The Soup Dragons
The Soup Dragons were a Scottish alternative rock band of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Named after a character in the 1970s children's television show Clangers, the group is best known for its cover of the Rolling Stones' song "I'm Free", which was a top five hit in the United Kingdom in 1990, and "Divine Thing", a Top 40 hit in the United States in 1992.
The Soup Dragons
The Soup Dragons
|Origin||Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland|
|Genres||Indie pop, alternative rock, alternative dance, baggy|
|Labels||The Subway Organization, Raw TV, Sire, Big Life, Mercury|
|Associated acts||BMX Bandits, The High Fidelity, Future Pilot A.K.A., Superstar, Teenage Fanclub, The Primary 5, HiFi Sean|
|Past members||Sean Dickson|
Sushil K. Dade
Ross A. Sinclair
The Soup Dragons formed in Bellshill, a town near Motherwell, in 1985. The line up was Sean Dickson (vocals, lead guitar), Jim McCulloch (guitar, second voice) who replaced Ian Whitehall, and Sushil K. Dade (bass). The original drummer, Ross A. Sinclair, left the group after the first proper album, This Is Our Art, to pursue a career in art, and was replaced by Paul Quinn. Most of their songs were written by Sean Dickson.
The band signed to The Subway Organization in early 1986 and their first proper single (The Sun in the Sky EP) was Buzzcocks-inspired pop punk. The band's big breakthrough came with their second single for Subway, "Whole Wide World", which reached No. 2 on the UK Independent Chart in 1986. Dickson and McCulloch also moonlighted in BMX Bandits at this time. The band were signed by former Wham! co-manager Jazz Summers' label Raw TV with further indie hits (and minor UK Singles Chart hits) following during 1987 and 1988. Over the course of six singles (the first three collected in 1986 on a U.S. only compilation, Hang Ten), they gradually developed a more complex rock guitar sound, which culminated in their first album proper This Is Our Art, now signed to major label Sire Records. After one single from the album "Kingdom Chairs" they then returned to original label Raw TV and Big Life Records.
In the year following This Is Our Art their sound underwent a change from an indie rock sound, to the rock-dance crossover sound, this was mainly due to being without a drummer and buying a sampler and drum machine and experimenting with sound with the release of the album Lovegod. This change can be attributed to the rise of the ecstasy-fueled acid house rave scene in the UK. In 1990, they released their most successful hit single in the UK, "I'm Free", an up-tempo cover of a Rolling Stones song with an added toasting overdub by reggae star Junior Reid, which reached number five. The single also appeared on the soundtrack to British science fiction comedy film The World's End.
Subsequent albums continued in their own style and In 1992 they enjoyed their biggest U.S. hit with "Divine Thing" which reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit number three on the Modern Rock chart and its video was nominated by MTV as one of the year's best, though beaten by Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
The Soup Dragons disbanded in 1995. Paul Quinn joined Teenage Fanclub. Sushil K. Dade formed the experimental post rock group Future Pilot A.K.A. and is now a producer for BBC Radio 3. Sean Dickson formed The High Fidelity and currently deejays as HiFi Sean. Jim McCulloch joined Superstar, wrote and recorded music with Isobel Campbell, and formed the folk group Snowgoose. Ross A. Sinclair had a successful career in art, winning a number of international awards and becoming a Research Fellow at Glasgow School of Art. He still makes music.
The story of The Soup Dragons is traced as part of 2017 documentary Teenage Superstars.
- Hang Ten! (1987), Sire - compiles the tracks from the "Hang-Ten!", "Whole Wide World", and "Head Gone Astray" singles
- 20 Golden Greats (compilation, 2012)
|1986||The Sun Is in the Sky EP||EP only|
|"Whole Wide World"||Hang-Ten!|
|1987||"Head Gone Astray"|
|"Can't Take No More"||This Is Our Art|
|"Soft as Your Face"|
|1988||"The Majestic Head"|
|"Crotch Deep Trash"|
|"Mother Universe" (remixed version)|
|1991||"Electric Blues"||single only|
|1994||"One Way Street"||Hydrophonic|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- Thompson, Dave (2000) Alternative Rock, Miller Freeman, San Francisco, ISBN 0879306076, p.646-647
- hifisean (9 December 2007). "The Soup Dragons - Whole Wide World" – via YouTube.
- Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980 - 1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p.213
- Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p.515-6
- hifisean (8 December 2007). "The Soup Dragons - Divine Thing" – via YouTube.
- MTV Music Awards 1992 Best Alternative Video category
- "BBC Blogs - BBC Radio 3 - Sushil K Dade". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Society, Contemporary Art. "Ross Sinclair - Contemporary Art Society". Contemporary Art Society. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- "Patricia Fleming Projects - A contemporary art gallery and studio based in Glasgow". www.patriciaflemingprojects.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
- Film, British Council. "British Council Film: Teenage Superstars". film.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
- "Soup Dragons Lovegod New Zealand Charting". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 516. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Lilian De Munno (22 February 2006). "32 - Soup Dragons - Can't Take No More" – via YouTube.
- "The Soup Dragons - Backwards Dog".
- hifisean (9 December 2007). "The Soup Dragons - Electric Blues" – via YouTube.
- sjteich (22 August 2006). "Soup Dragons - Pleasure" – via YouTube.