The story of this song and this band is rather unusual. Formed out of the ashes of the Liverpool bands, The Wild Swans (Jem Kelly) and The Jass Babies (Peter Coyle) the song was first recorded for a John Peel session in 1982. The response was a major label bidding war and the song was officially released in 1983 on Arista Records reaching No.15 on the UK chart. It was the most played song on British radio that year, the song was a hit before they played a gig.
Produced by Nigel Gray, an album, No Sense Of Sin followed in 1984, establishing a line-up of Peter Coyle on vocals, Jem Kelly on guitar, Michael Dempsey on bass, Stephen Emmer on keyboards and Steve Crease on drums.
The First Picture Of You was also a hit in France, Italy, Japan and The Phillipines where their success continued. But after one more single reached a lowly chart position in the UK (You Don’t Need Someone New), the band broke up leaving behind one beautifully crafted album of melanlcholic Pop songs with jangling arpeggios and yearning vibrato.
Coyle released two solo albums, A Slap In the Face For Public Taste and I’d Sacrifice Eight Orgasms with Shirley MacLaine Just to Be There, and believe it or not I have the second album in the archive that I bought around the time it was released. I imagine both these albums would pretty hard to find all these years later, they were almost impossible to find then. Coyle then went on to other interests as did Jem Kelly but not before a reformed Wild Swans released Bringing Home The Ashes in 1988.
The Lotus Eaters reappeared in 2002 with Silent Space and again eight years later with Differance released in 2010 – allegedly, another album A Plug-In Called Nostalgia, is coming.
Note: The link to the official video didn’t load easily and I can only find it as part of MTV UK – so if it doesn’t work, there’s also a clip of them from Top Of The Pops.