THE PROCLAIMERS - "THIS IS THE STORY" 1987
"THIS IS THE STORY"
THROW THE 'R' AWAY - This debut album by twins Charlie and Craig Reid was a godsend for me in the late 80s, along with Hue & Cry, Texas, Deacon Blue and Del Amitri. Scotland gave me hope of great music when the 80s was dying to boybands and Acid House and fake white rappers. This opening track is a a Rock N' Roll style track with a hint of uptempo Blues. An electric start with this debut single.
OVER AND DONE WITH - Ironically sounding like a stripped down "The Passenger" from Iggy Pop with the intro. Then the vocals kick in with the boys' inimitable style (so refreshing to hear artists from the UK not trying to sing American! It reminds me of The Everly Brothers with the dual harmonies. Brilliant.
MISTY BLUE - The tempo slows down a little with this track. It is a passionate, gentle at times but positive Gaelic Folk ballad. Really nice pure song.
THE PART THAT REALLY MATTERS - Another 60s style duo song but with an extra kick of a Punk vibe. Great harmonies and pure melodies that make this band so endearing. You can imagine having a great time in a Scottich bar singing along.
(I'M GONNA) BURN YOUR PLAYHOUSE DOWN - Another Rock N' Roll style track with a hint of Skiffle. This track was written by lester Blackwell and was first released by George Jones in 1959.
LETTER FROM AMERICA (Acoustic Version) - An anthemic Folk Rock track, this is the original version without a full band and it tells the history of Scots leaving the depression of their home country and heading for a new life in the USA and Canada. A brilliant track and although many think of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) as the pivotal song for the band, this one is the better track for me. The second single and major hit reaching number 3 in the UK chart.
SKY TAKES THE SOUL - An awesome Pop Rock track that keeps a relentless pace. Bordering on Progressive and Classic Rock this is a really unique track. Venomous Acoustic style!
IT BROKE MY HEART - Folk merging with Punk again, is this Folk Punk? It has the angst of Punk but with the melodies and harmonies of Folk. Crossing genres and decades with this early 60s and mid 70s merge of unique Rock.
THE FIRST ATTACK - A dark, moody and melancholic Folk ballad. It took a few listens to grow on me it is not as instantly attention grabbing as the previous tracks. A nice track though.
MAKE MY HEART FLY - That brilliant "live" raw sound that most of the Scottish bands I mentioned earlier in this piece all had in common. This is a quirky, breezy Folk track with harmonica and a sprinkling of percussion. Great stuff. Only reaching number 63 on the UK chart as the band's third single.
BEAUTIFUL TRUTH - A 50s style "ba ba ba" deep vocals merges into a beautiful (yes as in the title!) soft and gentle Acoustic and soulful ballad with lilting raw vocals. The tempo picks up at around 3 minutes into a crescendo of various vocals and heavy noise, for some reason reminding me of Adam and the Ants chants! Another gem.
THE JOYFUL KILMARNOCK BLUES - A real Folk Blues live jam by the sound of it. Both having a great time and you can feel the energy and fun that is being heard. Abundant handclaps and foot tapping rhythm keep the pace and the listener enthralled.
LETTER FROM AMERICA (Band Version) - This version has a fuller sound and is produced by Gerry Rafferty (yes he of "Baker Street" and "Stuck In The Middle With You" fame). Still a great track but I prefer the rawness of the original. This was added later to re-pressings of the album after the single's success.