Bliss & Rachel Morrison & Meeker
A Biography

  • 1982 ?

Rachel Morrison then studied at Warwick University , where she met Welshman Paul Ralphes ,
a former Stock Exchange operator, who helped form the band Bliss,

Wendy Page & Jim Marr who later formed the rock band called Skin Games,

Paul Jarvis who formed Slab! and now works with ex Microdisney singer Cathal Coughlan,
and also Hugo Roberts who got into the theatre business).

  • 1980

Two Single Beds - single released

  • 1981

Tear It Up - single released

  • 1982

Just One look - single released

  • 1983-85

  • 1986

The band 'Bliss' form in Coventry, though none of the band members are native of the midlands

I Hear You Call - first single released on Sermon Records

  • 1987

September 1987 - Initial singles released

Bliss move to London from Leamington

  • 1988

Recorded 1st album (March-September)

Support tours as guests to the likes of Hue & Cry and Roachford

  • 1989

January 1989 - Live performances for Nicky Campbell show

February 1989 - LovePrayer album released

University tour - 10 days in February

The album failed to make any impact in the UK but abroad it was a completely different story.
The singles and the album charted in Italy, Germany and New Zealand whilst in Brazil,
where Morrison was called "The British blond with the black voice",
the band were voted Best International Act for 1989.

They toured and did TV shows endlessly during this very busy year for the band.

  • 1990

Bliss tour across the globe to rave reviews

Head-lining festivals and concerts from Sicily to Rio, Germany, Italy & Brazil

Prestigious support slots with The Gipsy Kings, The Neville Brothers, Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Chris Isaak on the 15 dates of his last British tour.

American 'Hollywood' Cigarette Propoganda advert ? - singing "I Hear You Call"

  • 1991

After the band return from Brazil, Bliss then become a duo of just Rachel & Paul Ralphes.

March 1991 - A Change In The Weather album released

March - September 1991 - Follow up singles released

When the rest of the band wanted to turn the groups into a kind of dancefloor outfit,
Rachel left Bliss (which, un-surprisingly sank into oblivion soon after!).

Shock, horror - Bliss disband

We Support Ty Hafan - The Children's Hospice In Wales

Rachel marries Thomas Schmieder (Tom E. Morrison)

Rachel takes time out for maternity leave

Rachel travels with her husband Tommy to his home country Germany,
where she then started her new solo career.

Rachel Morrison - Live at Phoenix recording

Rachel Morrison (Live) album recording

Yeah! EP released

May Live in Germany - Szene - Liberty gig

Music used for "Frauen Lügen Nicht" (a German comedy film -" Women To Lie" ?)

Rachel Morrison releases 'Liberty' studio album
Follow-up singles released

Rachel & Tom E. Morrison form a new dance band called Meeker

November 1999
Art and Guitars from Underworld
Latest news on the Underworld crew's antics has Darren Emerson launching a new guitar-based band called Meeker on
Underwater Records (naturally), debuting at the Ministry of Sound on November 19th.

They had lots of positive media reaction to their new musical venture.
The magazine Select printed a special about Meeker in their December issue (out 23/12/99 or so),

"Mix Mag", "Muzik" and" Ministry of Sound" also wrote articles on the band, tipping them to reach the top.

February 2000
4th Played a set at the "Fabric" (anutha Dance Thing), London - England 'Big Beat Boutique meets Bugged Out'.
With Lo-Fidelity Allstars, Midfield General, and Si Begg with Darren Emerson, Freq Nasty & The Automator.

14th Meeker release "Save Me" 1st single (a cover of a Nina Simone song)
"Save Me" was voted single of the week on Zoe Ball's Radio One Breakfast Show,
and reached No. 1 in the Cool Cut chart, and No. 54 in the UK official chart.

April 2000
29th Meeker play "Homelands 1 " dance music festival at Mosney Holiday Center, Co. Meath, Ireland
Meeker played on the 'Home' arena with Leftfield, Primal Scream, Ian Brown, Paul Oakenfold & David Holmes.

