How Lighthouse Family made High: "It was the most difficult of them all"

Lighthouse Family's Paul Tucker reveals how he came up with the band's biggest hit from 1997.

High was probably the most difficult song to write of all of them. Without getting too heavy, my wife lost a baby on New Years Eve in 1996, the year that the album [Ocean Drive] was a hit. Lifted was a hit and Ocean Drive was a hit.

It was the first week in 1997 I started writing High, and I had the bit 'one day we’re gonna get so high'. That was the same week – and this is absolutely incidental, it’s nothing to do with the song although a Newcastle United fan might think it is – it’s the week that Kevin Keegan left Newcastle United; the first week in 1997. I just remember that week so well because of what happened.

It took about eight months to write the song. When we did Ocean Drive there was no pressure, we hadn’t sold any records so nobody was expecting anything, whereas when we got to the second album which is what this was, there were a lot of people who were going – particularly when they heard what I’d done on High, the blueprint of High – saying 'this is huge, this is massive. This is a hit. This is the hit on the record.' And I hadn’t even finished writing it, so immediately I’m under this enormous pressure; I had the top but I hadn’t completed the lyrics.

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We started recording Postcards From Heaven [album] in March 1997 and we went to Miramont in France to start recording it. We were there until about June and the whole time I was sitting in the room on my own with a blank sheet of paper trying to write High and driving myself mad with it. Everybody kept saying 'have you done it yet?' and I hadn’t.

Then they took the recording back to London and SARM West, which is Trevor Horn’s studio in Notting Hill, and we took the album back there to record the second batch of songs. The first batch was like, Raincloud and stuff, while the second was songs like Sun In The Night and High. We recorded the backing track for all that stuff, we got the tune together, we had the top, they had Tunde's vocals.

Before we went back to London we went to Nice again for a month with a blank sheet of paper and thought that might do it. I spent a few weeks in Nice on my own - I have to be on my own to write lyrics – and I just couldn’t get it together. Then I went back to London to work on it in SARM again. By the very last day of recording, we’d recorded all of the stuff on the second album apart from Tunde’s vocals on High. It was the last job to do and I still hadn’t written the lyrics. I still hadn’t written it. The night before that I just wrote down what I was thinking and it was 'When you're close to tears remember someday it'll all be over'. It was how I felt - I just wanted it to be over! As soon as I’d done that the whole thing kind of came together. It just fell into place. So in truth, High is actually a description of a very uncomfortable situation.

Words told by Paul Tucker to Rob Copsey.