Big Country Info Big Country Info

 

CREDITS FOR LP

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© 1978
Virgin Music (Publishers) Limited

STUART ADAMSON:
LEAD & RHYTHM GUITARS
WILLIAM SIMPSON:
BASS GUITAR
THOMAS KELLICHAN: DRUMS
RICHARD JOBSON:
VOCALS & GUITAR

CHRIS JENKINS
ADDITIONAL GUITAR
DAVID BATCHELOR: PIANO
PRODUCER:
DAVID BATCHELOR
ENGINEER: MICK GLOSSOP
ASSISTANT ENGINEER:
STEVE PRESTAGE
GROUP PHOTOGRAPH:
DENNIS MORRIS
ILLUSTRATION/DESIGN:
RUSSELL MILLS

{ON ORIGINAL RELEASE} V2116
{ON 1984 RE-RELEASE} OVED 41

“THEY COULD NOT SO MUCH AS BRING THEMSELVES TO SAY WE’RE JUST A LOT OF CHEAP HEELS, A BUNDLE OF PREDESTINED FAILURES: COULD NOT EVEN COMFORT THEMSELVES WITH THE THOUGHT THAT LIFE WAS A GAMBLE.”
J.P. SARTRE

“A CLASSIC CASE OF ROCK N ’ ROLL PARANOIA”
RONNIE GURR

PRODUCER: DAVID BATCHELOR
ENGINEER: MICK GLOSSOP
Ⓟ 1979 VIRGIN RECORDS LTD
© 1979 VIRGIN MUSIC (PUBLISHERS) LTD
Made and produced in England

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CREDITS FOR VIRGIN CD

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FEATURES 7 BONUS TRACKS

0777 787508 2 6 CDV 2116

‘THEY COULD NOT SO MUCH AS BRING THEMSELVES TO SAY WE'RE JUST A LOT OF CHEAP HEELS, A BUNDLE OF PREDESTINED FAILURES: COULD NOT EVEN COMFORT THEMSELVES WITH THE THOUGHT THAT LIFE WAS A GAMBLE’
J. P SARTRE

‘A CLASSIC CASE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL PARANOIA’
RONNIE GURR

Tracks 13/14 taken from the single VS227.Released 1/9/78

Track 15 taken from the single VS241.Released 9/2/79

Tracks 16/17 taken from the single VS232.Released 27/10/78

Tracks 18/19 taken from the first single N.B.1. Released early in 1978.

Tracks 18/19are salvaged from the original single master tape. Theres are some unavoidable problems on these tracks which we hope will not detract from your listening pleasure. 'Reasons' has slight dropout on the left 'channel. 'Test Tube Babies' has been edited to mono in sections and has slight crackles.

The complete Virgin catalogue'Sound Knowledge' can be purchased from your local record shop. Check for price of latest edition. (UK andEire only).

ALL TRACKS COMPOSED BY JOBSON/ADAMSON, EXCEPT:
TRACKS 18 & 19 COMPOSED BY RICHARD JOBSON
PRODUCED BY DAVID BATCHELOR, EXCEPT:
TRACKS 18 & 19 - REL STUDIOS (EDINBURGH)

PUBLISHED BY VIRGIN MUSIC (PUBLISHERS) LTD

Ⓟ 1979 VIRGIN RECORDS LTD
*Ⓟ 1978 VIRGIN RECORDS LTD {TRACKS 13-19}
© 1990 VIRGIN RECORDS LTD

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CREDITS & LINER NOTES FOR CAPTAIN OI! CD

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The Skids were one of the most immediately distinctive bands thrown up in the wake of punk's year zero. While some of their fellow travellers swallowed the line that musical accomplishment should be no barrier to art, the Skids, formed in Dunfermline in 1977, were essentially a gifted rock 'n' roll band with an energy and personality that made them perfect ambassadors for the Scottish punk revolution.

The band comprised Richard Jobson (vocals), Stuart Adamson (guitar), Bill Simpson (bass) and Tom Kellichan (drums). Jobson and Adamson were the principal songwriters. The former was one of rock's most intrepid frontmen, part eloquent culture vulture, part gob on a stick. Adamson too had developed a hugely individual style, his piercing, trebly leads adding an extra dimension to the band that would be much admired, and oft imitated.

