Life in a Northern Town

“The Salvation Army band played, and the children drunk lemonade…”

The 80s, as we’re sure you fondly recall, were full of one-hit wonders. Some were goofy (Helloooo, “Pac-Man Fever” and “Mexican Radio”!), but others were pure poetry.

…like Dream Academy’s “Life in a Northern Town”.

A sweeping ode to life in the 60s, the song first hit our radios in November of 1985 and became an instant hit.

Maybe it was the booming tympani, maybe it was that weird tribal chorus “Ah hey-yo ma-ma-ma bididah nya-ya…” (or something), all we know is “Life in a Northern Town” was as excellent a one-hit wonder as you could ever hope for (…though we imagine Dream Academy probably wasn’t hoping it would be their one and only hit.)

Inspired by and dedicated to the late singer/songwriter Nick Drake, it’s one of those songs that takes you back to the 80s from the minute you hear the gentle, twinkly guitar-strum opening.

In all, “Life in a Northern Town” spent 21 weeks on ye olde Billboard charts, peaking at #7 for two weeks in February 1986.

…and just like that, we’d never hear from Dream Academy again.

“And though he never would wave goodbye, you could see it written in his eyes
as the train rolled out of sight. Bye-bye…”

We ♥ Life in a Northern Town.

~ by weheart80s on October 5, 2011.

One Response to “Life in a Northern Town”

  1. The song’s legacy lives on. Sugarland covered this song on their Love on the Inside album with Little Big Town and Jake Owen. I saw them perform this live on the Incredible Machine tour along with Jake Owen (who was also their opening act). It’s great to see that current acts also still ❤ the 80s!

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