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Thunderclap Newman


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(1969 – 1971, 2007 – present)

Thunderclap Newman were a British band that Pete Townshend of The Who and Kit Lambert had formed circa December 1968 - January 1969 in a bid to showcase the talents of John “Speedy” Keen, Andy “Thunderclap” Newman and Jimmy McCulloch.

Their single, “Something in the Air”, a 1969 UK Number One hit, remains in demand for television commercials, film soundtracks, and compilations. The band released a critically acclaimed rock album, Hollywood Dream,[1] and three other singles (which appeared on the album): “Accidents”, “The Reason”, and “Wild Country.”

From 1969 until 1971, the nucleus of the band consisted of songwriter John “Speedy” Keen (vocals, drums, guitar); Andy “Thunderclap” Newman (piano); and Jimmy McCulloch (guitar). Pete Townshend (alias Bijou Drains) of The Who played bass on their album and singles, all of which he had recorded and produced in IBC Studio and his Twickenham home studio. The band augmented its personnel during its tours: in 1969, by James “Jim” Pitman-Avery (bass) and Jack McCulloch (drums); and in 1971, by Ronnie Peel (bass) and Roger Felice (drums). The band folded in April 1971 and was resurrected by Andy Newman and his colleagues circa 2007.

So many bands have been hauled out of obscurity to be tagged the greatest secret you’ve never been told. Thunderclap Newman are one of the few who actually deserve that epithet. John “Speedy” Keene was an old crony of the Who, and had written “Armenia City in the Sky,” which appeared on The Who Sell Out LP. The unlikely Andy Newman played terrific pub-style piano and looked much like a postal clerk, which in fact, he was.


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  • HaiderHassan

    THANK YOU Almost Famous! For letting me know this great and criminally underrated band. [2]

    19 Jul 2013 Reply
  • pogopatterson


    18 Feb 2011 Reply
  • fevereb

    THANK YOU Almost Famous! For letting me know this great and criminally underrated band.

    4 Feb 2011 Reply
  • dougsharp

    Great band

    23 Jun 2010 Reply
  • le_dzedaj

    Most underrated band in history of music. What a shame :(

    2 Feb 2010 Reply
  • Spank26

    Underrated, "Hollywood Dream " is very good. "Accidents" is awesome

    9 Oct 2009 Reply
  • crownanchor

    Perhaps the most underrated band in rock history!!!! I'm very glad they made a comeback with Someone to love!!! Great to see them back!

    23 Sep 2009 Reply
  • Kilem3

    I really like "Accidents" and "Open the Door, Homer". Very nice album, it's a shame no one appreciates.

    13 Oct 2008 Reply
  • DeathIsGain

    I love "Something In The Air" It is so Freakn Great!!! I first heard this song from "The Girl Next Door" Great Movie With a Great Score!!!

    1 Aug 2008 Reply
  • CaraElizabeth87

    track records was a brilliant label

    1 Apr 2008 Reply
  • blossomtoe

    Can I seriously, massively recommend that if you haven't investigated their one and only album, that you do so. You wouldn't believe how many other great songs there are other than *you know what*. What a crying shame they're known as a one hit wonder.

    4 Mar 2008 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    err, how about Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky? It's ratio is 450 to 1, while TC can only manage a paltry 60 to 1. It IS a good album btw

    10 Feb 2008 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    True... but wow, what a great song it was

    11 Aug 2007 Reply
  • Phillyzero

    Much better than one song...

    14 Jun 2007 Reply
  • omskoviet

    Er is iets in de lucht.

    22 Sep 2006 Reply