May 2000
27th/28th Meeker play "Homelands 2" massive dance music festival in front of 38,000 people at
The Bowl, Matterley Estate, Cheesefoot Head, Winchester, Hampshire

The line-up for the Winchester event includes: Leftfield, Ian Brown, Moby, Public Enemy, BT, Paul Oakenfold, Armand van Helden, Paul van Dyk, Scratch Perverts, David Holmes, Dope Smugglaz, Dave Seaman, Meeker, Jeremy Healy, Johnny Moy, Adam Freeland, Dan and Jon Kahuna, Jason Bye, Alfie Costa, Manchild. Additional sets by a huge list of all the major DJs such as Pete Tong, Sasha, John Digweed, Judge Jules, Paul Van Dyk, Carl Cox, Danny Rampling, Darren Emerson, Ferry Corsten, Sister Bliss, Sven Vath, Brandon Block, Seb Fontaine, Groove Armada, Alex P, Fabio, Grooverider, Nick Warren.

June 2000

3rd Meeker play Homelands 3 dance music festival in Scotland ??

February 8th
Meeker release "Mountains" 2nd single

Mountains (Darren Emerson mix) - voted "Remix Of The Month" - Q Magazine February 2001

"Mountain" also gained high placings in the following charts, 7 magazine Buzz (No. 3), Worldpop and Amato (No. 6),

MuzicSweep (No. 19), Cool Cut (No. 5). The song was also included in Pete Tong - Essential Mix,

and reached No. 1 on Judge Jools 'Judge it yourself'.


*** New projects by Paul Ralphes, Roger Askew, and Chris Baker -> click here for info


Late July

3rd single to be released shortly ...

** Meeker to play a set on August 25th, at Creamfields - Liverpool

*** t.b.a. Meeker due to release 1st album

Biography info

"Lots of people ask if I've had a really bad life but y'know most people have bad
things happen to them. I just have a means of expressing it, it's my resource.
Anyway, a lot of the songs we write are really happy."
- Rachel Morrison.

Bliss were formed in Coventry by two souls who were losing themselves in the "Technology
Jungle" of the mid-Eighties. Rachel Morrison had a lot to write about because she was
carrying all of the love, pain, worries and hope of the world on her shoulders. Paul Ralphes
had the ability to put these words to music. Morrison had a voice that most women would
kill for. When she sang a song, she really did sing it, exorcising the words, tearing them
out like they really hurt her to sing them, forcing the listener to live the same love, pain,
worries and hope that she was. The pair found their inspiration in black American folk
music and especially soul, blues and gospel, from Britain in the likes of Richard Thompson
and Van morrison and, according to the music press, from listening to too much Bessie
Smith and Janis Joplin.

In 1987, two singles were released, through the Independent Survival Records label,
"I Hear You Call" and "Your Love Meant Everything". Bliss were a four piece group by then:
Rachel, bless 'er, sang her heart out, Paul Ralphes was playing bass, Chris Baker was
behind the kit and Paul Sirett was on guitar duties. Organs, pianos and the brass section
were played by session musicians then. Now, we must be talking serious "real" music here
because words like "spirit" and "organic" were used in reviews and interviews. The use of a
Hammond Organ, a sound which Ralphes had got into through listening to Al Green
records, was picked out as much as the similarities Morrison's voice had to Joplin's and
Roger Askew was drafted in to play, increasing the line-up to a five piece.

The band's debut album was recorded between March and September 1988. Most of the
songs were recorded live in the studio, some were done in one take and one was even
recorded the first time it was played fully in the studio. Much of the production was done
by Ralphes. Loveprayer was released, by Parlophone, in 1989. You can tell that it's a great
album, before you even listen to it, just by looking at the gorgeous autumnal shades of
browns and oranges in the collage on the cover that fits in with the sound so perfectly.
Only one song wasn't a Morrison/Ralphes composition: Millie Jackson's "How Does It Feel
The Morning After?" was first played to Rachel by Jim Irvin of Furniture who told her she
should sing it. It was later released as the third single from the album (after "I Hear You
Call" again and "Won't Let Go"). The album failed to make any impact in the UK but abroad
it was a completely different story. The singles and the album charted in Italy, Germany
and New Zealand whilst in Brazil, where Morrison was called "The British blond with the
black voice", the band were voted Best International Act for 1989.

