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Rip It Up playlists

Playlists of music inspired by Rip It Up, from Scottish pop classics to the tracks that mean the most to the people involved in creating the exhibition.

We've compiled the ultimate playlist of Scottish pop songs, chosen by you! 


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  1. Goodbye Mr Mackenzie: The Rattler
    While the masses were storming Woolworths for the honking “white soul” emanating from the banks of the Clyde, in Edinburgh Goodbye Mr Mackenzie were busy being the best band never to enjoy the world stardom they deserved. This was the first single I reviewed for my fanzine and was the first of many great songs they wrote. 

  2. AC/DC: It’s A Long Way To The Top
    Are ACDC Scottish? Of course they are, there is a statue of Bon Scott in Kirriemuir and this song even has bagpipes in it. 

  3. Franz Ferdinand: Darts Of Pleasure
    The first time I ever appeared on Radio Scotland it was to review Franz Ferdinand’s debut album where I argued with another guest, who had once made up a Meatloaf review for The Scotsman and thought the Scissor Sisters were better. 

  4. Camera Obscura: Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken
    This band followed Belle & Sebastian in emulating the Scottish indie sound of the eighties, and in doing so they did a better job than all of them. The whole album is a thing of beauty. 

  5. The Time Frequency: New Emotion
    I was at the opening night of PURE, bought FiniTribe’s records and was a regular at some great house clubs. However, in most of central Scotland people were tuning in to Tom Wilson’s show on Radio Forth, swallowing eccies by the handful and listening to anthems like this. Every weekend! It’s amazing. 

  6. Annie Lennox: Little Bird (Utah Saints remix)
    I found this remix on iTunes about 15 years after first hearing it. It’s so good I once listened to it six times in a row while jogging round Oban. The only reason I didn’t go for seven was because my legs hurt.  

  7. The Jesus & Mary Chain: The Living End
    When I was 19 this song led me to buy a pair of leather trousers, although I never went down the road of actually owning a motorbike. I’ve often wondered if the Reid brothers did, or whether they only got as far as the strides as well. 

  8. Gerry Rafferty: Baker Street
    The true brilliance of this song is how it makes the saxophone, the most irritating instrument ever invented, sound appealing. It’s a feat usually managed only by ska bands. 

  9. 1990s: You're Supposed To Be My Friend
    Just when Primal Scream were cleaning up their act, along came the 1990s with two of the best albums of the noughties. The singer once grabbed Vic Galloway’s nads during a live TV interview. They both told me this independently of each other. 

  10. The Exploited: Dead Cities
    I would be willing to bet that The Exploited are better known around the world than most Scottish pop acts. The first time I saw them was on Top Of The Pops, as did somebody working at the dole office, which apparently led to Big John’s claim being stopped when he went in to sign on a few days after being on TV. 

  11. Lena Martell: One Day At A Time
    My hairdresser once told me that Lena took her surname from the make of brandy. If that’s true, it’s an excellent detail given that the song could be interpreted as an ode to the twelve steps. I once put this into a DJ set and Emma Pollock and Paul Savage came up to say how much they like it too.

  12. Django Django: Default
    Django Django were created by a benign genius for people like me who always wanted to be able to dance to The Beta Band.  

  13. The Hook’n’Pull Gang: Gasoline
    Although managed by a guy who had written a Tina Turner B-side, this amazing band broke up before they got their major break. When I was 17 I was supposed to interview them after a gig in the Assembly Rooms but I’d drunk ten cans of beer by the time I actually got to speak to them. It was an early lesson in not getting hosed up before meeting the band. You can hear 'Gasoline' here.

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  1. The Poets: That’s The Way It’s Got To Be
    The Poets were not just a great Scottish band, they were one of the very best anywhere in the 1960s. Although renowned for moody, introspective songs, this, their second single, is edgy R&B, by driven acoustic guitars, twin pounding bass lines and George Gallacher’s assured, distinctive vocal. It was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones manager. Little wonder his more-famous charges saw the Poets as rivals.

  2. The McKinleys: Give Him My Love
    Between 1964 and 1965, Edinburgh sisters the McKinleys recorded four wonderful ‘girl-group’ singles. This, their last in the UK, is a moody beat ballad, co-written by Donovan, who deserves a Top 10 all on his own. Dropped by their record label, the duo then moved to Germany where they forged successful careers, together and individually. You can hear 'Give Him My Love' here.

  3. The Incredible String Band: Waltz Of The New Moon
    The String Band are another of the greatest groups ever, a kaleidoscope of folk, magic and mysticism. Who else unites Billy Connolly, Robert Plant and the Boards Of Canada? Their first five albums are all essential and choosing one track is next to impossible. It could’ve been ‘Witches Hat’, ‘The Half Remarkable Question’, ‘You Get Brighter’, ‘October Song’…

  4. (White) Trash: Road To Nowhere 
    The Pathfinders were one of Glasgow’s great soul groups, but this desolate Carole King composition was also part of their set. They cut a demo, which producer (and former Shadow) Tony Meehan took to the Beatles’ Apple label. That very recording was the one issued in 1969, albeit under the above new name. Demo or not, the group’s confident swagger created a brooding intensity, one befitting its lyrical helplessness. You can hear 'Road To Nowhere' here.

