The Lotus Eaters

Liverpool, England's the Lotus Eaters were mistakenly included in the New Romantic movement when they first appeared. However, although Peter Coyle (vocals), Jeremy Kelly (guitar), Mike Dempsey (bass), and Stephen Creese (drums) had the elegant attire and fashionable haircuts of New Romantic bands, their music was more understated and folksy than the synthesized Euro disco of Japan, Visage, and Duran Duran. The Lotus Eaters formed in 1982. Coyle was originally a member of the Jass Babies while Kelly played guitar for the Wild Swans with ex-Teardrop Explodes keyboardist Paul Simpson. Coyle and Kelly wanted to work together, but the Jass Babies had no need for a guitarist. Consequently, they began recording as the Lotus Eaters and were signed to Arista Records. In 1983, the Lotus Eaters released their first single, "The First Picture of You," a chart hit in the U.K. "The First Picture of You" would define the group's sound: Coyle's breathy croon expressing romantic yearning while Kelly plays jangly riffs on his guitar. The Lotus Eaters' 1984 debut album, No Sense of Sin, was awash in '60s influences, namely the melancholic pop of the Zombies and the Left Banke. The LP was largely left on record-store shelves in the U.K., but a significant cult following in the Philippines and Japan eventually transformed the album into a collector's item, fetching high prices on the Internet. In 1985, the Lotus Eaters released one more single, the bitter "It Hurts," before splitting up. Coyle recorded a few solo albums, while Kelly rejoined the Wild Swans. In 1998, The First Picture of You, a compilation of the Lotus Eaters' BBC radio sessions, was released, and the No Sense of Sin album was reissued on CD with bonus tracks. In April 1998, Coyle and Kelly started recording material for a second Lotus Eaters studio album. ~ Michael Sutton

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