Voice of the Beehive

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1986)

- Mark Bedford -- bass

- Melissa Brooke Belland -- vocals

- Martin Brett (aka Brett Martini) -- bass

- Tracey Byrn Belland -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Mike Jones -- guitar

- Daniel Woodgate -- drums, percussion


  line up 2  (1986-1992)

- Melissa Brooke Belland -- vocals

NEW - Martin Brett (aka Brett Martini) -- bass (replaced 

  Mark Bedford)

- Tracey Byrn Belland -- vocals, rhythm guitar

- Mike Jones -- guitar

- Daniel Woodgate -- drums, percussion


  line up 2 (1992-96)

- Melissa Brooke Belland -- vocals

- Tracey Byrn Belland -- vocals, rhythm guitar


  supporting musicians (1995)

- Jolyon Dixon -- guitar

- Caroline Lavelle -- cello

- KeithMoore -- guitar

- Stuart Ross -- drums, percussion

- Steve Sidelnyk -- percussion

- Peter-JohnVettese -- keyboards

- John Wakefield -- bass






- Butterfield 8 (Mark Bedford)

- Madness (Mark Bedford and Daniel Woodgate)

- Brett Martini (solo efforts)




Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars **** 

Title:  Honey Lingers

Company: London

Catalog:  77036

Country/State: US/UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: --

Catalog ID: --

Price: --




"Honey Lingers" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Monsters and Angels     (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:38   rating; **** stars

If you are ever looking for an example of "ear candy" then slap 'Monsters and Angels' on your turntable.  A sterling example of a top-40 tune (that somehow escaped mainstream success), the tune had everything that late-'90s radio should have been looking for - criminally catchy melody; sweet vocals and just enough crunch to keep it from being sappy.   

2.) Adonis Blue  (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:40   rating; **** stars

'Adonis Blue' showed the sisters could toughen up their sound to compete with the best of their contemporaries - think first class Go-Gos, or The Bangles at their best.  

3.) I Think I Love You   (Tony Romeo) - 3:13

4.) Look At Me  (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:03   rating; **** stars

While there simply aren't many bad Voice of the Beehive songs, I've always loved them when the hit the rock accelerator.  Complete with plenty of jangle guitar and some hysterical lyrics, this was one of the classic performances.

5.) Beauty To My Eyes  (Tracey Bryn) - 3:10   rating; **** stars

Exemplified by the sweet ballad 'Beauty To My Eyes, Byrn could effortlessly teach a masters class in crafting the perfect pop song.   Another one with a hook that buried itself into you head and would not leave.


(side 2)

1.) Just Like You  (Martin Brett - Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:22    rating: *** stars

Hum, when did I put on The B-52s album?   Seriously, 'Just Like You' bore more than a passing resemblance to that band.  In fact these guys were lucky to not have been slapped with an infringement suit by Fred Schneider and the rest of the band.  

2.) Little Gods  (Marvin Etzoni) - 2:37  rating: *** stars

The album's one cover tune, as much as I love their pop moves, 'Little Gods' was a bit too much of a good thing.  Offering a mix of '60s girl group and '90s pop, this was dangerous to diabetics.

3.) I'm Shooting Cupid  (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) -3:11   rating; **** stars

In my humble opinion,  I'm Shooting Cupid' was one of the band's best and overlooked performances.  Sweet melody, irresistible refrain, wonderful vocals, and interesting lyrics ...  what wasn't there to love?

4.) Say It  (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 2:28   rating; **** stars

Jangle-rock at it's best and the lyrics were a hoot ("ignore my weakness for boys and noisy bands ."

