Simple Minds

Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band that released eleven studio albums between 1979 and 1995. They first achieved fame in the UK, Europe, and Australia with the 1981–83 hits “Love Song,” “Promised You a Miracle,” “Glittering Prize,” and “Waterfront.” In 1985, they scored a global hit with “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” Simple Minds […]

Beggars Opera

Beggars Opera was a Scottish symphonic/psych band that released four albums on Vertigo between 1970 and 1973 — including the popular 1971/72 efforts Waters of Change and Pathfinder — followed by two mid-decade titles on Jupiter. A return to Vertigo yielded the 1980 album Life Line. A further round of ’80s-era recordings would appear on the […]


Fingerprintz was a Scottish new wave band signed to Virgin Records. Between 1979 and 1981, they released three albums: The Very Dab, Distinguishing Marks, and Beat Noir. Bandleader Jimme O’Neill also wrote songs for Lene Lovich and later worked with Jacqui Brookes. He and guitarist Cha Burns later reteamed in The Silencers. Members: Jimme O’Neill […]

Stealers Wheel

Stealers Wheel was a Scottish folk-pop band that released three albums on A&M: Stealers Wheel (1972), Ferguslie Park (1973), and Right or Wrong (1975). They scored an international hit with “Stuck In the Middle With You,” performed by their original five-piece lineup. After the first album, songwriters Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty maintained the band with […]

Writing on the Wall

Writing On the Wall was a Scottish post-psych band that released a standalone single and the album The Power of the Picts on Middle Earth in 1969. Four years later, the band released a one-off single on Pye. Members: Jake Scott (bass, vocals), Jimmy Hush (drums), William “Bill” Scott (keyboards), Linnie Paterson (lead vocals, 1968-70), […]

Berlin Blondes

Berlin Blondes were a Scottish coldwave/New Romantic band that released a self-titled album on EMI in 1980. Members: Steven Bonomi (vocals), Robert Farrell (guitar, synthesizer), Jim McKinven [Jim Spender] (keyboards, synthesizer, 1979-80), David Rudden (bass, 1979-80), Nick Clarke (bass, 1980-81), Steve ‘Stevo’ Jones (keyboards, 1981), Alasdair Gowans (bass, 1981), Brian Miller (drums, 1981), David Freeman […]

String Driven Thing

String Driven Thing was a British folk-rock band, originally formed in Scotland as a harmony combo by the husband/wife team Chris and Pauline Adams. In 1972, they moved to London and added violinist Graham Smith. After the 1973 release The Machine That Cried, the Adams departed. Smith led a new lineup through two further albums […]

Tear Gas

Tear Gas was a Scottish hard-rock band that released the album Piggy Go Getter on Famous/Paramount in 1970, followed by an eponymous album on Regal Zonophone in 1971. They then teamed with singer Alex Harvey in the long-running Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Members: Zal Cleminson (guitar, vocals), Chris Glen (bass, vocals), Gilson Lavis (drums, 1969-70), […]


Bodkin were a Scottish hard-rock/psych band that released a self-titled album on small-press West in 1972. Members: Mick Riddel (lead guitar), Doug Rome (Hammond organ), Dick Sneddon (drums), Bill Anderson (bass), Zeik Hume (vocals) Bodkin took their name from the bodkin point arrowhead, a thick needle often used in leather work. Their singular album appeared […]

Barbara Dickson

Barbara Dickson (born Sept. 27, 1947) is a Scottish folk/pop vocalist and actress who first entered showbiz in the late 1960s. Partnered with Glaswegian guitarist/vocalist Archie Fisher, they issued back-to-back albums together circa 1969/70. Her debut solo album, Do Right Woman, appeared in 1970 on Decca. In 1974, she contributed to the cast recording of […]

Jim Diamond

Jim Diamond (Sept. 28, 1951 — Oct. 8, 2015) was a Scottish vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Bridgetown, Glasgow, who debuted with a standalone single on Bradley’s in 1975. He then embarked on a series of band-oriented projects, starting with a 1976 album heading hard-rockers Bandit. After a brief stint with Alexis Korner, Diamond finished […]

