An unseemly spat broke out in the comments section on the last occasion I featured this lot on the blog. Hopefully nothing untoward happens after today’s posting.
Like many others, I fell for the charms of Raintown, the debut LP from Deacon Blue, as it looked and occasionally sounded like a bit of a love-letter to my home city at a time when we needed it most as we were just beginning to emerge from an extended post-industrial slump and about to kick-start different ways to be vibrant, energetic and economic. It was also great for my homesickness as I was at the time living and working in Edinburgh – enjoying myself for sure but never really feeling that I truly belonged.
I haven’t listened much to the band for many a year now, but I did recently put the debut CD on again in its entirety in preparation for pulling together this post. It still has some very good moments on it and the ballads in particular remain strong. But the years haven’t been kind to other songs, mainly as a result of what now sounds like a duff and dated production – but that’s a criticism that can be equally levelled at many other releases of that era. Maybe it’s also that too many bands have come along over the past 30 years and occupied the same sort of musical ground as Deacon Blue and what once felt bold and different has become too much of the bland and the norm.
It really is a record, however, that I can still appreciate by taking myself back to 1987 and recalling what it was like as a 20-something fairly unsure of his future and already feeling some pangs to return 45 miles west and try again. The previous posting highlighted three of the album’s songs that still have a sprinkling of magic. Here’s another:-
It’s a song that was inspired by a very detailed and sympathetic profile of Harold Agnew in Time magazine that was published in 1985.