The second album was released two years later. This time it was made up entirely of
Morrison/Ralphes compositions, or songs co-written by the pair and others. For A Change
In The Weather, Bliss were back down to a two piece although joined by Michael Witzel
and Tommy Schmieder. It was produced by Rupert Hine and featured Hothouse Flowers'
Liam O'Maonlai on piano and Paul Carrack on the organ which goes to prove that, although
the band were being largely ignored by the music press, fellow musicians and people who
really know their music couldn't get enough of them. The band also had prestigious
support slots with Van Morrison, The Neville Brothers and Chris Isaak.

Apparently Bliss were big with E'd up ravers (once they had stopped dancing) but it wasn't
enough. Bliss were last seen strolling off into the sunset, they haven't been heard of since.
Rachel Morrison, however, decided that the sun was too bright to walk towards and
relocated to Germany with her new husband, baby and blossoming solo career. She does
make occasional visits back to the UK for live shows but your breath should not be held for
the next one. Albums are available from on-line record stores.

Rachel Morrison

an acoustic night ....

It has been said that Rachel Morrison doesn't just sing a song, she lives it.

Being described as an "alcohol free, nineties version of Janis Joplin", this gives

an insight into her vocal variety. She takes the listener on an emotional

roller-coaster from soul to blues, from folk to rock, to gospel.

However it is the truth and intensity of this singer that makes her special.

Tom E. Morrison-Schmieder creates ambient and exciting backup
incorporating guitars, harmonicas, bass drum and omnichord.

Contact: Geoff Jukes
Jukes Productions Ltd.
330, Harrow Road
London W9 2HP

Tel: 0171 286 9532
Fax: 0171 286 4739

Rachel Morrison

Biography ....

Formerly the lead singer of the band BLISS who released two
critically acclaimed albums with Parlophone, the second of which was
produced by RUPERT HINE (Tina Turner, Stevie Nicks, Bob Geldof),
Rachel Morrison is finally embarking on a solo career.

With BLISS she enjoyed major chart success in countries as diverse as
Germany, Italy and Brazil, where in 1989 they were voted
International Act Of The Year. She took the live shows around the
world, heading festivals and concerts from Sicily to Rio. The
excitement and intensity of the live performances earned prestigious
support slots with such highly acclaimed artists as The Gipsy Kings,
The Neville Brothers, Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Chris Isaac on the
15 dates of his last British tour.

With influences ranging from Van Morrison to Etta James, from Bobby
Bland to Nina Simone, her voice is deeply rooted in the blues.
Having now written an album's worth of new material, and continuing
to write, she is performing her first lives shows as a solo artist.

What the press say ...

"Rachel Morrison is grandiose! Blonde, pale and spellbinding, this
fragile English woman possesses the voice that can break down
barriers ... the highs and lows of human emotions ... Seldom has the
audience at the Quartier Latin witnessed such an overwhelming and
unexpected Berlin debut.
More please!"
(Berliner Morgenpost)

"Singer Rachel Morrison is blessed with a voice that rivals anything
you will have heard since Lone Justice's Maria McKee."
(Sounds, London)

"Beautiful, airy and bending around the notes, hers may be the best
new female voice of this year."
(Record Mirror, London)

"Loveprayer ... a most accomplished debut packed with some excellent
songs, most of which are just begging to become hit singles, and all
of which are topped by Rachel Morrison's glorious voice."
(Music Week, London)

"It's disturbing, it's terrifying. It kisses the end of my nose and
starts World War 3 behind my back. Shivering the timbers, it's what I
call a miracle."
(Melody Maker, London)

Meeker, the latest evolution of duo Tom E. and Rachel Morrison, have travelled a long,
serendipitous path from when they first met in early 90s guitar group Bliss. Rachel Morrison,
singer and song writer, released two albums with Bliss through Parlophone in '89 and '91 and
her solo album "Liberty" in 1998.