5.) Perfect Place   (Brooks - Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:33   rating: *** stars

Another shimmering, radio-friendly pop tune with a lyric that should have made you reflect on life in generation.  And yet it somehow came across as shallow and self-serving.  But that angelic refrain ...   It was released as a single with a slightly different arrangement.  YouTube has the promotional video that was released with the single: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pJjzpxlzzc

- 1981's 'Perfect Place' b/w 'Perfect Place' (London catalog number CDP 534)  

In the UK it was released as part of a four track, 10" EP:

- 1981's 'Perfect Place' / 'Shine Away' b/w 'SIt Down (live) and 'Trust me' (live) (London catalog number LONT 312)





Brushing aside any concerns about a "sophomore slump," Honey Lingers was a rare achievement, an album in which virtually any song could have been a single. (It also boasts one of the most covertly sexy titles in recording history.) From the delightfully infectious "Monsters And Angels" to the introspective "Perfect Place," the beautiful melodies, harmonies, and production of the album are immediately apparent. Repeated listening also reveals complex lyrics, which, in contrast to their sweet sound, are at times quite biting.

The follow up to "Monsters And Angels," the first single from the album, was a cover of "I Think I Love You," made famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) by the Partridge Family. The cover of the single featured a scene of infernal passion, and the 12" version of the song was called the "Orgy Mix." This theme was adopted for a short tour of the UK in 1991, playfully titled "Orgy Under The Underworld," a Bacchanalian festival of music and sex, the details of which are probably best left to the imagination...


The last single from Honey Lingers was "Perfect Place," a mediation on altruism. Despite this kind outlook, the coming years would hold many difficulties for the band. Tracey and Melissa both faced the end of long-term relationships, the death of close friends, the loss of band members, and end of their association with London Records.

Despite the series of misfortunes the band was enduring, they managed to contribute a version of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" to a 1993 EMI collection of covers of the song, collaborating with Jimmy Sommerville of the Bronski Beat and Communards.

oney Lingers is the second album from alternative rock band Voice of the Beehive. Released in 1991 on London Records, the album earned positive reviews from music critics and was a success on U.S. college radio stations. The album peaked at #17 in the UK upon its debut on 24 August 1991,[2] and #68 in Australia in July 1992.[3]

The first single, "Monsters and Angels", became the band's first entry on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #74.[4] It also was the band's second top-twenty single in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #17.[2] "Monsters and Angels" peaked at #72 on the Australian ARIA singles chart,[3] and was their sole top-ten single on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number eight.[5]

The title of the album is a play on the words of the sexual act of cunnilingus. The album includes a cover version of The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You", which became their biggest hit in Australia, peaking at #12.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Monsters and Angels" (Bryn, Jones) – 3:38
  2. "Adonis Blue" (Bryn, Jones) – 3:40
  3. "I Think I Love You" (Tony Romeo) – 3:13
  4. "Look at Me" (Bryn, Jones) – 3:03
  5. "Beauty to My Eyes" (Bryn) – 3:01
  6. "Just Like You" (Brett, Bryn, Jones) – 3:22
  7. "Little Gods" (Marvin Etzioni) – 2:37
  8. "I'm Shooting Cupid" (Bryn, Jones) – 3:11
  9. "Say It" (Bryn, Jones) – 2:28
  10. "Perfect Place" (Brooke, Bryn, Jones) – 3:33


  • 1991 "Monsters and Angels" #17 UK,[2] #72 AUS,[3] #74 U.S.,[4] #8 U.S. Modern Rock Tracks[5]
  • 1991 "I Think I Love You" #25 UK,[2] #12 AUS[6]
  • 1991 "Perfect Place" #37 UK,[2] #31 AUS[6]

Responding to a difficult promotional experience for Let It Bee, Voice of the Beehive ignored the ground they'd made in Britain and refocused their energies toward America. The result was 1991's Honey Lingers, a tighter, glossier sophomore LP periodically highlighted by absurd label interference. Where Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland's sugared harmonies were too insistent in the past, here the camp had been toned down and the band's approach to B-52's modern rock more accessible and likable. One had to wonder what "I'm Shooting Cupid" would sound like with its reportedly excised sped-up verses intact or how singles "Monsters and Angels" and "Perfect Place" would work without the warmth of the over-production. As it turned out, if much of the album was manipulated after the fact by an insecure label, it was one of the few times in indie pop history when the illusion of a band in full confidence suggested a greater importance than the reality.