Fire Engines

The Fire Engines were a Scottish art-punk band from Edinburgh that released the album Lubricate Your Living Room on Bob Last’s Pop:Aural Music small-press in 1980. Just prior to the band, vocalist Davy Henderson cut an EP with Leicester combo the Disco Zombies. During the late 1980s, he recorded two albums with electro-posters Win alongside […]

Josef K

Josef K were a Scottish New Wave/pop-rock band from Edinburgh that debuted with a single on self-press Absolute Records in 1979, followed by the album The Only Fun in Town with accompanying singles on Postcard Records in 1981. Two further singles followed on Les Disques Du Crépuscule in 1981/82. The album was preceded by the […]

The Bluebells

The Bluebells were a Scottish new wave folk-pop band that charted with the 1983–84 singles “Cath,” “Sugar Bridge (It Will Stand),” “I’m Falling,” and the twice-charted “Young at Heart.” They released one proper album, Sisters, but recorded numerous songs and demos compiled on Exile on Twee Street: Songs From Glasgow 1980-1982. Members: Robert Hodgens (guitar), […]

The Humblebums

The Humblebums were a Scottish folk-pop combo, best known as the launching vehicle of comedian Billy Connolly and singer–songwriter Gerry Rafferty. Connolly formed the act with guitarist Tam Harvey for the 1969 Transatlantic release First Collection of Merry Melodies. Harvey cleared for Rafferty, who wrote the bulk of their second release, The New Humblebums. Connolly and […]

The Rezillos

The Rezillos were a Scottish New Wave band that released the 1978 Sire album Can’t Stand The Rezillos, surrounded by the singles “I Can’t Stand My Baby,” “(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures,” “Destination Venus,” and the UK Top 20 hit “Top of the Pops.” After their collapse, singer Fay Fife and multi-instrumentalist Eugene Reynolds formed […]

Café Jacques

Café Jacques was a Scottish trio on Epic–Columbia that released the 1977–78 albums Round the Back and International, both produced by Rupert Hine. Members: Chris Thomson (guitar, vocals), Mike Ogletree (drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, vocals), Peter Veitch (keyboards, accordion) Background Café Jacques formed as a septet in 1973 when guitarist–singer Chris Thomson, an accounting student […]

The Associates

The Associates were a Scottish New Wave/art-pop band from Dundee that formed in the late 1970s. Between 1980 and 1982, the band released two proper albums and a compilation of non-album singles on Fiction and Beggars Banquet. During this time, the band centered on the creative team of vocalist Billy MacKenzie and multi-instrumentalist Alan Rankine. […]

Aztec Camera

Aztec Camera was a Scottish new wave band led by guitarist–singer and songwriter Roddy Frame. They released two 1981 Postcard singles and the 1983 Rough Trade album High Land, Hard Rain, an acclaimed set with the underground hits “Oblivious,” “Pillar to Post,” and “Walk Out to Winter.” Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler produced Aztec Camera’s […]

Modern Man

Modern Man were a Scottish New Wave band that released the album Concrete Scheme with accompanying singles on MAM Records in 1980. Members: Jim Cook (vocals), Colin King (drums), Ali McLeod (guitar), Danny Mitchell (guitar), Mike Moran (bass) Discography: Concrete Scheme (1980) “Things Could Be Better” (1981)

Cocteau Twins

Cocteau Twins were a Scottish goth/dream-pop trio that was active for 16 years, starting in 1981. Between 1982 and 1990, the band released six albums and assorted EPs on 4AD. Two additional longplayers appeared on Fontana during the 1990s. Members: Elizabeth Fraser (vocals), Robin Guthrie (guitar), Will Heggie (bass, 1981-83), Simon Raymonde (bass, 1983-97) Background […]

