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Hothouse Flowers (formed in 1985) is a genre-dispelling Irish alternative rock group that also draws influences from folk, soul, gospel and Celtic rock, hailing from Monkstown, Dublin, Ireland.
Originally formed by school friends Liam O Maolai and Fiachna O Braonain in 1985, the pair became buskers on the streets of Dublin, known as “The Incomparable Benzini Brothers”. Bassist Peter O’Toole subsequently joined, expanding the group’s sound, following which they won the 1986 Street-Performer of the Year Award. “The Incomparable Benzini Brothers” subsequently became “Hothouse Flowers” and the band began to craft their glimmering alternative rock and hone their live skills across Ireland. By this time Hothouse Flowers had been dubbed the “best unsigned band in Europe” by Rolling Stone, however the group didn’t remain unsigned for long and released their debut single “Love Don’t Work This Way” on U2’s Mother Records in 1986.
By 1988 Hothouse Flowers had moved to the PolyGram subsidiary London Records, who issued the band’s debut full-length “People” in May 1988. Topping the Irish Albums Chart and peaking at No. 2 in the UK, the record was a smash hit aided by the No. 11 UK Single “Feet on the Ground”. In support of the release, Hothouse Flowers played the year’s Reading Festival, Glastonbury Festival and toured extensively around Europe.
The band’s sophomore album “Home” arrived in June 1990 having been recorded intermittently whilst relentlessly touring. Finding the top spot on the Australian Albums Chart, the record spawned the singles “Give It Up” and “I Can See Clearly Now”, both of which charted within the UK’s Top 30. In collaboration with Def Leppard under the moniker “The Acoustic Hippies From Hell”, the band recorded three songs “From the Inside” - a reworked Rolling Stones track, Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”, and Def Leppard’s “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” in 1992.
Hothouse Flowers’ third full-length, “Songs From the Rain”, appeared in March 1993. To offset disappointing sales, the band were kept touring for the entire year, including shows in the U.S. to break into the American market. A hiatus subsequently ensued, with members focusing on their personal lives and side projects, in which time Dave Clarke joined the band on drums. In 1998 the band returned to release the full-length “Born”, which spawned the UK No. 68 single “You Can Love Me Now”. The record was followed by the live album “Live” in 1999, after which the best-of compilation, “Hothouse Flowers: The Best Of”, was released in 2000, and the album of rarities, “The Vaults: Volume 1”, in 2003.
A year later Hothouse Flowers issued their first album of new material in six years, “Into Your Heart”, which charted at No. 3 on the Irish Albums Chart. A subsequent best-of compilation, “Hothouse Flowers: The Platinum Collection” was released in 2006, followed by the band’s seventh studio album “Goodnight Sun” in 2010.