This 10 track album opens with the chugging guitar and beat of lead single Monsters And Angels. Sisters Tracey Bryn Belland andMelissa Brooke Belland soon arrive. Their delicately soft vocals work wonderfully well together on this gentle pop song. There’s moments that remind me of the softer moments of Shakespear’s Sister. I don’t remember this being a single, but it understandably fared well in 1991, reaching #17 in the UK, and becoming their biggest hit.

A rapid round of snare drum introduces next track Adonis Blue, and it’s straight into guitars and vocals. Here, the duo make this song sound like something you’d find on a Heather Nova album. There’s some nice vocal harmonies in the chorus. The guitar is light enough to allow the sisters ample room to do plenty of soft ‘oooh‘s. This is quite a nice warm, summery song.

Next up is second single I Think I Love You, a cover of The Partridge Family‘s 1970 debut single. The song is an inspired cover, and vocally the chorus is really catchy, but the rest of the song is quite difficult and downbeat. Legendary producer Don Was is in control here, and that more than likely helped this song find the success it did – a moderate hit at #25 – and it is the only song of theirs that I’d ever heard of.

This is followed by Look At Me, which is a heavier more rock track, but it’s far catchier, and at times it makes me think of the kind of slightly punk pop chaos that you’d find in the B-52s. There’s some pretty fantastic roaring guitar in this track.

Fifth track, Beauty To My Eyes is a nice gentle strum-along track. There’s plenty more here that reminds me of Heather Nova again, and also carries some slight country music nods. Whilst Tracey and Melissa’s vocals are dreamy, breathy, and light here, and the song is generally just ‘nice’, the song isn’t particularly catchy.

Up next is Just Like You, which seems to have the B-52s Love Shack beats to it. There’s a great little riff at the start, and the it’s a great start for this up-beat pop song. This really should have been a single. It’s pop, catchy, and funky too. This is flawless.

What feels like a saccharine 50’s cover, Little Gods isn’t. It was written by Marvin Etzioni (Lisa Loeb, Maria McKee, Dixie Chicks, Toad The Wet Sprocket amongst others) and it flows pretty well. The sisters make easy work of the slightly twee lyrics here, and the song lasts a mere 2m 37s.

I’m Shooting Cupid follows this, opening like an R.E.M song (think Shiny Happy People). There’s plenty of space given to Tracy and Melissa to show off their vocal power, pitched against a wall of acoustic guitar and backing vocals. It’s definitely a grower, and by the time of the guitar solo in the middle, I was tapping my foot along and prepared for a sing-a-long chorus.

Penultimate song Say It feels like the weakest song here. The vocals seem to be slightly muted, and the sister’s bandmates meander their way through the song. There’s a slight country music feeling to this, until the piano arrives at about 1m 40s, from which point the song seems to take on an extra strength and redeem itself.

The album closes with third and final single Perfect Place. This is a much more gentle song, and a good choice to close the album with. Vocals really shine here, in solo and harmonies making this pop-lite song a bit of a contrast to some of the earlier tracks. This was their penultimate charting single in the UK, scraping in at #37.

Over all, this album still stands up quite well, and there’s little here that feels dated or awkward to listen to 14yrs later.  PWL producers Ian Curnow and Phil Harding joined the likes of Don Was on this album, which makes it feel odd that it didn’t fare as well as some of their other work.

Still, it’s a nice enough album, that might have fared better with the single release of Just Like You, and more songs like it.


Voice Of The Beehive continued to record and release singles after this album. Only one – 1995’s Angel Come Down single – charted in the UK, stalling at #103. Three further singles and album Sex & Misery from 1996 all failed to chart.