Danny Wilson

Danny Wilson was a Scottish sophisti-pop band that charted with “Mary’s Prayer” from their 1987 Virgin debut Meet Danny Wilson. They scored another hit with “The Second Summer of Love” from their 1989 sophomore release Be Bop Mop Top. Members: Gary Clark (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Kit Clark (multi-instrumentalist), Ged Grimes (bass guitar, keyboards) Background Danny […]

Deacon Blue

Deacon Blue were a Scottish sophisti-pop band that released two albums on CBS between 1987 and 1989, followed by another pair of albums on Columbia in the early 1990s. Members: Ricky Ross (vocals), James Prime (keyboards), Graeme Kelling (guitar), Ewan Vernal (bass), Douglas Vipond (drums, percussion), Lorraine McIntosh (vocals) Discography: Raintown (1987) When the World […]


Endgames were a Scottish New Wave/synthpop band that released a standalone single on Mercury in 1982, followed by two albums with accompanying singles on Virgin between 1983 and 1985. Members: David Murdoch (keyboards), Douglas Muirden (keyboards, programming), David Rudden (bass, vocals), Willie Gardner (keyboards, bass, guitar), Brian McGee (drums, programming), Paul Wishart (saxophone) Discography: Building […]

Fiction Factory

Fiction Factory were a Scottish synthpop band that released the album Throw the Warped Wheel Out with accompanying singles on CBS in 1984, followed by Another Story on Foundry Records in 1985. Members: Kevin Patterson (vocals), Chic Medley (guitar), Graham McGregor (bass), Eddie Jordan (keyboards), Mike Ogletree (drums, percussion) Discography: Throw the Warped Wheel Out […]

Midge Ure

Midge Ure — aka James Ure (born Oct. 10, 1953) — is a Scottish vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter from Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, who fronted the bands Slik and the Rich Kids during the mid-to-late 1970s. In 1979, he replaced John Foxx in Ultravox, releasing five albums with the band between 1980 and 1986. At the […]

Miller Anderson

Miller Anderson (born April 12, 1945) is a Scottish guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who played in a series of bands between 1967 and 1975, including Paper Blitz Tissue, the Keef Hartley Band, Hemlock, Broken Glass, and Dog Soldier. As a solo artist, Anderson released the album Bright City on Deram in 1971. Discography: Bright City […]


Momus — aka Nick Currie (born Feb. 11, 1960) — is a Scottish musician, songwriter, and producer who first emerged in the band The Happy Family, which released one album on 4AD in 1982. As a solo artist, he released two shortplayers and the 1986 album Circus Maximus on Él, followed by a string of […]


Pilot was a Scottish pop-rock band that released three albums between 1974 and 1976 on EMI, followed by a 1977 fourth on Arista. Members: David Paton (vocals, bass, guitar), Stuart Tosh (drums, vocals, 1973-76), William Lyall (keyboards, vocals, 1973-76), Ian Bairnson (guitar, vocals, bass, 1974-78) Background Pilot launched from a partnership between bassist–singer David Paton […]

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (SAHB) was a theatrical Scottish hard-rock band that released eight studio albums and a live disc on Vertigo between 1972 and 1978. They formed when veteran soul-rock singer Alex Harvey enlisted hard-rockers Tear Gas as his backing band. Their popularity peaked with the 1974/75 albums The Impossible Dream and Tomorrow Belongs […]


Northwind were a Scottish folk-rock band that recorded the demo-acetate Peaceful for Apple Corps Ltd. in 1971, followed that same year by the album Sister, Brother, Lover on Regal Zonophone. Members: Brian Young (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals), Tommy Ewing (vocals), Dave Scott (drums), Nello (drums), Ron Leckie (drums), Hugh “Shug” Barr (electric guitar), Tom […]


Pallas are a Scottish symphonic-rock band from Aberdeen, formed in the mid-1970s and unrecorded for much of their first decade beyond a cassette-only release on self-press Granite Wax. Between 1984 and 1986, the band released two albums on Harvest, followed by a long run of self-issued live and studio titles during the 1990s and into […]

