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Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop

This first major exhibition dedicated to Scottish pop music explored the musical culture of the nation over more than half a century, from influential indie pioneers to global superstars.
Exhibition information


22 June - 25 November 2018


National Museum of Scotland, Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 3

How much

Members: free
Adult: £10
Concession:* £8
Child (12–15): £7 (under 12s free)
National Art Pass holders: 50% discount


What kind of Scottish Popster are you?

From the days of the dancehalls to the emergence of pop in an explosion of colour in the 60s, through the 70s and New Wave, Rip It Up featured global stars and independent local heroes from pop's early days right up to today’s outstanding newcomers.

Featured artists and bands included Lonnie Donegan, Gerry Rafferty, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Lulu, The Rezillos, Midge Ure, Simple Minds, The Skids, Big Country, Garbage, Franz Ferdinand, Young Fathers, and many more. The exhibition was brought to life through original stage outfits and instruments, many loaned by the artists themselves, plus memorabilia, props, film and, of course, music.

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    ‘Bay City Rollers jacket, 1976 tour programme, supersonic floppy disc and fan club badge on loan from a private collection; Bay City Rollers gold disc, guitar and earliest unreleased Bay City Roller acetate recording on loan from a private collection.

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    Objects on loan from Simple Minds.

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    Objects on loan from Garbage.

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    Objects on loan from Altered Images

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    Objects on loan from Fairground Attraction.

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    Chantal Meteor 200 jukebox made in Bristol between 1959 and 1962.

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    Detail of coat belonging to the Bay City Rollers.

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    Detail of PVC jumpsuit owned by Eugene Reynolds of the Rezillos.

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    Detail of purple and yellow dress belonging to Fay Fife of the Rezillos.

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    Detail of orange jacket belonging to Shirley Manson.

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Throughout the exhibition, a programme of musical events allows you to participate in and experience Scottish pop music first hand through live performances, talks and discussions hosted at the National Museum of Scotland, as well as other associated events taking place across Edinburgh.

A three-part BBC TV series along with digital and radio content brought another dimension to the story through the voices of those who made the music, those who witnessed it from behind the scenes, and the fans who lived for it.

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    © Chris Scott

  • RipitUpExhib11.jpg

    © Neil Hanna

  • RipitUpExhib8.jpg

    © Neil Hanna

  • RipitUpExhib7.jpg

    © Neil Hanna

  • RipitUpExhib13.jpg

    © Neil Hanna

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    © Chris Scott

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    © Chris Scott

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    © Chris Scott

  • 20180621.CS.102.jpg

    © Chris Scott

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    © Chris Scott

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Exhibition soundtrack

You can hear tracks from the exhibition in the playlist below, and check out playlists from artists and people involved in creating the exhibition here.

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