Most people have heard of Daniel Lanois
for his production work with U2 and Brian Eno but he started his climb to fame with a little band called Martha and the Muffins
who had a monster hit song.
Martha and the Muffins created their biggest hit, Echo Beach
in 1980 without his help but when his sister Jocelyn joined the band in 1981, it came to be that he produced their album This Is the Ice Age, on which you would find another awesome song, Women Around the World at Work
. Saxophone player Andy Haas, an integral part of the Muffins, left the band in 1982 after having "issues
" with his bandmates. Martha and the Muffins changed their name to M+M and put out another song to reach the charts, Danseparc
in 1983, and Black Stations/White Stations
Time passed with another minor hit and not much more but the group never formally broke up. Singer Martha and guitar Mark got married, had a child, moved from Canada to England and back. In 2010 they released Delicate. Their time had come and gone, but the track Drive
shows that they still know how to make half decent music.
There were two Marthas, Johnson and Ladly. Martha Johnson sang lead and had the voice
on most if not all of their hits. Ladly moved on to work with Peter Gabriel, Robert Palmer, Roxy Music, The Associates, OMD, and was New Order's Peter Saville's girlfriend. That's her painting on the cover of their 1981 EP Factus 8
For the curious - An interview
The meaningless - Mojo's list of 100 singles you must own
, Echo Beach at #67 and the only Canadian band on the list.
The odd fact - On a gazillion compilations, but a strange and pointless tidbit, novelist Ian Banks has it on his own personal collection CD
And what's he up to today? Andy Haas and his saxophone moved to NYC and is currently in avant-gard jazz band Radio I-Ching
And what happened to...? Jocelyne Lanois went on to help form Canadian folk/rock band Crash Vegas
(that's not her in the video - that's the wonderful Michelle McAdorey). Jocelyne played on Sarah McLachlan's album Solace as well as Martha and the Muffins latest album.