Of all the punk acts, none would fit the turn of the decade aesthetic better, as they were embraced by readers of Smash Hits and the viewers of Top Of The Pops. "It was a strange and effortlessly pretentious time in British pop culture," Sean O'Hagan later noted, "and few bands were stranger or more effortlessly pretentious than the Skids." Many assumed, given Jobson's literary bent and playful pomposity, that the Skids must be the product of affluent backgrounds. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jobson was the youngest of five brothers. His father was a miner, his mother worked on the docks. They lived in a Protestant housing estate but were of Irish Catholic extraction. "All my friends were die-hard Hearts supporters,' he later stated, "but I was never into that. I was always perfectly aware of who I was and where I was from. It was always Hibs or Celtic. But the sectarian thing was never an issue. It was music that united us, music and clothes.' In fact, Jobson was also a promising footballer who nearly made it as a pro.
Bill Simpson had been knocking around with Adamson from their days at Beath High School, rehearsing at the Adamson's family home in Crossgates. "When we started out, we were playing in Crossgates, at the Institute," Simpson later recalled. "We had a band called Tattoo, mucking about covering songs by Bowie, Roxy Music or Status Quo, just doing cover versions. We had some great laughs touring round, going to pubs and clubs all over Scotland, as far as Kinloss and Lossiemouth." Adamson, who had been given his first guitar aged 13 when his father returned on shore leave, had begun work as a student environmental health officer, doing shop and pub inspections. "Eventually me and Willie Simpson, the bass player, got into Roxy Music and Mott The Hoople and the other guys were still into Rory Gallagher so we split up. And then the punk thing started..."

Adamson first caught the punk bug aged 16 when he saw the Damned play Edinburgh in 1976. "Punk kicked in at the right time," remembered Simpson, "and we were the first local punk band. We picked up a following and a name quickly." The new group was completed by Jobson and Tom Kellichan. The latter had responded to a drummer wanted advert that emphasised punk's new cultural apartheid, insisting that 'no hippies' should apply. After support slots with the Stranglers and Buzzcocks, they made their debut with the self-financed 'Charles' EP. Containing three tracks, it was released on No Bad Records, financed by manager Sandy Muir. A press release introducing the band, listing their vocalist as 'Richard Jolson', was sent to journalists and DJs. John Peel cherished the deliberate typo so much that he reproduced it when writing the sleevenotes for the group's Fanfare retrospective. 'Charles' was Adamson's depiction of a factory worker whose sense of self decreases until he becomes an integral part of the machine he operates, whereupon both are sold off for scrap. 'Test Tube Babies' is a great little curio too, a primitive but winning chugger that sounds completely untutored and unlike anything they would record subsequently. Peel was charmed, and the first of five sessions for his show was recorded in May 1978. It led to a contract with Richard Branson's ambitious Virgin empire as part of an eight-album contract.

Their Virgin debut was 'Sweet Suburbia', on which Jobson's poetic inclinations are starting to flourish; 'Ancient Hearts', 'Paper Periscopes' and 'Cardboard Expatriates' litter the narrative. B-side 'Open Sound' described Adamson's signature panoramic guitar style. But the 'Wide Open' EP was the first occasion in which the Skids truly squared their ambitions with their talent. The personal, familial echo of Jobson's lyric to 'The Saints Are Coming' is augmented by Adamson's blisteringly concise chord work on one of the most tightly arranged songs in the punk canon - the sustained acceleration and eventual release of the outro is unwittingly orgasm-like. It's a show-stealing turn, but check also the divergence from punk musical rhetoric on the glam-infused 'Night And Day' or the blues-grooved 'Contusion'. Adamson's echoed melodrama seeps into every recess of the songs, in a manner that the Edge, who has openly admitted the historical debt, would later recreate with U2. Play 'Out Of Town' back to back with 'Two Hearts Beat As One' for evidence. Or for a more contemporary comparison of Adamson's influence, spin Franz Ferdinand's 'Take Me Out' next to 'The Saints Are Coming'.

The band's 1979 debut album Scared To Dance saw them refine their martial tattoos and innate bombast, largely instilled by Kellichan's hard-hitting percussive fills, with increased potency and self-belief. Its title-track, derived from an NME article about the repression of pop musk behind the Iron Curtain, with its treated drums, harmonies and layered guitar, sign-posted their later direction. Elsewhere, Jobson's focus on chivalry and lost causes was matched by the epic, somehow intrinsically Scottish, textures of Adamson's guitar designs. However, the sessions were troubled, not for the last time in the group's history. Adamson was unimpressed with producer David Batchelor's (Sensational Alex Harvey Band) 'tinkering', preferring the raw copy the band supplied. So strongly did he feel that he had to be talked out of leaving the band.