Gerry Rafferty

Gerry Rafferty (1947–2011) was a Scottish musician and songwriter who emerged in The Humblebums, a folk duo with future comedian Billy Connolly. The pair released two 1969–70 albums, which presaged Rafferty’s 1971 solo debut Can I Have My Money Back? In 1972, Rafferty teamed with longtime friend Joe Egan in the art-pop/folk combo Stealers Wheel, […]

Cado Belle

Cado Belle was a Scottish soul-funk band that released a 1976 self-titled album and a 1977 EP, both on Anchor. Singer Maggie Reilly sings on the Mike Oldfield hits “Family Man” and “Moonlight Shadow.” Members: Maggie Reilly (vocals), Alan Darby (guitar), Gavin Hodgson (bass), Stuart MacKillop (keyboards), Davy Roy (drums, percussion), Colin Tully (saxophone, flute) […]


The Skids were a Scottish New Wave/modern-rock band that released four albums and assorted shortplayers on Virgin between 1978 and 1981. Bill Nelson produced and played keyboards on their 1979 second album Days in Europa. Guitarist Stuart Adamson departed after the third album to form Big Country. Members: Richard Jobson (vocals, guitar), Stuart Adamson (guitar, […]


Slik were a Scottish pop-rock foursome that released a string of singles on Bell Records during the mid-1970s, culminating with a self-titled album on the label in 1976. After scoring hits with the singles “Forever and Ever” and “Requiem,” the band morphed into PVC for one single in 1977. The band continued as The Zones […]

Thomas Leer

Thomas Leer — aka Thomas Wishart (born 1953) — is a Scottish musician and producer who released several small-press recordings during the late 1970s, including a collaborative album with guitarist/keyboardist Robert Rental. In 1981, Leer issued his first of three back-to-back shortplayers on Cherry Red. His first proper album, The Scale of Ten, appeared on […]

Ali Thomson

Ali Thomson is a Scottish art-pop vocalist and songwriter who released two albums on A&M circa 1980/81. The title track to his first album, Take a Little Rhythm, reached #15 on the Billboard chart in 1980. He is the brother of Supertramp bassist Dougie Thomson. Discography: Take a Little Rhythm (1980) Deception Is an Art […]

Al Stewart

Al Stewart is a Scottish singer/songwriter who emerged from the British folk boom of the mid-1960s. He debuted with the 1967 orchestral-psych album Bed Sitter Images, his first of five albums on CBS, culminating with the lavish 1972/73 works Orange and Past, Present and Future. His 1975 release Modern Times marked his first collaboration with […]

Drinking Electricity

Drinking Electricity were a Scottish coldwave/art-punk band that released three shortplayers on local small-press Pop Aural in 1980. The band issued a standalone single on Survival Records in 1981, followed by the album Overload on that label in 1982. Members: Anne-Marie Heighway (vocals), David Rome (guitar, vocals), Paul Edgley (bass) Discography: Overload (1982)


Fish — aka Derek William Dick (born April 25, 1958) — is a Scottish vocalist who rose to prominence as the frontman of English symphonic-rock band Marillion during the 1980s. In 1990, he debuted as a solo artist with the album Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors on EMI, followed by several albums on Polydor […]


Strangeways were a Scottish hard-rock band that released a self-titled album on Bon Aire in 1984, followed by two albums on RCA between 1987 and 1989. Members: Ian James Stewart (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards), Jim Drummond (drums, percussion, vocals), Dave Stewart (bass, vocals, 1984-2000), Tony Liddle (lead vocals, 1984-85), Terry Brock (lead vocals, 1986-89, 2010-present), […]


Albania were a Scottish New Wave band that released two singles and the album Are You All Mine in 1981 on Chiswick, followed by a 1982 single on Stiff. Members: K-Y McKay (vocals, guitar), Robert Strain (guitar), Dusty McSheffrey (bass, keyboards), Jonnie Kilometer [Jonnie Miles] (drums), Nick C. Ash (keyboards, guitar), Andy Hamilton (saxophone) Discography: […]

