A number of great bands have hailed from Liverpool, England, like Echo & The Bunnymen, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, A Flock Of Seagulls, Icicle Works, It’s Immaterial, The Boo Radleys, The Lightning Seeds, Ladytron, Gerry And The Pacemakers, and a 4-man band that you might have heard of before, The Beatles.
Another great band to come out of Liverpool was the Alt-Rock band, The La’s, led by a couple of singer / songwriter / guitarists, Lee Mavers and band founder Mike Badger. The La’s had been around since 1983 but it wasn’t until 1987 when the band released their first single, “Way Out.” It caught Morrissey’s ear, but didn’t catch many other ears overall, stopping at No. 86 on the U.K. singles chart.
The follow-up single to “Way Out” was a song called “There She Goes,” released on Halloween 1988, and whose title came out of a 1967 Velvet Underground song, “There She Goes Again.” It charted better than their first single, but stalled at No. 59 on the U.K. singles chart. A little more than a year later, the band recorded their debut album with famed producer Steve Lillywhite, who had worked with U2, Simple Minds, Talking Heads, Big Country, The Psychedelic Furs, Peter Gabriel, XTC, The Pogues, Siouxsie & The Banshees and Joan Armatrading, among others.
This was an album that had been recorded and re-recorded over a 2-year period, and their self-titled album was finally released in the U.K. in October 1990, the rest of Europe a month later, and here in the U.S. in 1991.
The album did well in the U.K., reaching No. 30 on the album chart there and was certified Silver. However, away from the U.K., the album didn’t do well, and has sold less than 50,000 copies in the U.S., stopping at No. 196 on the BILLBOARD Top 200 album chart. It would be the only studio album The La’s ever released.
The release of THE LA’s album did spark renewed interest in “There She Goes,” and the re-release of the single sent the song to a No. 13 peak in the U.K., while over here in the U.S., it spent 2 weeks at No. 49 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in August / September 1991 and reached No. 2 on BILLBOARD’s Modern Rock chart.
“There She Goes” has been covered a number of times, most notably by The Boo Radleys (both their version and The La’s original were featured on the soundtrack to the 1993 Mike Meyers film, SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER, and a poopy crap version that fared a little better than the original, by Sixpence None The Richer, in 1999.
The La’s had quite the rotating lineup between 1983 and 1992, when they pretty much split up, though occasionally reuniting for concerts throughout the 90s and post-Y2K. Over the years, “There She Goes” has been featured in several films and TV shows, and respect for the band and their lone American hit has increased.
In 2007, the U.K. magazine NME (New Musical Express) ranked the song at No. 45 on its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever. Personally, I rank this simple, short gem among my all-time favorites, from the 80s, 90s, and then some…