Tom E. Morrison, guitarist, songwriter, producer, engineer and programmer, worked on
various projects including Bliss, Twelve Drummers Drumming, Thinkman, Steve McEwan
(World Party/ Unamerican), Underworld and of course Rachel Morrison.

I HEAR YOU CALL - 7" German single - EMI Press Information

2 03171 6 (Maxi)
2 03171 2 (Maxi-CD)

Ende der 70er, Anfang der 80er Jahre machte sich Coventry als Brutstätte für
für Two Tone-Bands wie Specials oder Selecter im Zuge des damaligen Ska-Revivals
einen Namen. Inwieweit dieser Ort musikalischen Trends förderlich ist,
sei dahingestellt, jedoch gedeihen auf diesem Boden schon jetzt
sehr erfolgreich BLISS. Ihre Debütsingle "I HEAR YOU CALL" erntete schon
als Veröffentlichung auf dem Band-eigenen Label Sermon Records großen Zuspruch
als "Single Of The Week" in 'Record Mirror' und "The Voice".
Als Industrie-Release bietet der Song einen Vorgeschmack auf das gerade fertiggestellte
und im März erscheinende Album, das Hugh Jones (u.a. Echo & The Bunnymen,
Teardrop Explodes, Carmel) produziert hat.

Bei Rachel Morrison (verantwortlich für die ausdrucksstarke und beseelte
Stimme), Paul Ralphes (Baß), Ex-Selecter Paul Sirett (Gitarre), Chris Baker (Drums)
und Keyboarder Roger Askew heißen die musikalischen Ingredienzen
neben Rock auch Gospel, Blues und Soul, was sich unschwer schon an der
Liste der Leiblingssängerinnen wie Rachel ablesen läßt. Dort finden sich
so illustre Namen wie Etta James, Mahalia Jackson und Bessie Smith. Wenn
sie singt, gibt sie alles - eine Lawine der Gefühle kommt ins Rollen.
Weger der Intensität ihrer Stimme - selten von einer weißen Sängerin erreicht -
wurde Rachel Morrison schon in einem Atemzug mit der legendären
Janis Joplin genannt, auch wenn sie nicht dem gleichen exzessiven Lebensstil frönt.
Aber so etwas hat sie auch gar nicht nötig, wie "I HEAR YOU CALL" eindrucksvoll dokumentiert.

Thre außergewöhnliche Stimme korrespondiert ausgezeichnet mit den Tasten-künsten
des Keyboarders Roger Askew. Unter Verzicht auf den Griff in die
technische Trickkiste wird der warme Sound der guten, alten Hammondorgel
revitalisiert. BLISS sind eine wahre Wonne für die Seele.

Weitere Informationen: EMI ELECTROLA GMBH. Presse International.
5000 Köln 41, Maarwg 149 - Telefon (02 21) 49 02 - 322,
Abdruck erlaubt, Belege erwünscht. review

(translated from German text)

After 1991 BLISS after the two quite successful albums 'Love Prayer' and 'A CHANGE in The Weather' resolved themselves,
it became quieter around the Englishwoman RACHEL MORRISON. But it is not called that she gave dormant war.

With her husband it to Tom in the meantime of concerts in small framework, guitar and singing.

In this time the solo albums 'Phoenix', 'Live' and the EP 'Yeah' developed.
Transition lot follows here my favourite record: The 14 Songs on 'Liberty' cannot be become times again into a rigid definition too forceful !

Items from as different style directions as Blues, Folk, Gospel, Soul, Drum 'n' bass by loops and modern production
engineering 'Looped Blues', as Morrison calls it, further developed further. The lyrics are never crushed by too much fuss.

Songs like "Thin Girls" or "I don't wanna know" touch, without also only approximately kitschig too sein.

Which want one actually still ?

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