The standouts on Scared To Dance include the aforementioned 'The Saints Are Coming', the punk-cabaret of 'Dossier (Of Fallibility)' and their breakthrough hit, 'Into The Valley'. Famously parodied in a blank cassette TV advertisement due to its impenetrable Jobson lyric, it featured quite possibly the most obtuse imagery ever married to what was effectively a terrace chant. That duality, think Voltaire fronting Sham 69, summed up the Skids' appeal brilliantly. I once described 'Valley' as "the perfect, trashy, punk-pop-glam single." It still is. It was, however, as much loved for its b-side, the stage favourite 'TV Stars'. This was drawn from the band's impromptu end of gig jam where a list of soap characters and other celebrities was traditionally roll-called by Jobson, or an audience member appropriating the microphone. It was a neat flipside to Jobson's more grandiose preoccupations, name-checking a cast of football and soap b-listers, as well as old Peely. Happily, this unlikely but wonderful keepsake has now been exhumed for your listening pleasure, alongside the original single versions and accompanying b-sides from the period.

The Skids were fully-fledged pop stars as the 70s closed out. There were great things to come, before the band's songwriting axis finally unravelled. The late Stuart Adamson would enjoy further acclaim with Big Country, while Jobson would move into writing and film, where he is now enjoying sustained critical and commercial success. The Skids reunited only once, at Glasgow Barrowlands, on 31 May 2002, to play a memorial gig for Stuart Adamson following his suicide in Honolulu the previous year.

Alex Ogg

ALSO AVAILABLE
AHOY CD 172
Animation / Charade / Nice Et Decorum Est (Pro Patria Mori)/ Pros & Cons / Home Of The Saved / Working
For The Yankee Dollar / The Olympian / Thanatos / A Day In Europa / Peaceful Times
BONUS TRACKS Masquerade / Out Of Town / Another Emotion / Aftermath Dub / Grey Parade / Working For The Yankee Dollar (Single Version) / Vanguards Crusade

V2116

“THEY COULD NOT SO MUCH AS BRING THEMSELVES TO SAY WE’RE JUST A LOT OF CHEAP HEELS, A BUNDLE OF PREDESTINED FAILURES: COULD NOT EVEN COMFORT THEMSELVES WITH THE THOUGHT THAT LIFE WAS A GAMBLE.”
J.P. SARTRE

“A CLASSIC CASE OF ROCK N ’ ROLL PARANOIA”
RONNIE GURR

PRODUCER: DAVID BATCHELOR
ENGINEER: MICK GLOSSOP
Ⓟ 1979 VIRGIN RECORDS LTD
© 1979 VIRGIN MUSIC (PUBLISHERS) LTD

Ⓟ 2005 The copyright in this complation is owned by Virgin Records Ltd. © 2005 Virign Records Ltd. Label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. © 2005 Virign Records Ltd. All tracks licensed courtesy of Virgin Records Ltd. Ⓟ 1979 Virgin Records Ltd. Special thanks to Ann Murray, Julie Lockwood, Maria Panciera, Mark Woodley, Denise Black, Nigel Reeve

Mastered by Tim Turan at Turan Audio
This compilation Ⓟ 2005 Captain Oi!
Captain Oi! c/o PO Box 501, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP10 8QA
Made in England
www.captainoi.com

AHOY CD 262

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CREDITS FOR PICTURE DISC

(jump to: LP | Virgin CD | Captain Oi! CD)

“THEY COULD NOT SO MUCH AS BRING THEMSELVES TO SAY WE’RE JUST A LOT OF CHEAP HEELS, A BUNDLE OF PREDESTINED FAILURES: COULD NOT EVEN COMFORT THEMSELVES WITH THE THOUGHT THAT LIFE WAS A GAMBLE.”
J.P. SARTRE

“A CLASSIC CASE OF ROCK N ’ ROLL PARANOIA”
RONNIE GURR

PRODUCER: DAVID BATCHELOR
ENGINEER: MICK GLOSSOP
Ⓟ 1979 Virgin Records Ltd.
© 2016 Virgin Records Ltd.

The copyright of these sound recordings is icensed to Virgin Records Ltd., A division of Universal Music Operations Ltd
All rights reserved. Unauthorsed Copying, Reproduction, Hiring, Lending, Public Performance And Broadcasting Prohibited. Uinversal International Music B.V. Gerrit, Van Der Veenlaan 4, 3743 Dn, Baarn, Netherlands. BIEM/SDRM. Made In The EU. 00602547894366