Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ballots Cast: Best Scottish Album From the '80s

The votes have been counted. Thanks to all who participated in this less than scientific endeavor.

Best Scottish Album From the 1980s
1. Aztec Camera -'High Land, Hard Rain'
2. Orange Juice - 'You Can't Hide Your Love Forever'
3. Big Country - 'The Crossing'
4. The Jesus and Mary Chain - 'Psychocandy'
4. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - 'Rattlesnakes'
6. Danny Wilson - 'Meet Danny Wilson'
6. Josef K - 'The Only Fun in Town'
6. The Skids - 'The Absolute Game'

The following albums also received votes:
Associates - 'Sulk'
The Blue Nile - 'A Walk Across the Rooftops'
Close Lobsters - 'Foxheads Stalk This Land'
Deacon Blue - 'Raintown'
Eurythmics - 'Touch'
Momus - 'Tender Pervert'
The Proclaimers - 'This Is the Story'
Simple Minds - 'New Gold Dream'
Texas - 'Southside'

I had high hopes 'High Land, Hard Rain' would lead the way, but the poll was still full of surprises. Let's dig into the data. I didn't expect Simple Minds would top the list, but I thought the reason would be because their fandom would split the vote between the band's six albums from the decade. Shockingly, Simple Minds received one vote.

For those of you scratching your head about the high rank for 'The Crossing,' you should know I post quite a bit about Big Country. So, I believe I have picked up some readers that are die-hard fans. I imagine those fans would lean the Skids' way as well.

I thought the Blue Nile and Deacon Blue would garner more interest, perhaps even a write-in drive for 'Hats,' but I imagine many American readers don't know these records as well as my UK friends. Two albums that didn't get a fair shake were 'Del Amitri' and 'Sulk.' I mistakenly posted the wrong album name for Del Amitri's debut, and even though I let everyone know my screw up I imagine the error made a difference. 'Sulk,' on the other hand, was left off the list completely. I swear I had it on the ballot, but it didn't show up on the front end for some reason. Big apologies to my pal George. He was the one that suggested 'Sulk' might be the best album from Scotland during the debate that inspired the poll. I think we can all agree 'Del Amitri' and 'Sulk' are terrific listens. Finally, I love that more than 30 years later the legend of Postcard Records is alive and well.

I don't know why the music of Scotland is so good, but I do know that little corner of the world has given me endless hours of audio bliss. I hope it has for you too. If it hasn't, then you obviously haven't heard the excellent albums above. Get yourself an education. Here is something from each of the three albums that captured double-digit percentages of the vote:

Aztec Camera - Lost Outside the Tunnel (mp3) (Buy)
Big Country - Harvest Home (12") (mp3) (Buy)
Orange Juice - L.O.V.E. Love (mp3) (Buy)


Echorich said...

So I went for A Walk Across The Rooftops - only because Sulk was not included on the list and I always think write ins make for nice commentary, but don't really move the order of things...

One thing that is very evident is that Scottish bands and albums are of a very diverse nature. From the sublime and shimmering of New Gold Dream and A Walk Across The Rooftops, to the bluster and power of The Absolute Game or The Crossing and the pop purity of High Land, Hard Rain and Meet Danny Wilson.

I have to say the top 10 did surprise me a bit after positions 1 and 2.

Brian said...

Sorry about Sulk, Echorich. Worthy of a top pick, for sure. This little exercise has me thinking Sulk is the second best record to come out of Scotland. As for A Walk Across the Rooftops, on Saturday I found a 12" of Stay that literally made me gasp when I happened upon it. I'll post that one soon.

Echorich said...

I believe I know of the 12" you mentioned. There is a heartfelt quality to Stay that is rare in pop music. The Blue Nile understood the concept of using layers of simple sound and rhythm could create strong and complex music.