English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer Ian Broudie was born 4 August 1958. He became a member of the band Big in Japan, then after emerging from the post-punk scene in Liverpool in the late 1970s as a member of Big in Japan, Broudie went on to produce albums (sometimes under the name Kingbird) for artists including Echo & the Bunnymen, The Fall, The Coral, The Zutons, The Subways and many others. Around 1989, he began writing and recording under the name Lightning Seeds, releasing the album Cloudcuckooland through Rough Trade on the independent label Ghetto Records, and eventually putting together a live touring band in 1994. Lightning Seeds achieved great commercial success throughout the 1990s.
In 1989, Ian Broudie began recording alone under the name “Lightning Seeds”. The name derives from a misheard lyric from Prince’s 1985 hit single “Raspberry Beret” (The rain sounds so cool / When it hits the barn roof / And the horses wonder who you are / Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees). Broudie had previously been a member of the band Care in the mid-1980s, but by 1989 was much better known as a producer for Liverpool-based chart acts Echo & the Bunnymen and many other independent labels at the time. Working as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, Broudie ( as “The Lightning Seeds”) achieved success with the psychedelic hits “Pure” and “All I want” from the album Cloudcuckooland,
Following the success of the first Lightning Seeds album, Broudie released The album Sense (1992) featured the song “The Life of Riley”, written by Broudie for his son, which reached No. 28 in the UK Singles Chart. An instrumental version of the song later became better known as the BBC TV theme for the “Goal of the Month” competition. The album Sense would mark Broudie’s first Lightning Seeds song-writing collaborations with former Specials singer Terry Hall. The album’s title track “Sense”, co-written with Hall
Broudie released the Lightning Seeds third album Jollification in 1994 which included contributions from Terry Hall, Alison Moyet and Ian McNabb, the promotional tour began in August 1994 with a consistently changing line up over the years . It featured the song“Change”, which reached No. 13 in the UK Singles Charts, becoming the band’s second UK top 20 hit. The song was also featured on the soundtrack for the hit movie Clueless. Jollification also included the songs”Lucky You”, “Marvellous” and “Perfect”. Mark Farrow’s album cover featured the use of computer graphics to create an enormous strawberry and depicting seeds with superimposed human faces. Lightning Seeds fourth studio album Dizzy Heights was recorded at a private river barge studio located at Eel Pie Studios, then owned by Pete Townshend and included the song”Ready or Not”
In 1996 The Football Association commissioned Broudie to write an England song for the upcoming Euro ’96 football tournament. Broudie agreed on the condition that comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, who had presented the late-night television show Fantasy Football League participated. The resulting song, “Three Lions”, became an anthem. In 1997 Lightning Seeds headlined the Hillsborough Justice Concert, which was held at the Liverpool Anfield stadium to raise fund for the families in their struggle for justice. The Lightning Seeds also released a cover version of The Turtles “You Showed Me” which was included on the Austin Powers Soundtrack. The release of Like You Do… and a UK promotional tour followed. In 1998, Broudie reworked and recorded an updated version of their hit football anthem for the FIFA World Cup in France. “Three Lions ’98”. In 1998 The Lightning Seeds also performed on the Main Stage at both the Glastonbury Festival and the V Festival in the UK. in 1999 The Lightning Seeds released the album Tilt which was dance-oriented and featured collaborations with Stephen Jones called “Life’s Too Short”.
2004, Broudie released an album under his own name, Tales Told in 2004. The Lightning Seeds reformed in 2006 and released their sixth studio album Four Winds in 2009. The band’s second greatest hits album The Very Best of the Lightning Seeds was also released on 12 June 2006, followed by the re-release of “Three Lions”. In 2014 the songs and career of Ian Broudie were celebrated in a concert held at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra and performances by Ian McCulloch (Echo And The Bunnymen), Miles Kane (The Last Shadow Puppets), Terry Hall (The Specials), James Skelly (The Coral) and Broudie himself with a band featuring musicians Sean Payne (The Zutons), Bill Ryder Jones and Nick Power (The Coral) and Broudie’s son, Riley. The event was filmed but is yet to be released. In 2014, the Lightning Seeds were joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Liverpool’s Sefton Park for a show in front of 30,000 people, reprising the Philharmonic show without the special guests. In 2016 the Lightning Seeds supported Madness on their British pre-Christmas arena tour, playing all their greatest hits.