Positive Noise

Positive Noise was a Scottish new wave band on Statik Records that released the 1981–82 albums Heart of Darkness and Change of Heart. They issued eight singles, including “Give Me Passion,” “Charm,” “Waiting for the Seventh Man” and two 1983–84 stop-gaps (“When Lightning Strikes,” “A Million Miles Away”) found on their 1985 final album Distant […]


Blue was a Scottish pop-rock band that released the 1973–74 RSO albums Blue (as a trio) and Life in the Navy (as a quartet). In 1977, a revised lineup signed to Elton John‘s Rocket Record Company. John produced their third album, Another Night Time Flight, noted for its soaring title track and the UK Top […]

Dekka Danse

Dekka Danse were a Scottish New Wave/synthpop band from Aberdeen that issued a standalone single on DJM in 1982, followed by the album Waltz in the Wilderness on CBS in 1984. The band evolved from an earlier act The Shapiros, which issued a one-off single on small-press Now in 1979. Members: John Innes (vocals), Alan […]

Rock Workshop

Rock Workshop was a British brass-rock and blues band that released the 1970–71 CBS albums Rock Workshop and The Very Last Time. The first features Scottish singer Alex Harvey, pre-Sensational Band. Guitarist Ray Russell arranged both albums, which also feature trumpeter Harry Beckett. Members: Alan Greed, Alan Rushton, Alex Harvey, Bob Downes, Brian Miller, Bud […]

JSD Band

JSD Band were a Scottish folk-rock band from Glasgow that released the album Country of the Blind on Regal Zonophone in 1970, followed by a self-titled second album on Cube in 1972 and a third, Travelling Days, in 1973. Members: Jim Divers (bass, cello, vocals), Sean O’Rourke (harmonica, banjo, vocals, piccolo, flute, guitar), Des Coffield […]

Forever More

Forever More were a Scottish pop-psych band that released two albums on RCA Victor during 1970 and 1971. Bassist/vocalist Alan Gorrie became a mainstay of soul-funksters the Average White Band. Members: Stuart Francis (drums), Alan Gorrie (bass, vocals), Onnie McIntyre (guitar), Mick Travis [Mick Strode] (lead guitar, vocals) Discography: Yours (1970) Words on Black Plastic […]

The Flowers

The Flowers were a Scottish post-punk band that released two singles on Bob Last’s Pop:Aural Music small-press in 1979/80. The first of those — “Confessions” / “After Dark” — was comped on the 1980 PVC release Mutant Pop 78/79 -> along with seminal cuts by The Human League, The Mekons, Gang of Four, 2.3, and […]


Head were a Scottish jazz-rock band from Glasgow that released the album GTF on SRT Productions Ltd. in 1973, followed by the 1975/77 albums Red Dwarf on Canon Records and Blackpool Cool on the group’s eponymous self-press. Members: Billy Kyle (drums), Graham Mince (bass), John Davies (keyboards, trumpet), Charles Alexander (guitar), Howard Copland (saxophone), Lachlan […]

The Human Beast

The Human Beast were a Scottish hard-rock/psych trio from Edinburgh that released the album Volume One on Decca in 1970. In 1972, bassist/vocalist Edward Jones and drummer John Ramsey appeared on the album Basher, Chalky, Pongo and Me by Mike Hart and Comrades. Jones also sang backup that year on the track “Social Embarrassment” from […]


Holocaust were a Scottish hard-rock/metal band from Edinburgh that released a pair of three-song singles in 1980, followed by the album The Nightcomers in 1981 and the extended-play Coming Through in 1982, all on self-press Phoenix Record and Filmworks. A second proper album appeared on the label in 1984, after which the band was quiet […]

Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce (1943— 2014) was a Scottish-born bassist, vocalist, and composer who played in a series of popular English bands during the 1960s, followed by a successful solo career over the following half-century. He first emerged in 1965 with a two-album stint in the Graham Bond Organization, followed with brief time in Manfred Mann and […]

