, just missed the chart denying the duo of four straight top 40 hits. Despite the commercial success now being enjoyed by the group, following the release of the single “It’s Alright Now” from the accompanying album “Blissed Out”, Waddington left the duo in 1991 and Marsh, together with his wife Helen, continued the name and prepared for new material.
If 1989/1990 had been eye opening for Marsh, then nothing could of prepared him for what was to come in 1993 when ‘the band’ released their next album, “Conscience”. The lead single “Sweet Harmony” was delivered in January and whether trying to make people look or pay attention, the naked video featuring Jon and a bevy of beauties was certainly eye catching. The song was a huge hit across the world, even making No.14 on the US bubbling under chart and a number eight placing back home, their first, and to date, their last top ten hit. “Conscience” would go even further, making No.2 in the UK and receiving a Gold certificate for sales of more than 100,000 copies. Two further singles, “You’ve Got Me Thinking” and “Outerspace Girl”, both charted top 40 but the global success lasted just twelve months. By 1994, The Beloved had slipped back into the darkness.
Marsh returned in 1996 with a fifth album, “X”, which was lead by the UK top 20 hit, “Satellite”. The album made No.25 while the two subsequent singles flopped. Following a reissue of “The Sun Rising” in 1997 (UK No.31) to coincide with a greatest hits compilation (“Single File”), Marsh pretty much ‘wound up’ The Beloved, save for two low key singles in 2000. Since then, Marsh has become a respected DJ across the UK and Europe and in the mid 00’s, reunited with Steve Waddington on new material, although this has not been commercially released. In 2020, the band’s debut album, “Where It Is”, was re-released and made the UK physical sales chart, followed later that year by a reissue of the “Happiness” album. And as long as TV commercials keep using “Sweet Harmony” to promote their products, we are unlikely to miss the sound of The Beloved for some time to come. Oh yea!
Take a look at this recent interview by Phil Marriott…
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