The group disbanded in 1996.


teens. It spoke to everything I was trying to handle at the time (and some things have not changed much in 25 years...). I love it. I love the songs, I love the voices, I love the style. As for the service in getting my new copy, excellent. I would absolutely order this way again. Reasonable pricing, reasonable delivery time, and mint condition CD. Now shut up, my song is on.
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on July 28, 2015
How great it is to hear this wonderful group again! I listened to them obsessively in the 90s, so listening now sure plays a lot of movies in my mind, but this music is also right up to present. The beat, the music, and those wonderful voices in harmony -- and of course the brilliant, witty lyrics, made by and for GIRLS! They are just the best. If you've never listened to Voice Of The Beehive, you have a major treat in store for you. (Be prepared to get up and dance.)
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on December 18, 2013
This is one of my favorite albums. The CD went missing few years ago. When I heard "I Think I Love You" while watching a movie the other day, I realized I had to have it again.
Really fun pop music belted out by some powerful women. Take a listen, it's worth your time.
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on April 3, 2014
I had the cassette when it first came out. I loved their music and I am so glad I bought the cd. The songs are great, fun , and love listening to it either in the car or when I workout.
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on February 19, 2004
The second album of the Voice of the Beehive, and probably their best. "Honey Lingers" is an exercise in pure, perfect guitar pop, ripe with heavenly harmonies, flawless instrumentation and gorgeous two-part vocals by the Belland sisters. On top of that comes some clever songwriting, with a certain knack for irony as well as for lush melodies.
It starts off promisingly with the slow-rolling chorus-heavy beauty of "Monsters and Angels" and ends up with the somewhat wistful "Perfect Place" (complete with allusions to their best-known song "I walk the earth" from 1987). In between pure pop gems are to be found with fundamentally no disappointment. (Well, the Osmonds ditty "I think I love you" can be a nuisance sometimes because of the annoyingly catchy hookline.) My favourite tracks are "I'm shooting Cupid" (perfect marriage of guitar pop and sardonic lyrics), "Little gods" (soaring harmonies and all that - the kind of song usually referred to as "summer hit") and the aforementioned "Monsters and Angels".
There is also the rather cocky "Look at me" with its digs at modern self-centredness and the airy groove of "Beauty to my eyes". In fact, there is only one thing that prevents me from giving the full 5-star rating, namely the fact that "Honey Lingers" (note the pun?) runs only for about half an hour.
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HALL OF FAMEon November 11, 2003
The first album was a fresh burst grinding guitar and power pop, and the loopy and colourful cover led people to believe that they were mindless pop. Wrongo! Ditto for Honey Lingers, where Tracy Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland are decked out in pink dresses resembling that worn by La Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
The same grinding guitars, drums, and power pop sound from Let It Bee are here, but the cynicism and stings have sharpened considerably in the areas of romance, and any idealist will die of acute poisoning upon hearing certain songs...
...such as "Monsters And Angels", where the protagonist is proud to be nobody's anything, be it "nobody's wife", "nobody's baby", "nobody's valentine", "nobody's pearl", and "nobody's mother." but there is a kind of escape clause from that affirmation when she says "then again maybe" This divided state of mind is elaborated thusly: "There's a peacefulness and a rage inside us all" and "there is ice and fire in every single heart." So this balanced neutrality is an answer? Interesting.
Sharp riffs punctuate "Adonis Blue", with its ringing hard guitar. Definitely a girly song, but this song about one's ideal opposite whose mold they broke after his birth, someone "who's just as sad as me, but always smiling" is catchy enough.
They do a decent cover of the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You", and love that fuzzy guitar and bass.
However, the keyboards and hard guitar hooks in "Look At Me" is a scathing look at the Donahue/Oprah mentality of people trying to get attention, thinking they got problems, drama, stories no else has, and trying to outcompete others. "I really have a lot of pain to express" The songs wryly ends "The earth is drying. Planets are dying. Everybody is saying, "Yea, I know but look at me!" Why are people so parochial?
"Beauty To My Eyes" is a mid-paced acoustic ballad spiced with some string synths in the chorus.
With the cacophony of drums, guitars, and synths, "It's Just Like You" outdoes the rocking party of the B-52's "Love Shack." Silly but catchy rhymes and similes and opposite dynamics. "You're the plug and I'm the socket/I;m the moon and you're the rocket/you can sing it, you can talk it/you're the change in my back pocket" made me roll my eyes and shake my head in amusement. And what's with "I'll be your braille if you'll read me everynight"? Clever or silly?
OK, I understand grown women being cynical about love but programming them when they're young tots? "Little Gods" has a Bangles-like melody and the title is what little girls should not treat little boys like because they don't keep promises. Nice song and melody though.

