Monday, June 2, 2014

Hothouse Flowers - Don't Go

Hothouse Flowers' roots date back to 1985, when Liam Ó Maonlaí (lead vocals, keyboard) and Fiachna Ó Braonáin (guitar) began performing as street musicians in Dublin, under the name The Incomparable Benzini Brothers.  The group soon added Peter O'Toole (bass), Leo Barnes (sax), and Jerry Fehily (drums) and renamed themselves Hothouse Flowers.

After U2's Bono saw the band on Irish television, he became a supporter of the group and helped them land a recording contract with Polygram. In 1988, the band released their debut album (People), which became a #1 LP in Ireland (and #2 in the U.K.).  Unfortunately, Hothouse Flowers never broke out in the U.S. -- People peaked at #88 on the album charts, and the group's subsequent LPs did not break the top 100.  In addition, the act never landed a top 40 hit in the U.S. (though "Don't Go" did reach #11 in the U.K.)

Later albums continued to do well in Britain and Ireland, without causing much of a stir in the U.S.  After the band's 1993 album Songs From the Rain, Hothouse Flowers took a break (which lasted for several years) and the more recent releases have been less commercially successful.  Nevertheless, the band remains active to the present day.

"Don't Go" represents the band well, as an upbeat, somewhat folk-oriented pop song.  The song did receive a bit of airplay on college radio, so some U.S. listeners may remember it, but it never got a fair shake on this side of the Atlantic.


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