  5. Scars: Adult/ery
    The youngest group of Edinburgh’s punk bands, the Scars learned in public and had to wait two years to record. The result was astonishing. ‘Adult/ery’ is brash, confident and punchy; a furious riot of metallic chords which maintains a forcefulness throughout. As a statement of intent, this has few equals and it’s arguable the group ever sounded better. You can hear 'Adult/ery' here.

  6. Fire Engines: Get Up And Use Me (Codex Communications version)
    Fire Engines epitomized Edinburgh’s vibrant post-punk scene, a bratty, angular twist on US no-wave and Captain Beefheart. Prickly, exciting and fixedly determined, this was another mission statement, one that continues today. The roots of guitarist/vocalist Davy Henderson’s later, equally essential, groups – Nectarine No 9 and the Sexual Objects – are here. Brilliantly.

  7. Josef K: It’s Kinda Funny (‘Only Fun In Town’ version)
    Having signed up with Postcard Records, Josef K released ‘It’s Kinda Funny’ as a single but then re-recorded it for their album ‘The Only Fun In Town’. Both are excellent but, for me, the second has the edge, losing the ‘ping pong’ punctuation and gaining an altogether tougher sound. The song itself is an existentialist masterpiece, its detachment emphasized by singer Paul Haig’s laconic delivery.

  8. Blue Nile: Easter Parade (with Rickie Lee Jones)
    Blue Nile’s album debut, A Walk Across The Rooftops, was released in 1984 to critical acclaim. The moody, spectral ‘Easter Parade’ was one of its many triumphs but another version, tucked away on a CD single, captures them with Rickie Lee Jones. The blend between her voice and that of Paul Buchanan is both tender and heartbreaking, evoking a lost, closing-time melancholia steeped in sadness.

  9. Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes: Splashing Along
    Part of Edinburgh’s indie ‘C-86’ which also included the Shop Assistants, Fizzbombs and Vultures, Jesse Garon made several great records, but this, their first single, is maybe the best. Filled with innocence and jingle-jangle fun, it’s playful, joyful and totally irresistible. You can hear 'Splashing Along' here.

  10. Spirea X: Fire and Light 
    Track 10 and I am haunted by those omitted (the Pastels’ ‘Baby Honey’… ah well.) Spirea X was led by Jim Beattie, formerly and co-founder of Primal Scream. Listeners who hanker for that group’s paisley-patterned early work will find much in this magnificent track, an opaque, harmony-drenched classic; dreamy, Byrds-like and utterly captivating. 

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  1. Chas McDevitt: Freight Train
    There’s no doubt that Lonnie Donegan, a Glaswegian by birth, was the one who gave Skiffle its impetus and profile but for me the most evocative of these records was 'Freight Train' by the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group. The singer was Nancy Whiskey. Her name was actually Anne Wilson and she, like Donegan, was from Glasgow. Her stage name was suggested by fellow group-member Jimmie Macgregor, who had come across it in the chorus of a Glasgow song, ‘The Calton Weaver’. Jimmie, who went on to have a considerable profile later, had left the group by the time the chart appearances commenced.

  2. The Poets: Now We’re Thru
    Scotland had some great pop groups in the 1960s. It would be true to say that Marmalade (previously Dean Ford and The Gaylords) were the biggest hit-makers but the most interesting for me were The Poets. So here it’s gotta be 'We're Thru'.

  3. Bert Jansch: Strolling down the Highway
    When I seriously encountered the world of folksong in 1965 there were multiple strands which were full of treasures. One was the American aspect which included songs by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. Elizabeth Cotten, who wrote ‘Freight Train’, had a presence there too. It was soon apparent that much of this repertoire was what had been the backbone of Skiffle. Another strand was the guitar players and songwriters. Scotland, and Edinburgh in particular, was especially fertile in this area and provided a number of accomplished participants. Out front was Bert Jansch, closely followed the following year by The Incredible String Band. The mesmerising opener of Bert’s first album, which I first heard in Imhof’s on New Oxford Street on my initial visit to London, is my choice here.

  4. Jeannie Robertson: Twa Recruitin’ Sergeants
    A truly significant discovery in the world of folksong was the cornucopia of riches from Scotland. I was aware of some folksongs but the depths provided were astonishing. I was fortunate enough to get to know a few of the older singers aka ‘source singers’, many from the North-east and from Traveller communities. The song I’ve selected smartly combines politics, satire, wit and history, skillfully wrapped in a social commentary related to the trickery employed by the recruiters for the Napoleonic wars. The performance, from the towering presence of the great Jeannie Robertson, is a joy to behold. So, here is – 'Twa Recruitin’ Sergeants'.

