Thunder Up

Last updated

Thunder Up
Thunder Up cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1987
StudioElephant Studio in London, England
Label Play It Again Sam
  • The Sound
  • Nick Robbins
The Sound chronology
Heads and Hearts
Thunder Up
Singles from Thunder Up
  1. "Hand of Love"
    Released: 1987
  2. "Iron Years"
    Released: 1987

Thunder Up is the fifth and final studio album by English post-punk band the Sound, released in 1987 on Belgian record label Play It Again Sam.

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and black styles like dub, funk, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. These communities produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines.

The Sound (band) British band

The Sound were an English post-punk band, formed in South London in 1979 and dissolved in 1988. They were fronted by Adrian Borland, and evolved from his previous band, the Outsiders.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.


Two singles were released from the album: "Hand of Love" and "Iron Years". The album and its subsequent tour precipitated the band's breakup in early 1988. Like the Sound's previous records, the album was not commercially successful, but the band largely considered it to be their best work.


By 1987, the Sound were solid veterans in the music industry; they had, for instance, already passed through two record labels (Korova and Statik), released four studio albums (1980's Jeopardy , 1981's From the Lions Mouth [ sic ], 1982's All Fall Down and 1985's Heads and Hearts ), one EP (1984's Shock of Daylight ) and one live album (1985's In the Hothouse).

Korova is a record label, named after the fictitious Korova Milk Bar that was featured in the film A Clockwork Orange, 'korova' also being the Russian word for 'cow'. The imprint was founded in London, UK in 1979 as a division of Warner Music Group, with its first album release being Echo & The Bunnymen's debut Crocodiles. The label was active throughout the 1980s, not only releasing recordings by Echo & the Bunnymen, but also Airhead, The Sound, Guns for Hire, Dalek I Love You, Tenpole Tudor, Lori & The Chameleons, Ellery Bop and Strawberry Switchblade. The label also put out a few UK releases from The Residents catalogue, as well as American artist Jeff Finlin's Angel in Disguise, with the single "American Dream #109."

<i>Jeopardy</i> (album) 1980 studio album by The Sound

Jeopardy is the debut studio album by English post-punk band the Sound, released on 1 November 1980 by record label Korova.

<i>From the Lions Mouth</i> 1981 studio album by The Sound

From the Lions Mouth [sic] is the second studio album by English post-punk band The Sound, released in November 1981 on record label Korova. Following the release of their previous album Jeopardy, keyboardist Belinda "Bi" Marshall left the group and was replaced by Colvin "Max" Mayers. For their new album, The Sound worked with producer Hugh Jones, as well as co-producing the album themselves. The album's sound was more polished than previous efforts.


Thunder Up was recorded at Elephant Studio in London. [1]

Adam Brent Houghtaling, author of This Will End in Tears, wrote that with Thunder Up, "the aggression evident on [the Sound's] earlier releases had largely calmed into a more polished guitar pop". [2]


Thunder Up was released in 1987 by Play It Again Sam. The album and its subsequent tour precipitated the band's breakup in early 1988. [3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
The Big Takeover favourable [5]
Melody Maker favourable [6]
Trouser Press favourable [7]

The album was well received immediately on release by The Big Takeover , who acknowledged it as a "stunning, moving juggernaut". [8] Critical appraisal from the mainstream press the work has largely been absent, although it was championed by Melody Maker upon release: "The Sound, by refining their despair, simply amplify their magnificence and magnify the intensity of expression". [6]

The Big Takeover is a bi-annual music magazine published out of New York City since May 1980 by critic Jack Rabid.

<i>Melody Maker</i> historical British weekly pop/rock music newspaper  (1926-2000)

Melody Maker was a British weekly music magazine, one of the world's earliest music weeklies, and—according to its publisher IPC Media—the earliest. It was founded in 1926, largely as a magazine for dance band musicians, by Leicester-born composer, publisher Lawrence Wright; the first editor was Edgar Jackson. In 2000 it was merged into "long-standing rival" New Musical Express.

Thunder Up was a favourite among Sound members. Drummer Michael Dudley named it as one of his favourite Sound albums (along with Propaganda), [9] while Graham Bailey called it the band's "crowning glory". [3] In a 1988 interview, frontman Adrian Borland said, "Ultimately I find Thunder Up the very best album, because it sounds like the band 'live' in the studio and, in a way, it actually was". [10]

Track listing

All tracks written by Adrian Borland, except as noted.

1."Acceleration Group" 3:32
2."Hand of Love" 3:18
3."Barria Alta"Borland, Colvin "Max" Mayers, Graham Bailey, Michael Dudley4:47
4."Kinetic" 5:15
5."Iron Years"Borland, Bailey4:11
6."Prove Me Wrong" 2:28
7."Shot Up and Shut Down" 4:19
8."Web of Wicked Ways" 2:56
9."I Give You Pain" 5:05
10."You've Got a Way" 5:29

Note: In some editions, "You've Got a Way" is separated into two tracks, parts "I" and "II", to distinguish the initial piano piece. This brings the total number of tracks on some editions to 11.

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  1. Thunder Up (Media notes). The Sound. Belgium: Play It Again Sam. 1987. Retrieved 24 June 2013.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. Houghtaling, Adam Brent (2012). This Will End in Tears. HarperCollins. ISBN   0062098969 . Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  3. 1 2 Reeves, Paul Sutton (March 2002). "[The Sound biography]". Record Collector . Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. "Thunder Up – The Sound : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic . AllRovi . Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  5. "[Thunder Up review]". The Big Takeover . 23 December 1987. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  6. 1 2 Mercer, Mick. "[Thunder Up review]". Melody Maker . Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  7. Lamey, Charles P.; Rabid, Jack; Ferguson, Scott. " :: Sound". . Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  8. "The Sound – Thunder Up /Hand of Love/ Iron Years (Play It Again Sam BEL, Nettwerk CAN)". The Big Takeover . 23 December 1987. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  9. Clarkson, John. "[Michael Dudley interview]". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  10. "[Adrian Borland interview]". Limit. 1998. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013.