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Raintown and The Glasgow Scene

July 11, 2023

Glasgow was officially endorsed by UNESCO as an official City of Music in 2008 but its musical importance goes back many decades before that auspicious endorsement. In the 80’s it was one of the most vibrant cities for new music, with artists, managers and record companies making the pilgrimage to the city of music to feel the vibe and discover new sounds. One band that emerged out of that scene was Deacon Blue, who this week announced a tour to Australia in December of this year. Deacon Blue became synonymous with the Glasgow sound, forming in 1985 and releasing their debut Raintown in 1987. They have sold around 7 million albums worldwide since releasing their debut, with the US accounting for a majority of those sales. But their admirable roots are demonstrated in their early recordings which have a strong affinity with the Glaswegian working class on songs like “Dignity”. They then made their people proud by catapulting a string of passionate and melodic rock songs into the UK Top 40 in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Their most recent album was released in 2021 indicating the longevity of their career and the strength of their following. This article written on the release of their ninth album in 2020 offers a concise retrospective of the bands career.

This week on Alt.Eighties we go back to Deacon Blue’s 1987 debut Raintown as well as revisit the vibrant Glasgow sound of the early 80’s with tracks from Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Lloyd Cole and other Glaswegian gems.


Brett Van Heekeren

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