"I'm Shooting Cupid" is my favourite song here and further proof that Bryn and Belland have had one too many disappointing love experiences. The girls declare war thus: "Cupid you've got yourself a brand new enemy/it's time to get cruel/i'm calling a duel" Why? Because "You made me a loveless girl" they sing in the refrain. "To keep humans kind, I'm getting you from behind." Given their take that famous couples like Antony and Cleopatra and Adam and Eve should've been left alone, I wonder if they'll use a bazooka on Cupid. Yup! KABAM, there he goes in a shower of feathers!
"Say It" describes that one needn't say one's feelings because "sometimes when you talk too much, the words get old and dusty" so there are other ways other than saying it. "I know something else we can do" she sings. Do I detect a knowing seductive wink in that line?
This could be a "Perfect Place" if people who keep saying "I will change tomorrow" actually follow up on that, hence their borrowing a snatch of lyric from a song on Let It Bee: "I walk the earth my darling but I never feel at home."
This must've had some kind of impact, as they came up with a third album, but the songwriting team of the girls and guitarist Mike Jones is a real asset here. The recurring anti-romance theme adds to the successfully power-pop formula. Another winner from the Beehive girls.
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on September 22, 2001
While their debut LET IT BEE was an auspicious pop intro peppered with a little power punk, HONEY LINGER chooses to focus on the "pop" more than the "punk", and in the process the sisters Belland produce a sophomore effort that artistically supercedes its' predecessor. Comparisons the girls garnered to the B-52s on the first album continue here, though as one reviewer said it would be doing the sisters a disservice to compare them to anyone--they definately march to the beat of their own drum. Would-be pop classics abound here, from the opening 'Monsters and Angels' to the closing 'A Perfect Place', with nary a misstep. In between, the sardonic wit exibited in their previous work is front and center, especially on charmingly goofy tracks like 'Adonis Blue' and 'Look At Me'. The failure by many to categorize their music ultimately hurt them, I think, which is a shame because this was one of the best pop albums to come out of the early nineties. If you want further proof, just go to track three--who else could cover David Cassidy's bubblegum anthem 'I Think I Love You' and actually make it sound like a great song?
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on December 20, 2004
Okay, first things first. The reviewer who called "I Think I Love You" an Osmonds tune obviously never watched "The Partridge Family". :-) Now that we've got that out of the way... I *adore* VOTB's version of that song - it rocks! I bought this album on tape soon after it came out, and recently I rediscovered it in my collection. I popped it in the tape deck of my car...and didn't take it out for a couple of weeks. I listened to it on the way to and from work every day and didn't get sick of it. "Monsters and Angels" is still a fantastic, fun song all these years later. I'd say besides that and "I Think I Love You," probably my favorite is "Just Like You" - because it's fast and thumpy and especially for the wonderfully clever lyric "It's just like you to leave me shakin in my go-go boots." That just sums up the FUN these girls provide.
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on July 27, 2000
I actually discovered this VOTB recording before Let It Bee, but I love them both! Just as cynical, just as catchy, 'Honey' offers more spicy than sweet, but that's what the group is good at! I must disagree with the reviewer who doesn't like "Shooting Cupid" and "Say It" - those are two of my favorite tracks! I remember thinking "Cupid" would have made a great un-Valentine music video from the group! Maybe I'm as cynical as the girls are on this, but I think they're right on target with that track! The songs go up and down from start to finish - fast and slow, ballads to pop, but always listenable and always with something to say. Even David Cassidy's "I Think I Love You" gets new life the way they belt it out! Always a pleasant diversion - very underrated!
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on January 20, 1999