  5. Cream: White Room
    The term Supergroup hadn’t been uncovered by the time Cream was formed, although the collective illustrious past of the group’s members arguably qualifies them for the description. The connection to Scotland is of course the great Jack Bruce whose bass guitar and voice drove, and in many ways, dominated the sound of the group. Jack wrote the melody to this song and the lyric is by Pete Brown.

  6. Frankie Miller: Brickyard Blues
    Scotland’s seaport towns, particularly Glasgow, Dundee and Leith, like other UK seaport towns benefitted from the merchant seamen bringing records from the USA, long before they were readily available in Britain. These included blues, country & western and all that made early rock’n’roll. These records were followed by early Motown and obscure soul imports. Such towns also boasted a number of singers with throaty voices suited to the found repertoires. Scotland’s finest female voice in this category belongs to Maggie Bell with the male honours going to Frankie Miller. Teamed with legendary New Orleans producer/songwriter/pianist Allen Toussaint in 1974, they collaborated to make this.

  7. Cocteau Twins: Sugar Hiccup
    Arguably the most distinctive pop music from Scotland was what I’d describe as the arty stuff that emerged in the 1980s. All the Postcard records had a particular vitality. The front-runners to my mind were the trio who made up The Blue Nile closely followed by The Cocteau Twins. Accordingly, my next selection is Cocteau Twins' 'Sugar Hiccup'.

  8. The Blue Nile: Saturday Night
    Having mentioned The Blue Nile, I have to include one of theirs. The band’s debut album, A Walk Across the Rooftops, was an essential part of the soundtrack to the 1980s for me. This song is a highlight of their equally essential second album Hats. It’s The Blue Nile – 'Saturday Night'.

  9. Garbage: Only Happy When It Rains.
    When I worked at the BBC in the late 1980s one of the groups featured in the more adventurous of our music programmes was Goodbye Mr McKenzie. The main singer was Shirley Manson, who always had a little something extra. A group of American producers and musicians, on a search for a particular kind of female singer for their new band, came across Shirley in a video made for her then current group Angelfish. They tracked her down and invited her to be a part of their band, Garbage. Shirley grabbed the opportunity by the scruff of the neck and continues to tour and make great records with them. This is from their debut album.

  10. Jill Jackson: 1954
    Back in 1995/96 my wife Stephy Pordage and I set up a media production company, Neon. We were commissioned to deliver The Brand New Opry to BBC Radio Scotland. One day Stephy went through a number of demos on cassette tapes and unearthed a group called Jacksonville. They were fronted by an engaging teenage singer called Jill Jackson. We got her onto the show and have remained in touch since. We now work together often. This is from her 2018 album Are we there yet?

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  1. Gerry Rafferty: Over My Head
  2. Marmalade: Reflections of My Life
  3. Rab Noakes: Branch
  4. Michael Marra: Hermless
  5. KT Tunstall: Suddenly See
  6. Lonnie Donegan: Battle of New Orleans
  7. Chris Rainbow: Give Me What I Cry For
  8. BA Robertson: Bang Bang
  9. John Martyn: May You Never
  10. Karine Polwart: The King of Birds

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Val McDermid

  1. Aztec Camera: Somewhere In My Heart
    The perfect summertime pop song, it always lifts my spirits and makes me sing along in a Scottish accent.
  2. The Skids: Into the Valley
    Demonstrating that Fife does indeed have everything. Everybody loves a good shout on the dance floor.
  3. Annie Lennox: Downtown Lights
    The ideal twofer. The divine Annie Lennox's voice and a Blue Nile song. If you don't swoon to this, you are entirely devoid of a soul.

Mark Billingham

  1. Glasvegas: Geraldine
    Hugely powerful and heartbreaking. A stunning vocal from James Allan on the only song I know that celebrates social work.
  2. Franz Ferdinand: Do You Want To
    When they first appeared, this band sounded like no other. Angular riffs and arty lyrics AND a supergroup with Sparks.
  3. Lulu: The Man Who Sold The World
    It may be heresy to admit that I far prefer Lulu’s cover to the original, though Bowie clearly approved as he sang and played on this.

Stuart Neville

  1. AC/DC: Riff Raff
    AC/DC qualify as Scottish, don’t they? Three of them were born there. Not sure which song I’d pick, though, other than it being Bon Scott era. Let’s go for ‘Riff Raff’.
  2. Nazareth: Hair of the Dog
    A nicely nasty song.
  3. John Martyn: Coming In On Time
    It’s about his mother abandoning him, and I wrote a short story based on it.

