Undoubtedly a musical phenomenon, Wet Wet Wet has remained a relevant institution in British culture from the time they formed in 1982 up until present day. With an incredible back catalog of songs including three U.K. Number Ones’ – “With a Little Help From My Friends” (1988), “Goodnight Girl” (1992) and “Love is All Around” (1994), the guys have been making an impact with their music for 20 years now and what have become the familiar ingredients to the Wet Wet Wet sound - cascading instrumentals, killer hooks and that stunning voice – have made the group one of the most successful bands in British pop history.
Following their reunion in 2004, the much loved Scottish boys embraced the future and advanced their already fruitful career by selling out a UK-wide arena tour and achieving UK Top 20 chart success with their second greatest hits album, The Greatest Hits, which included the hit single “All I Want”.
Now, Wet Wet Wet is at it again with a 20th anniversary tour and new album release. Shows will include new material from the Wets’ newest release, Timeless, which they’ve spent the first part of 2007 perfecting down to the last sweeping orchestral detail.
The album is an updated twist on the classic Wet Wet Wet formula of melody, harmony and lyric. As usual, Pellow’s voice is immaculate, strong and full but is now set against a combination of luscious background of luscious guitar chords mixed with the symphonic depth of an orchestra, fantastically hook-laden melodies/lyrics and gorgeous, crisp production. Standout tracks include the up-tempo modern rock masterpiece “Run”, the harmonically layered ballad “Weightless” and other favorites “Through the Night”, “Too Many People”, “Eyes Wide Open” and “What Do You Know”. Collectively, all twelve tracks that make up Timeless come together to create a sublime and polished presentation of pop rock at its best.
Having formed in 1982 after taking their name from a line in a Scritti Politti song, the band that cite some of their musical influences as The Clash, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Webb, Bacharach-David, Elvis Costello, Donna Summer and Chic, released their first album in 1987, Popped in Souled Out. It proceeded to enter the UK chart at Number Two. Further singles from the album – “Sweet Little Mystery” and “Angel Eyes” - pushed it to Number One fourteen weeks later and it went on to achieve five times platinum status.
This was the start of a phenomenal run of 25 Top 40 hits including “Temptation” (1988), “Sweet Surrender” (1989), “Lip Service” (1992), “Julia Says” (1995), “Don’t Want to Forgive Me Now” (1995) and “If I Never See You Again” (1997). In that mix were the three U.K. Number One singles. First was The Beatles’ cover “With a Little Help From My Friends”(1988) - whose proceeds were donated to Childline. Followed by the self-penned, “Goodnight Girl” (1992) that was number one simultaneously with the High On The Happy Side album, and “Love is All Around” (1994) - a Number One simultaneously with End of Part One - the first greatest hits album.
Wet Wet Wet also achieved a reputation as one of rock’s best live acts. On their first major tour in 1988, they played to more than 500,000 people in 40 days throughout the U.K., Europe and Japan. The summer of 1988 saw the band take part in the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday concert at Wembley Stadium, performing “Wishing I Was Lucky” to a global TV audience of millions. Then Marti duetted with ‘60s singing legend Joe Cocker on “With a Little Help From My Friends” - at The Royal Albert Hall. The gig for the Prince’s Trust featured an all-star backing band of Elton John, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler and Brian May. Elton was so impressed that he invited the Wets to open for him later that year on a U.S. tour, which included gigs at prestigious venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York and the Hollywood Bowl in California.
In 1989, they headlined a free home town concert at Glasgow Green for 75,000 people. The gig was the biggest free event ever to be held in Britain, overshadowing The Rolling Stones’ legendary Hyde Park show in 1969. Another free show on the Isle of Arran, was broadcast live on Radio 1 interrupting their daytime schedule to do so, and a sell out gig at Edinburgh Castle - both in 1992 - cemented their reputation. By 1995, Wet Wet Wet was the most popular live act in the U.K. playing to in excess of 715,000 people across eleven countries and in 2005, the band were one of the headline acts at Live 8 in Edinburgh and played the Summer Weekender festival in England.
Their recording and tour success was punctuated by a string of awards - as they were recognized by everyone from the BPI, the Brits and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy to Smash Hits, Record Mirror and the Daily Star.
Could Wet Wet Wet be the British music’s next Indie pop heroes? Maybe so, but either way you choose to look at it, the boys are taking hold of their destiny and making it happen in the mainstream once again.