"Thunderclap Newman" is a late 1960s one-hit wonder from the UK. Their single "Something in the Air", a 1969 UK Number One hit, remains in demand for television commercials, film soundtracks, and compilations.
In 1969, Pete Townshend, The Who's guitarist, created the band to play songs written by former Who roadie, drummer/singer John 'Speedy' Keen (miscredited as "Keene" on the single's label). Townshend produced the single, arranged its strings, played its bass under the pseudonym Bijou Drains, and hired for it eccentric GPO engineer and jazz pianist Andy 'Thunderclap' Newman and 15-year-old Glaswegian Jimmy McCulloch.
Originally titled "Revolution", but later renamed because the Beatles released a single of that name, "Something in the Air" captured post-flower power rebellion, marrying McColloch's sweeping acoustic and glowing electric guitars, Keen's powerful drumming and yearning falsetto, and Newman's felicitous piano solo.
The single was No. 1 after just three weeks, holding off Elvis Presley in the process. The scale of the song's success surprised everyone, and there were no plans to promote Thunderclap Newman with live performances. Eventually a line-u...