Doug Johnstone

  1. Boards of Canada: Dayvan Cowboy
    I just think these guys are the most underrated band of all time. Beautiful weird soundscapes that manage to sound retro and futuristic at the same time. This is their finest moment, but it’s all genius.
  2. Biffy Clyro: Eradicate the Doubt
    I remember seeing them in The Liquid Room before their first album came out and they were the best live band I’d ever seen. Nothing has changed. This is typical of their early stuff – mad time changes, screaming mayhem, brutal guitars, massive choruses.
  3. Teenage Fanclub: Everything Flows
    Just the most beautiful souls, and that shines through in their music. This early track is the epitome of that, lovely sentiment wrapped up in jangle-pop brilliance and big guitar solos.
  4. Chvrches: The Mother We Share
    What a breath of fresh air these guys are. Unashamedly massive electro-pop, custom build to fill stadiums and hearts.
  5. Primal Scream: Movin’ On Up
    Absolute 80s drug-fuelled dancefloor filler. Blissful and full of joy.
  6. Mogwai: Crossing the Road Material
    I know a lot of fans favour the early stuff, but I just think these guys have got better and better, and I love their recent soundtracks. This 2017 song is archetypal Mogwai, builds slowly to a head-melting finale. We’re so lucky to have Mogwai.

Chris Brookmyre

  1. Big Country: In A Big Country
    Sweaty nights at the Barrowland, the guitar redefined, a landscape and spirit evoked with uncontainable emotion.
  2. Balaam & the Angel: She Knows
    In an era defined by Bellshill jangle-pop, one of the finest 80s examples is often overlooked because its exponents were a trio of goths-turned-metalheads, but ‘She Knows’ is three minutes and forty-four seconds of melodic, trippy perfection.
  3. The Skids: Into The Valley
    The first band I fell in love with, and a song that stands the test of time. Probably the best intro ever recorded.
  4. The Blue Nile: The Downtown Lights
    If you grow up in Glasgow, The Blue Nile are the soundtrack music to the movie in your head. Even if you’ve never heard them, believe me, that music you imagine is The Blue Nile.
  5. The Big Dish: Swimmer
    There was something in the Lanarkshire water in the 80s. If you listened to soaring majesty of The Big Dish back then, you might have imagined Airdrie must look like California. It really doesn’t, by the way.
  6. Frightened Rabbit: Head Rolls Off
    Oh, Scott. You are sorely missed. You made tiny changes to the Earth. Just wish you could have hung around to make more of them.
  7. Twin Atlantic: Hold On
    Twin Atlantic manage the most joyous combination of hard rock guitar and power-pop melody, raised even higher by Sam McTrusty’s unrestrainedly Glaswegian vocals.
  8. Teenage Fanclub: Sparky’s Dream
    If you don’t love Teenage Fanclub, you have no capacity for pleasure. It is impossible to listen to a whole TFC album without a broad smile spreading across your face.
  9. Del Amitri: Kiss This Thing Goodbye
    This song sounded like it had been around for decades when it was first released, and it still sounds timeless now. Human reflex dictates that you have no choice but to turn up the radio whenever this comes on.
  10. Biffy Clyro: Wolves Of Winter
    Deranged time-signatures, soaring guitars, anthemic choruses and gloriously batshit lyrics. It can only be The Biff. We are privileged to live in their time.
  11. Chvrches: Clearest Blue
    Chvrches are so good that they might give you a false impression regarding the merits of 80s synth-pop. In truth its only noble purpose was so that we could have Chvrches thirty years later. At 02:13 in this song, both your hands will be in the air. Just accept it.
  12. Mogwai: Mogwai Fear Satan
    It’s f**king ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’. There’s nothing else I need to say.

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  1. The Proclaimers: Sunshine on Leith
    This song is Scottish poetry, speaking of home (Leith) and of simple but profound feelings of belonging. It is also deeply spiritual.  It will always be my number 1.

  2. Gerry Rafferty: Baker Street
    There’s a spiritual yearning in this beautiful song too – a sense of belonging and sense of place that the singer seems to have lost on the way. The song is transcendent.  

  3. Danny Wilson: Mary’s Prayer
    This musical outfit are quiet and unobtrusive exponents of one of the most exquisite and understated songs I have ever heard. Somewhere between Brian Wilson and a 60s soul artist that I can’t quite place.

  4. Lulu: To Sir With Love
    Beautifully and tenderly sung and with a great 60s production.  Somehow the song captures a transition in life that is fleeting but profound.  

  5. Edwyn Collins: A Girl Like You
    Radically paired down song and production and a repetitive but hypnotic melody that won’t let you escape! From one of Scotland’s finest. 

  6. Garbage: Only Happy When It Rains
    Damn it! Shirley nailed the perfect self-destructive lyric and stance. A fabulous song, record and artist.  

  7. Paolo Nutini: Last Request
    Why is Paulo Nutini so darn talented? Even the poppiest of his songs (bound to appeal to legions, if not everyone) are underpinned by authenticity and real soul. Goan yer sel’ Son! 

