Lighthouse Family star Tunde Baiyewu has said “the stars seemed to align” for the musical duo’s reunion as they announced their first album for 18 years.
The pop and soul group, formed of singer Baiyewu and keyboardist and record producer Paul Tucker, rose to fame in the 1990s with easy listening hit singles such as Lifted, Ocean Drive and High.
They have unveiled a new single, called My Salvation, and in May will release their album, Blue Sky In Your Head.
The record is their first since their third album, 2001’s Whatever Gets You Through The Day.
Baiyewu, 53, said the reunion was a long time coming after years of failed attempts, and that he is confident in their new music despite the long hiatus.
Baiyewu told the Press Association: “Paul and I, we always drift off to do our own thing and then we always come back together to attempt to make another Lighthouse record, and then we bounce off again and we never quite fully get into it.
“We’ve made about two or three attempts in the past and so some of the stuff we have on the record now, it’s some of the work that we have done, or that we were doing while making those first attempts.
“But I’ve always kind of felt somewhere in the back of my mind that it might happen again.”
Baiyewu said other people around them were keen for them to reunite, including their previous manager, Keith Armstrong, and their former record label, Polydor, which has signed them again.
“It’s just one of those things that all the stars just seemed to align,” he said.
“When that sort of starts happening, it’s out of your control really.”
He said the album took around three years to complete, “because we just wanted to make a record that we were happy and completely satisfied with”.
“But you’re never quite done until you start getting feedback from people and so far the feedback we’ve been getting is that a lot of people have been really excited.
“I remember last year, one of the girls in the orchestra… as she was listening to the songs, I remember her saying ‘Oh, when is this coming out? I need this in my life right now.’
“So that is quite reassuring, to get that sort of feedback. I mean, we’re always going to love what we do, but whether other people out there love it is totally out of your hands.”
He added: “I am confident in what we’ve done. I love it. We made the record we wanted to make and have taken our time with it and you can’t – that’s all you can do, really.”
Lighthouse Family, formed by Baiyewu and Tucker in the early 1990s after they met at Newcastle University, sold millions of albums, scoring three top 10 records, including debut record Ocean Drive in 1995, which peaked at number three and went six-times platinum, and follow-up Postcards From Heaven in 1997, which hit number two.
They parted ways after the release of Whatever Gets You Through The Day, going off to work on solo projects.
Along with new album Blue Sky In Your Head, out on May 3, there will be a release called Essentials, the band’s classic hits remastered to celebrate 25 years of recording together.