I was a huge fan of "Let It Bee" by VOTB, so I came to this one with a skeptical eye and ear attuned. Well, I was pleased to be (almost) completely wrong--"Honey Lingers" is almost a perfect pop/rock album. The only drawback is that the band is so poppy, so smart, so wise, and so infectiously danceable ("Just Like You" "Adonis Blue" "Monsters and Angels") for most of the album, and their take on male-female relationships is so acute, that when they go a-clunker with empty froth such as "Cupid" or "Say It," one feels unreasonably betrayed. Still, there's more brains and heart here than can be found on a thousand Spice Girls albums, and for that we should cherish the Beehive girls.
My first experience with these 2 fabulous women and their band dates back in the early 90's. I heard the 'hit?' Monsters and Angles on a 80's flash back type radio show and I was hooked. I ran out and bought the CD and pretty much like every song on it. When the girls harmonize they sound smooth as honey. I happen to like bubble gum type music and theirs is as sugary sweet as it gets. Some might say it has a raunchy flavor, but I find it rather provocative, if not totally true! My personal favorite besides 'Monsters and Angles' is 'Say It'. I am a hopeless romantic as well so this song is very fitting... ahh now if I could just find the woman in that song...
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on September 17, 2000
This album is fun and more polished than Let It Bee. However, it loses the edge with which Let It Bee stung me. Yes, Tracey and Melissa still deliver their sassy, sarcastic lyrics, and I would say that the lyrics, while not sophisticated by any stretch of the imagination, improve stylistically from Let It Bee. But this album does not fulfill the promise VOTB exhibited in their debut. Some songs on this album are, however, jewels... including "Look At Me", "Say It" and "Just Like You."
Not a bad album at all, but it was a bit disappointing after the wham-bam effect of the first album. You will have fun, though.
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on October 18, 1998
I'm listening, for perhaps the 50th time, to Voice of the Beehive's 1991 release Honey Lingers (say that title as one latin word. I think it's a pun). What a great, active, fun album. It's the kind of CD that you pop in on a ten hour trip between you and a city 500 miles off. It'll take your mind on little voyages, and make you alternately happy and sad. If you like the Bangles, Bananarama, Kate Bush, Danielle Dax or just women with great harmonies, then you'll like these folks. Start with their first Album, Let it Bee, which, thank goodness, is on CD now, and you'll be glad you did.
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on April 18, 2000
Voice of the beehive are all that fluff and the magical things (that artists like tori amos turn dark) that make being alive feel great. sugary lyrics and great harmonies esp. on monsters and angels and just like you. my favorite is perfect place...a beautiful song about changing the world for the better...this album will have you walking in the clouds...i also recommend the other two..let it bee and sex and misery which has the infectious scary kisses song....
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on December 21, 1999
To know this band is to love them. The songs are intelligent and thought provoking, yet sound sweet and poppy. On Honey Lingers they blend songs to save the world (for example, "Perfect Place") with songs of love ("Adonis Blue" and the old David Cassidy song, "I think I Love You"). An album not to be taken too seriously nor too lightly, but listened to often.
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on May 12, 1999
Noone makes you feel good like Voice of The Beehive. I love to listen to this album when I am down and up...it is just all around fun. I'm Shooting Cupid, and the pun-filled Just Like You are true classics...what more can be said than fun, and wonderfully fabulous
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on June 14, 2000
I like Female Vocals on New Wave Music; like these Songs from The Voice of the Beehive, they simply matches my kind of tempo that fit my ears. Not a kind of a head banging noises, screaming voices and guitars and all that stuff that blows your eardrums this rhytm is really cool!...
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on February 26, 1999
I've been looking for Voice of the Beehive throughout the Southern California area, and the only place I found it was at amazon.com. This is by far the most enjoyable music my ears have ever heard. Cudo's!!!




Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars **** 

Title:  Sex & Misery

Company: Discovery

Catalog:  77036

Country/State: US/UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: --

Catalog ID: --

Price: --

It's a shame the music business and the buying public didn't turn Voice of the Beehive into massive stars.    


Unfortunately  for the band, 1996's "Sex & Misery" seems to have been one of those albums snake bitten from its inception.   A series of business, personal and personnel issues saw work on the album repeatedly delayed.  In fact, the album's working title was "Disastrous Relationships, Disillusionment, Depression & Death".   On the business front, the band grew increasing frustrated with London Records which they saw as being unwilling to support them.  Trying to escape their recording contract proved a long and painful experience.  Simultaneously, on the personal front both Belland and Byrn were dealing with nasty breakups (check out the bitter 'Playing House' and the disturbing 'I'm Still In Love').  By the time it was completed and released, five years had gone by since the release of their  previously album.  Along with the extended delay went the ability to employee their band - bassist Martin Brent, guitarist Mike Jones, and drummer Daniel Woodgate (who returned to Madness) all handed in their notices, leaving Voice of the Beehive a duo built around Bryn and sister Belland.  The extended break also cost the group much of their audience.  Adding to their problems, having finally gotten out of their contract with London and signed with EastWest Records, they discovered their new label was no more supportive.  The company floated a "test" CD single, but when it failed to sell, the company dropped Voice of the Beehive and pulling the plug on the album. 

- 1996's 'Angel Come Down' b/w 'Inconsistencies' and 'Cartoon City' (EastWest catalog number YZ 973CD) # 86 UK pop charts

EastWest subsequently changed direction and released the album in the UK. but offered virtually no promotional support.  Warner Brother's Discovery imprint released the album in the States, but again did little to support the collection, or the band and quickly dropped them from its record roster.


Produced by Peter-John Vettese, 'Sex & Money" is one of those "what-if" albums.  Given the background circumstance in which it was recorded, the fact Belland and Bryn were able to complete an album was nothing short of miraculous.  The fact so many of these songs were so good was even more remarkable.   For goodness sakes, Belland's liner notes laid it out in black and white: "While the days of "Honey Lingers" were bright and sweet, what followed was tinged with sadness both professionally and personally.  After successfully extracting ourselves for out old record collection, my sister and I decided to make a go of it alone.  This album is the result.  Sing in grief at the loss of our innocence and band and in celebration of our independent, each note was a labor of love."  Yeah, with the exceptions of 'Scary Kisses, and 'So Hard', much of the outgoing playfulness that characterized their two earlier releases was gone, replaced by darker themes ('Playing House' and 'Moon of Dust'). Still  the sisters remained gifted songwriters - virtually each of these eleven tracks reflecting a memorable, radio-friendly melody.  The album also found them reaching out to some interesting collaborators, including Zodiac Mindwarp ('Love Locked Inside') and XTC's Andy Partridge ('Blue In Paradise').  And how do you pick out favorites given so many winners ?


"Sex & Misery" track listing:

1.) Scary Kisses   (Tracey Bryn - Peter-John Vettese) - 4:12    rating: **** stars

As good as anything in their earlier catalog, 'Scary Kisses' had everything you look for in a top-40 hit.  The melody was mesmerizing.  The vocals glistened.  The title refrain hook was as sticky as flypaper.  Pure ear candy.  The song was one of two singles originally floated as a CD single prior to the album being released.  You had to wonder why it met with public indifference.  There was also an accompanying promotional video (which seeming simply recycled earlier videos): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=413tgSi5SCQ 

- 1995's 'Scary Kisses' b/w 'You and Your Dumb Club' and 'Time On All Fours' (EastWest catalog number EW017CD)

- 1996's 'Scary Kisses' b/w 'Blue In Paradise (Discovery catalog number 74528) # 77 US pop charts

2.) New Day  (Melissa Brooke Belland - Tracey Bryn - Peter-John Vettese) - 4:05

3.) Angel Come Down   (Tracey Bryn - Peter-John Vettese)- 3:54    rating: **** stars

The harp opening made you wonder if you'd accidentally slipped on an Enya album, but when Belland's voice kicked in, 'Angel Come Down' started to show what a talented songwriter sister Tracey was.  sounding like a tribute to a dead friend, you had to wonder if The Coors got some of their patented sound from this one.  As mentioned, EastWest floated this one as a single in advance of the album.  YouTube has the accompanying Gregg Cihangir Masuak produced promotional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTkfCsPAoqo 

4.) Moon of Dust  (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:58

5.) I'm Still In Love  (Tracey Bryn - Peter-John Vettese) - 4:27

It may have sounded like a standard VOTB pop song, but the lyrics, hinting at domestic abuse were truly disconcerting.

