Originally called the Sherbet Monsters? the quartet first formed in the spring of 1985 in Dudley, in The Black Country, West Midlands U.K.. Paul Marsh, Dave Newton and Tony Linehan had played together in a band called Active Restraint in 1982, with Newton later leaving to become a foundingmember of The Wild Flowers. Dave Newton and Tony Linehan were the principal songwriters for the group. Their sound can best be described as a more psychedelia influenced post punk, played with a ringing Rickenbacker guitar as the lead instrument. They drew comparisons to Echo and the Bunnymen, who were also influenced by psychedelia.
After losing original drummer Martin Gilks (later to join The Wonder Stuff), the Drops line-up settled as Paul Marsh (vocals), David Newton (guitar), Tony Linehan (bass), and Keith Rowley (drums). In December 1985 the quartet, now officially The Mighty Lemon Drops, released their first independent single, "Like An Angel," on Daniel Treacy of Television Personalities
"Dreamworld Records" label which went to the top of the UK Indie Chart and sold 14,000 copies.
They also recorded a session for John Peel around the same time. Becoming part of the C86 movement, which was championed by the New Musical Express, they were soon snapped up by Geoff Travis of Rough Trade for his new Blue Guitar label, a subsidiary of Chrysalis Records.
They signed with Sire Records for the United States and Canada around the same period. Derek Jarman produced the video for the "Out of Hand" single in 1987 which was followed by their hit "Inside Out" in 1988. In the UK, albums Happy Head and World Without End both charted (#58 and No. 33 respectively). In the US World Without End was a Number 1 Modern Rock/College album in 1988 and Happy Head was one of the 50 best album of the year 1986 according to Sounds magazine critics poll. These two albums relied heavily on Newton's use of a vintage Vox Mark VII semi-acoustic "Teardrop" 12 string electric guitar and a Micro Frets Spacetone 6 string guitar.
The band eventually parted company with Chrysalis in the UK after three albums (Happy Head, World Without End and Laughter), failing to repeat their initial independent success, but remained signed with Sire in the US, with Laughter, another US Modern Rock No. 1 entering the lower regions of the Billboard 200 in 1990. During the sessions for Laughter, Linehan left the band and was replaced by Marcus Williams. The band released two more albums, Sound...Say Goodbye To Your Standards and Ricochet before finally breaking up in 1992. Three more albums followed (live albums All The Way and Young, Gifted, & Black Country, and the greatest-hits package Rollercoaster) and at the end of 2000 the band played a one-off comeback gig in Wolverhampton.
All of The Mighty Lemon Drops albums are now officially available again through Wounded Bird Records, licensed through Warner Bros, all with extra tracks, b-sides and liner notes.
In March 2014, the band released Uptight: The Early Recordings 1985-1986, on Cherry Red Records.
Your best bet is to get hold of the CD compilation, Rollercoaster which collates the best tracks from Blue Guitar period. It also contains their Dreamworld recordings. Rollercoaster has now been re-released by Cherry Red Records.
In the seven years since their formation, The Mighty Lemon Drops had established themselves as one of the freshest, most inventive ensembles in modern pop music. Now, with the release of Ricochet, their Sire Records offering, the quartet takes another giant leap of originality with a collection of eleven songs that capture all the energy, exuberance and sheer excitement of the group's fabled live sound.