  8. Mogwai: Relative Hysteria
    I love the ‘out there’ soundscape thingies that the Mogwais do – true originals – and no easy listening either. Live, their guitars are the loudest things bar a Concorde take off. 

  9. The Jesus and the Mary Chain: The Living End
    Had to get these boys in – what a sound! And even better, the song seems to be about motorbikes! 

  10. The Fire Engines: Candyskin 
    Chaotic and minimalist. But somehow it all hangs together, tempting us with nearly touched beauty. A highly original and influential record that manages to be both poppy and catastrophic.  You can hear ‘Candyskin’ here.

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  1. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins: Bats In The Attic 
  2. The Beta Band: Dry The Rain
  3. Cocteau Twins: Iceblink Luck
  4. Travis: Writing to Reach You
  5. Franz Ferdinand: Take Me Out
  6. Garbage: Stupid Girl
  7. Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams
  8. Half Cousin: Country Cassette
  9. Julie Fowlis: Hùg Air A’ Bhonaid Mhòir
  10. Simple Minds: Don’t You Forget About Me

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  1. Beta Band: It’s Not Too Beautiful
    They’re a brilliant, idiosyncratic band. This song is from the first album which is a real curate’s egg. This is a great song, which features music from The Black Hole (1980s sci-fi film). I think bassist Richard Greentree is a relation of Mr Greentree who taught me German at school in Portsmouth in late 1980s.
    Simple Minds: Theme for Great Cities

    The first proper band I was into at 13/14 (though at the time stadium rock version, not the cooler, earlier 80s electronica version).
  2. Cocteau Twins: Carolyn’s Fingers
    Huge fan since my mid-teens, saw them at Town And Country in London in 1990, amazing to hear Liz Frazer’s vocal live.
  3. Teenage Fanclub: I Don’t Want Control of You
    I used to sing ‘I Don’t Want Control of You’ to my kids at bedtime (perhaps not the best lesson for them).
  4. Altered Images: Don’t talk to me about love
    Joyful, happy, and Claire Grogan.
  5. The Incredible String Band: Mercy I Cry City
    I love the Incredible String Band, but they are an acquired taste. I’d never thought of them as a Scottish band and it’s great to see them in the exhibition
  6. Boards of Canada: 1969
    I could listen to Boards of Canada all day – along with Brian Eno they’re my ‘go to’ mindful listening.
  7. Mogwai: Hunted by a Freak
    I was at End of the Road festival in 2011 and Rachel (my partner) had the night with her mate. It was my turn to be with the children in the evening. I sat outside the tent on the hill with a bottle of wine whilst my two daughters 5 and 4 snored inside, as the sound of Mogwai swirled around in the dusk – a happy time.
  8. Average White Band: Pick up the Pieces
    A mate of mine at University back in the 1990s loved AWB. We were a bit sniffy about it. It’s hard to imagine this music coming from some very hairy white Scotsmen. I played this to my kids the other day and they leapt around the living room.
  9. Jesus and Mary Chain: Never Understand
    It sounded like a real aural assault and really uncompromising when I first heard it as kid. I hear it quite differently now, more Beach Boys and less feedback!
  10. Mull Historical Society: Barcode Bypass
    A song of beauty and sadness about the onslaught of corporate retail and capitalism. The cornershop will make a comeback though.

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  1. Pilot: Magic
    A lot of people thought we were being ironic or mocking by having this as the title song in Big Gold Dream but we weren't! It's just a brilliantly written, performed and produced 3 minutes which sets out to be nothing more than a perfect pop song. David Paton gave his blessing for us to use it, and it just forms part of the story. Because the Bay City Rollers were from Edinburgh they cast a big shadow which later bled into the punk scene, which is why we used it. Glam Pop Punks! It was Angela, our editor’s idea!

  2. Dorothy: I Confess
    Alex Fergusson is one of Scotland’s greatest songwriters but sadly is rarely acknowledged for his large contributions. He co-founded Alternative TV, Psychic TV and produced Orange Juice's Blue Boy amongst many others. Dorothy is not Scottish but I love this collaborative single they did. He did so much in that period. Perfect subversive pop which he continues to do to this day.
    You can hear ‘I Confess’ here and Alex Fergusson’s ‘Stay With Me Tonight’ here.

  3. Robert Rental: Double Heart
    A true pioneer of modern electronic music (along with his friend Thomas Leer). It's an irony of his originality; that by sounding so different to the other Scottish Post-Punk artists he usually gets left off lists. You don't need a guitar to be a punk! I'm excited there's an exhibition and documentary on both Robert and Thomas taking place later this year.
    You can hear ‘Double Heart’ here.