Chou Pahrot

Chou Pahrot was a Scottish folk-rock/hard-rock band that was active during the late 1970s. The band made their vinyl debut in 1978 with a three-song EP on the Glaswegian small-press Klub Records. In 1979, the label issued the band’s sole longplayer, Live, which showcased their eccentric approach to music-making. Members: Eggy Beard (violin), Monica Zarb […]

Cuban Heels

Cuban Heels were a Scottish New Wave/rock band from Glasgow that debuted with a standalone single on self-press Housewive’s Choice in 1978. Following a lineup reshuffle, the band released the album Work Our Way to Heaven on Virgin in 1981. Vocalist John Milarky initially fronted punkers Johnny & the Self Abusers, which ultimately morphed into […]

The Incredible String Band

The Incredible String Band was a Scottish folk-rock band from Edinburgh that released six studio albums and a live double-LP between 1966 and 1970 on Elektra, followed by five further albums between 1971 and 1974 on Island Records. Members: Robin Williamson (guitar, violin, whistle, mandolin, gimbri, flute, oud, percussion, pan pipe, piano, shenai, [water] harp, […]

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions were a Scottish pop-rock band that released ten singles and the 1984–87 Polydor albums Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces, and Mainstream. They charted in the UK and Ireland with “Perfect Skin,” “Brand New Friend,” “Lost Weekend,” “Cut Me Down,” and “My Bag.” Members: Lloyd Cole (vocals, guitar), Stephen Irvine (drums, percussion), Neil […]


APB were a Scottish art-punk/funk band from Ellon, Aberdeenshire, that issued five singles on Oily Records between 1981 and 1983, followed by two singles apiece on Albion and Red River Records circa 1984/85. Most of these sides were compiled on the 1985 Link Records compilation Something to Believe In. In 1986, the band released the […]

Heavy Pettin

Heavy Pettin were a Scottish hard-rock/metal band from Glasgow that released two albums on Polydor between 1983 and 1985, followed by a third on FM Revolver Records in 1989. Members: Punky Mendoza (guitar), Gordon Bonnar (guitar), Gary Moat (drums), Steve “Hamie” Hayman (vocals), Brian Waugh (bass) Discography: “Roll the Dice” / “Love Times Love” (1982) […]

Chris Rainbow

Chris Rainbow — aka Christopher James Harley, or Chris Harley (Nov. 18, 1946 — Feb. 25, 2015) — was a Scottish art-pop musician, vocalist, and songwriter from Glasgow who released two albums on Polydor between 1975 and 1978, followed by a third on EMI in 1979. As a vocalist, he sang select songs for the […]


Scars were a Scottish post-punk band from Edinburgh that released the single “Adult/ery” / “Horrorshow” on Fast Product in 1979. They followed it with three 1980/81 singles on Charisma-subsidiary Pre, culminating with the 1981 album Author! Author! Their first single was immortalized by its inclusion on the sampler Fast Product: The First Year Plan and […]

Intimate Strangers

Intimate Strangers were a Scottish sophisti-pop duo that released the album Charm in 1986 on IRS. They preceded it with the EP Deliverance, released in 1984 under the name Raise the Dragon. Musician Sean Lyons hailed from Metro. Members: Richard Spellman (vocals), Sean Lyons (guitar) Intimate Strangers formed in 1984 as Raise the Dragon. Discography: […]

5 Hand Reel

5 Hand Reel were an English/Scottish folk-rock band that released three albums on RCA Victor between 1976 and 1978, followed by a fourth on Topic Records in 1979. Members: Bobby Eaglesham (vocals, mandolin, guitar, dulcimer, side drum), Tom Hickland (vocals, fiddle, keyboards, organ), Barry Lyons (bass, keyboards, whistle), Dave Tulloch (percussion, side drum, harmonica), Chuck […]

The Armoury Show

The Armoury Show was a British new wave rock band that released the album Waiting for the Floods on Parlophone in 1985. They were a supergroup comprised of ex-members of the Skids and Magazine. Members: Richard Jobson (vocals), Russell Webb (bass), John McGeoch (guitar, 1983-86), John Doyle (drums, 1983-86), Ray McVeigh (guitar, 1986), Ray Weston […]