Alan Rankine is best known as being the other founder member of Associates.

He quit the band in 1982 just after Sulk and its associated singles had finally brought fame and chart success quickly moving into the production side of things before, in 1986, releasing material under his own name.

None of his solo material – there were a couple of albums and a handful of singles  – made any commercial impact and by 1990 he had quit the recording side of things to move into an entirely new direction, joining Stow College in Glasgow as a lecturer on a music business course, where he was instrumental in providing a very firm launchpad for the career of Belle & Sebastian.

His debut single in September 1986 was later re-recorded and released on Virgin in November 1987:-

mp3 : Alan Rankine – Sandman

It is a radio friendly bit of music in that MOR-80s-synth-pop sort of way.  Which can also be translated as dull, boring and easily disposed of.

The b-side is a bit more interesting in a film-soundtrack sort of way that is a cross between Paul Haig and David Holmes:-

mp3 : Alan Rankine – Can You Believe Everything I See (Part 3)

It stretches out to six minutes and is the sort of thing that if you were sitting in a bar and it came on in the background you’d be very tempted to ask who and what it was.




  1. I’m pleased to see Alan Rankine appear here. Back in 1987/8 I was very keen his brief Virgin output, though I agree that it hasn’t aged terribly well. I always thought that, in a different world, Jesus and Mary Chain could do a great job on ‘Sandman’.

  2. I have to say that as much as I loved The Associates, Alan Rankine had maybe an EP’s worth of material that was more than lightweight fluff. Billy MacKenzie had his vocals to fall back on but even so, he managed to find other collaborators who, if they didn’t actually scale the heights that Rankine had, at least they came admirably close to that standard. Listening to Rankine solo provoked fits of disbelief that he had ever been in The Associates!

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