  4. Shelagh McDonald: Stargazer
    Strangely I used to work in a call centre run by Robert Kirby who arranged the strings on this, but that’s another story. This is a beautiful and magical song which creates an incredible spell-like atmosphere which not many records are able to achieve. I love it. Very much part of the acid folk scene pioneered by ISB and definitely a massive influence on Johanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart and that US freak-folk scene from many years later.

  5. Hey Joe: Love/Marmalade
    Made world famous by Hendrix and dubiously claimed to have been written in an Edinburgh folk club during the late 50s. Scotland’s role in the folk revival and that role’s development into pop/rock should never be downplayed. I think the year zero moment for Scottish Pop is the 1951 Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh. Like the best music, this song would cross-pollinate and evolve around the world, branching into many different directions, influences and mutations. The inspiration given to Love and The Byrds would eventually come back to Scotland and help part kickstart a whole new Scottish scene with Orange Juice and then Primal Scream Mk 1's jingly-jangly-garage-ness. This is the Marmalade version based around Hendrix's, though Love’s is by far the best.

  6. One in a Million: Fredereek Hernando
    I'm a massive 60s UK Psyche fan. Not much came from Scotland unfortunately but this more than makes up for that. One of the genre's absolute best and all the way from Lenzie. Guitarist Jimmy McCulloch was only 13 and later found fame working with Pete Townsend and Paul McCartney.
    You can hear ‘One in a Million’ here.

  7. House of Lords: In the Land of Dreams
    Because so little came from Scotland I'll cheat and add this other excellent Glasgow psyche single, which I know nothing about.
    You can hear ‘In the Land of Dreams’ here.

  8. Finitribe: Detestimony
    What I love about Finitribe is they just do their own unique thing regardless of outside influences. Like Robert Rental, not being part of a particular sound or scene makes it difficult for journalists to categorise them, which journalists hate. This seemingly developed from nowhere into a void sometime in 1986. The world (and Ibiza) finally caught up a couple of years later with Acid House and this then found its closest home – though still unique. It’s just great music that defies a category. Chris Connelly would later join industrial bad boys Ministry. A shout-out should also go to Ege-Bam-Yasi, covering similar ground at the time but again completely unique.

  9. Subway Sect: Hey Now I'm in Love
    While not from Scotland, Vic Goddard is so steeped within the culture of Scottish independent music that he's become an honorary Scotsman. This influence demonstrates that where you come from is completely irrelevant in music, it's shared attitudes which define you rather than geographic location. And obviously great music, which Vic's eclectic back catalogue is full of. So much to choose from and so varied, this again demonstrates that punk is more than just three chords and a guitar. His influence is probably as big on Wet Wet Wet as on Postcard (with whom he'd later release an album).

  10. Caedmon: Aslan
    They were a Christian rock group from Edinburgh but instead of sounding like Stryper are more like a cross between The Wicker Man soundtrack, The Velvet Underground and Amon Duul. I came across their album in a charity shop and became intrigued by it, and know very little about them.
    You can hear ‘Aslan’ here.

  11. Happy Meals: Le Voyage
    I didn't really know much about this when I bought it. One of the best LPs from last year. Great pop music. They say don't judge a book by its cover but this is exactly why I bought the album and hoped the music would match its beauty, which it more than achieves.

  12. Spell: Big Red Balloon
    Rose McDowall is one of Scotland's greatest singers and songwriters. Much more than just Strawberry Switchblade, with a rich list of collaborations amongst her own unique solo work. This cover perfectly sums up that Strawberry Switchblade balance of fun and darkness which runs through her career.

  13. Wounded Knee: Freedom Come All Ye
    I think Drew Wright is one of Scotland's most creative musicians. Constantly evolving, inventing and experimenting over the last 10/15 years. Originally part of a scene which appeared to often spend more time on creative band names than music, he just seems to understand where music comes from and new ways to take it to.
    You can hear ‘Freedom Come All Ye’ here.

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  1. Tuff Love: Sweet Discontent
    I’m allowing myself one Lost Map track in this top 10, and there’s no way it could be anything other than this tune. There’s a secret ingredient in all Tuff Love songs that is seriously addictive. It’s probably bad for your health.

  2. Looper: Burning Flies
    Stuart David left Belle and Sebastian and formed a band with his partner Karn, releasing an album which had the same melody going through almost all of the tracks. It shouldn’t really work, but it totally does. The intimate, homemade aesthetic throughout all their work really appeals to me.

  3. The Delgados: Accused of Stealing
    Emma Pollock’s voice. I mean, c’mon. I love the way this song twists and turns, reeling you in. It’s the perfect marriage of engaging songwriting and inventive production. So good.

  4. Lone Pigeon: Long Way Down / The Rainking
    This is two tracks, paired together on the album Concubine Rice. That track 'The Rainking’ is monumental. There’s an even longer version of it on the Fence compilation John’s ABC - but that’s not available online anywhere, so I figured I should just share this one. It’s still quite long, and dreamy. 

