This was a hit in the UK on three occasions. On it's original release it reached #24 in the charts. A year later it was re-released after D:Ream had supported Take That on tour, and this time it went all the way to #1. Finally in 1997 it was adopted as their anthem by the Labour Party for the General Election when they came to power after 18 years in opposition. It was regarded by Labour as a song of hope after nearly two decades of Tory rule. Despite the BBC refusing to play it because of the political connection, it still managed to reach #19.
D:Ream were formed by Peter Cunnah (vocals) and Al McKenzie (keyboards). Northern Irishman Cunnah began his career with Ciderboy before moving to London, where he met McKenzie, a successful DJ, at the Gardening Club. McKenzie left in 1993 and Cunnah decided to steer their project into a more pop friendly direction aided by supporting musicians. This proved a successful option as in addition to this song, D:Ream managed four other UK Top 20 hits, "U R The Best Thing" (#4), "Take Me Away" (#18), "Shoot Me With Your Love" (#7) and "Party Up The World" (#20).
Eddie Vedder often changes the words when he sings "Yellow Ledbetter." The basic story is about a guy whose brother dies in the first Gulf War. Apparently, bad news in the army is given in yellow envelopes.