The Divine Comedy is a North Irish orchestral pop group led by singer-songwriter Neil Hannon. Formed in 1989 around three musicians, the group becomes in 1993 the project of the only Neil Hannon. The formation of the group fluctuates around more or less recurrent musicians like Joby Talbot present on the majority of the albums. The band's name comes from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.
In 1989, a first version of Divine Comedy released the album Fanfare For The Comic Muse, but the group separated soon after. Neil Hannon continues alone the adventure Divine Comedy, with occasional appearances of other musicians according to the albums.
Refocused on his young man's room, he recorded, with the means at hand, the songs that would compose Liberation. This first "real" album was released in 1993 and Neil Hannon's facetious character was a great success, especially in France. The following year, his twin brother, Promenade goes out. With a little more means, he often evokes the world of Peter Greenaway (and the music composer of his films, Michael Nyman), but leaves a large place to art (the lyrics "The Booklovers" are a A simple suite of writers' names, the lyrics of "When The Lights Go Out" quote Breathless and even include an excerpt from the final dialogue).
France finally cracks, the young man will then draw a bitter love song, "The Frog Princess", evoking his love with a French radio host.
Neil Hannon will take two years to produce the third album Casanova. Much more ambitious, he leaves the singer full of doubts, and it is only during a meeting with the singer Björk, for the magazine Les Inrockuptibles, and on the encouragement of the latter, that it will regain confidence in him. The album will be released in 1996 and will permanently implant the young man in the landscape of English pop of the time. He then goes on with a mini-album recorded with a big band A Short Album About Love which comes out in 1997. Seven songs of love written in urgency, the little story that after having done water skiing, Neil Hannon understands that his life was only a thread, and that we must never waste time ... The album will be followed by a symphonic tour that will leave the artist and his label bloodless.