  5. Boards Of Canada: In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country
    Electronic instruments sound like they are slowly breathing, and a manipulated sample of a child’s voice becomes both sinister and comforting at the same time. After a minute or so, a vocodered voice comes in – "Come out and live with a religious community in a beautiful place out in the country”. There’s something so strangely haunting, and warped about that invitation – but still alluring. The way it’s expressed feels automated, but human at the same time. When it finally disintegrates, and submerges beneath the wheezing synths, it’s really blissful.

  6. Free Love: Synchronicity
    Best act in Scotland right now, both live and on record. Everything they do blows my mind! I’m a big fan. They create music that is emotional, but also fun. Like 2Unlimited.

  7. Golden Teacher: Party People
    Turn this up LOUD. It’s f***ing wild.

  8. King Biscuit Time: I Walk The Earth
    I should really have a Beta Band song on here, but I’ve gone with a King Biscuit Time track instead – it’s perfect, this. I love singing along to Steve Mason’s voice.

  9. Breakfast Muff: R U A Feminist
    This is pretty much what Scotland does best, innit? Scuzzed up guitars, bass, drums, reverby vocals. Swearing. I reckon Breakfast Muff do it better than most. Really great band live, too – swapping instruments, and lead vocals. I love all that.

  10. Primal Scream: Shoot Speed / Kill Light – Live at the Zepp
    This is a live version of one of my favourite Primal Scream tunes. Normally live recordings are nowhere near as good as the records, but this is off the flipppppin’ pipes. People can be quite snobby about Primal Scream these days, I guess they’re seen as a heritage act by some folk. That comes with having a seminal album, I suppose. But they created so many outstanding albums – that run in the late 90s/early 00s especially. XTRMNTR is such a confrontational, visceral, unrelenting record. I love listening to this really loud, so that it hurts.

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  1. Cocteau Twins: Blue Bell Knoll
    No Scottish list could be complete without something from the Cocteaus. Still utterly unique, still mesmerising, Liz Fraser's voice, just that.

  2. The Blue Nile: Tinseltown in the Rain
    First experience of immaculate melancholia through my sister’s bedroom door.

  3. Mogwai: Like Herod
    I remember seeing them play this live at the Barrowlands many moons ago and it was like standing at the edge of an ocean and feeling the most enormous wave just rage towards you and engulf you. Don't think I had vibrated to music like that before.

  4. Kathryn Joseph: The Blood
    When I first heard Kathryn's album I had to pull over into a layby and just listen to the entire thing through. She touches something very deep, mysterious, otherworldly and the intensity of her live shows are jaw dropping.

  5. Martyn Bennett: Move
    From his hailed album GRIT. Making a show about his life in 2014 really made me dissect all his songs and the layers in them. The way he uses the voice of the great traditional singer Sheila Stewart and merges it with these huge dirty beats is just sublime, ancient and current in a gorgeous symbiosis.

  6. John Martyn: Solid Air
    Folk/jazz/blues genre-bending spacey brilliantness.

  7. Edwyn Collins: A Girl Like You
    Perfect pop Motown-y influenced mash up.

  8. Teenage Fanclub: Star Sign
    Just because.

  9. Chvrches: The Mother We Share
    I am crap at going to a gym. I try. This is the only song and album which seems to make my body do stuff. I thank them for that. I imagine this was not their main objective but I thank them nonetheless.

  10. King Creosote: Bats in the Attic
    Delicate, poetic beauty.

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  1. Cocteau Twins: Fotzepolitic 
    I just love all the sounds! All the elements that make up the Cocteau Twins. I think I first heard them when a friend was DJ'ing gigs when I was starting to develop my own taste in music.

  2. Garbage: Special
    I remember listening to Version 2.0 on my Portable CD player, Shirley Manson is so Cool!

  3. Idlewild: When I argue I see shapes
    I saw Idlewild a few times in various venues in Aberdeen and Pete (from Sprog Rock) and I went and saw them play at the Kelvingrove Band Stand a couple of years ago when C Duncan (Liam from Sprog Rock plays drums for them) were supporting. It was so fun. They totally worked the crowd and seemed to be having so much fun. I love seeing that. Also SHAPES!

  4. Young Fathers: In My View
    Everything Young Fathers have done is so exciting. Such exciting performers and so much to dive into in the music, I hear something new every time I listen to their music.

  5. Kathryn Joseph: The Weary
    I saw Kathryn play lots of times at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen. She's got such a magical quality. She doesn't really sound like anyone else, it's so beautiful, vulnerable and strong all at the same time. 

  6. Eurythmics: There must be an angel
    The Eurythmics was music we listened to in the car, something that my whole family could agree on listening to and singing along with. Also Annie Lenox went to the same school as me. (But not at the same time.)

  7. Belle and Sebastian: Electronic Renaissance
    It was hard to pick a Belle and Sebastian track because there are so many songs I love.