6.) Love Locked Inside  (Tracey Bryn - Zodiac Mindwarp) - 4:07

7.) Playing House  (Matt Brent - Tracey Bryn) - 3:27    rating: **** stars

And for those folks who didn't think they were capable of recording anything other than lightweight pop forth, there was the acidic 'Playing House'.  Clearly inspired by their recent romantic entanglements, the song literally dripped discontent and unhappiness.  The song also appeared as the 'B' side to their US 'So Hard' single.  Taken from a July, 2017 performance at London's Forum, YouTube has a live, if rather raw performance of the song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8-c5dTiS74 

8.) Heavenly  (Tracey Bryn - Mike Jones) - 3:31    rating: **** stars

Even their most predictable songs have a sterling quality - in this case hearing the title refrain was wonderful.  Throw in a great guitar solo and you had to wonder why it wasn't a massive hit.  Imagine The Corrs without their Irish edge.

Complete with promo video (which seemingly cannibalized earlier videos), the song was released as a UK CD single: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pPZbfKx7HU 

- 1996's 'Heavenly' b/w 'Blue In Paradise' and 'Moonblind' (EastWest catalog number EW037CD)

9.) Blue In Paradise  (Tracey Bryn - Andy Partridge) - 4:18    rating: *** stars

Even if it hadn't been a good song, the glorious ballad 'Blue In Paradise' would have been interesting for having been co-written with XTC's Andy Partridge.  Another one of their songs that also showed up as a 'B' side - this one on the flip side of the UK single 'Heavenly'.

10.) So Hard  (Melissa Brooke Belland - Tracey Bryn) - 4:34    rating: **** stars

It's easy to see why 'So Hard' was tapped as a single.  The song exemplified everything that made Voice of the Beehive such a killer band - infectious melody; wonderful vocals (their voices blended in a way most groups could only pray fot), and a general sense of fun.  As for the video, while it looked like they'd spent $10 on it, there was something mesmerizing (and simultaneously disturbing) seeing the sisters splashing around in an Los Angeles water aqueduct.  I will admit they danced their little hearts out on this one.  Hope they all showered afterwards.  

The song was also tapped as a CD single, complete with promotion video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZB1xuMav3I 

- 1996's 'So Hard' b/w 'Playing House' (Discovery catalog number 74542)

11.) Moonblind  (Tracey Bryn - David Motion) - 5:06    rating: *** stars

Sweet, if slightly anonymous ballad that got better as it built up to the eding.  The song ended up serving as the "B" side to their 1995 'Heavenly' single.  


With the release of "Sex & Misery" Voice of the Beehive basically came to an end.  The sisters moved back to Lanuna Beach, California.  Both are married, live next door to each other,  and lead surprisingly normal lives as wives and mothers (Mielissa (Missy) has a daughter).


Melissa turned her attention to the arts, working nights in a local restaurant to finance her fairy figurines.   She had a small website, but it seems to have become inactive.


Tracey returned to college, got a degree in education and became and art teacher.


They reunited the band for a two week UK tour in 2003 with The Wonder Stuff.  


Surprised and encouraged by the audiences' interest in VOTB, bassist Brett and guitarist Jones tried to get Belland and Bryn to undertake additional touring.  Family and job commitments limited their availability so Brett and Jones formed "Spirit of the Beehive" with a pair of replacements for the ladies.  That moved apparently caused some bad blood between the parties, but they reunited  and as sort of an abbreviated 30th anniversary, undertook two dates in October 2017, including playin at the  Indie Daze concert at London's Forum.  


They also have a small Facebook presence: https://www.facebook.com/VoiceOfTheBeehive/