Viola Beach’s debut album has reached the number one spot, six months after they tragically died in a car crash in Sweden.
The self-titled album was put together by the band’s friends and family, made up of live sessions and studio recordings. It was released last week as a tribute to band members Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe, River Reeves, and their manager Craig Tarry. ‘Swings and Waterslides’ is one of the album tracks, which entered the UK charts at number 11 after their untimely deaths.
The album received immense public support, outselling ELO’s All Over The World, The Very Best Of by around 6000 copies. The news of their tragic passing rocked the music industry in February, with many artists paying tribute to the band. Most recently, Coldplay covered their track ‘Boys That Sing’, allowing the band to “headline” Glastonbury.
On reaching number one, the families of the band and their manager said in a statement:
“The tragedy that ended Craig, Jack, Kris, River & Tom’s lives in Sweden and the pain and sense of loss will never leave us. By sending the Viola Beach album to Number 1 the public have sent out an important message to the world.
The tragic circumstance that met Viola Beach and their manager Craig that fateful night in Sweden will not now define their lives. What will now define their lives and what they will be remembered for, forever, is the music they were so passionate about making together.
“For that, we will be eternally humbled and ever thankful to every single person who by buying this glorious album has invested in their lasting musical legacy. The pain will never leave us but neither will the affection shown by every fan. Maybe one day that affection will live longer in the memory than the pain.
So from us all, a simple but heartfelt ‘thank you’.”
Martin Talbot, Chief Executive, Official Charts Company, said: “It is hard to think of an album which more people were rooting for than the Viola Beach release – nor a success which has felt so bitter-sweet. We (and the wider music community) are delighted that it has taken the number 1 spot – but it is an awful tragedy that Jack, Kris, River, Tomas and Craig are not here to see themselves take a place in the annals of British music.”
It’s safe to say that Viola Beach’s music will live on for years to come, although it’s an utter tragedy that true talent was taken away so soon.