  8. Del Amitri: Don't come home too soon
    This was the Official Song for Scotland in the 1998 World Cup. Me and a few other members of Sprog Rock play football on a Sunday with pals for fun and I always think this song resonates with our friendly, unambitious football too!

  9. The Little Kicks: Goodbye Enemies, Hello Friends
    Another band I saw a lot growing up in Aberdeen. I love this song for a sunny day, it's really sweet and upbeat.  

  10. Teenage Fanclub: This Is Music?
    Whenever I need a boost, this is such a good song for feeling like a winner!

  11. Ivor Cutler: Beautiful Cosmos
    My dad is a huge Ivor Cutler Fan and when Ivor used to play gigs in Aberdeen he would play our harmonium so once I got to speak to him on the phone when I was about 9. He said I was very polite. It's another one that's hard to choose but this song is so charming and warm!

  12. Orange Juice: Rip it up
    For ages I didn't even know that Orange Juice were Scottish! I feel like this is a song that I've always known and at no point do I remember discovering it!

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  1. Cocteau Twins: Iceblink Luck
    My favourite kitchen whirlabout. Exquisite stuff. Liz Fraser nailed the art of bonkers phrasing long before Bjork did. Legendary at my high school because Grangemouth was an ever shitter place than Denny. And therein lies hope. (PS Fraser’s singing of Tim Buckley’s Song to The Siren with This Mortal Coil is one of the most beautiful things ever…)

  2. Big Country: Chance
    In The Crossing and Steeltown, they nailed industrial Scotland and the brutal human fallout of the Thatcher era. Plus the big unrequited love of my early teenage years was a plaid-shirted Stuart Adamson wannabe.

  3. Altered Images: I Could Be Happy
    I showed a TOTP clip to my daughter when she was about 4. When it was done, she pointed at Clare Grogan and asked: when do we get to meet that lady, mum? My thoughts entirely. 

  4. RM Hubbert with Aidan Moffat & Alex Kapranos: Car Song
    When Aidan Moffat is in tender mode, it’s a beautiful unravelling thing. And Hubby is a modest gem.

  5. Sarah J Stanley: Hold on Elijah
    Let’s f*** over the system that we live in. Her voice gets under my skin. I love her HQFU electro moniker too. And she’s a brilliant visual artist too. This song is no.1 for therapeutic weeping. You can listen to the song here.

  6. The Waterboys: Whole of the Moon
    I don’t care for the anthemic container as much as I did when I was 16. And strictly speaking, of course, it’s a Scottish, English, Irish collaboration. But Mike Scott’s (very Scottish) lyric is a heart’s keeper. Trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears. It’s a dear song, for quiet reasons.

  7. Frightened Rabbit: Swim Until You Can’t See Land
    Ocht. It takes on a deeper, harder meaning since the death of Scott Hutchison. But it’s still a glorious wedge of uplifting melancholy.

  8. Deacon Blue: Dignity
    I love this most of all because of what it does to a crowd. It’s like an enchantment of communal feeling. 

  9. Jonnie Common: Crumbs
    Criminally underrated. Trapped in Amber is my favourite M8 album of the last 10 years. Lyrically witty. Yet frequently poignant. Surely, this fella is gonna break one day?

  10. Chvrches: The Mother We Share
    I wanted to be in Iain Cook’s previous band The Unwinding Hours. I was fortunate to nab him as producer of my 2012 album Traces, just as Chvrches was emerging. I totally couldn’t afford him now! A brilliant band. And, as the mum of an impressionable wee daughter, Lauren Mayberry is some kind of feminist pop perfection. Singer. Drummer. Tech Head. Writer. Producer.

Listen on Spotify

  1. Franz Ferdinand: Always Ascending
    I turn this track up really loud and dance like everyone’s watching!

  2. The Associates: Party Fears Two
    I get completely lost in this song – I hear something different every time I listen to it and I’ve listened zillions of times. I miss Billy – I hope he knows how totally loved he is.

  3. Sheena Easton and Prince: U Got The Look
    ‘It should have been me’ says the ever-deluded me...

  4. Simple Minds: Chelsea Girl
    Will always remember being a teen in my bedroom and playing this single again and again and again… and they were from Glasgow, my hometown, and then they let Altered Images open for them.  

  5. The Twilight Sad: I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want
    Have a very big weakness for the guitars in this song – it reminds me of my youth and all the awkward boys I loved hanging out with.

  6. Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas
    Always fresh, completely unique sound and a band that seemed to do it always on their own terms – something I truly admire as I know how tough that is.

  7. Jessie Rae: Over The Sea
    Ok so I have a few drinks and then insist everyone listens to this song if not sing along – watch the video – I insist (again). I love Jessie – I even got to see him without his helmet on – he is passionate about what he does and he is oozing with talent. Caledonian Funk at its funkiest.

  8. Garbage: Queer
    Shirley has a truly distinctive voice – the minute you hear it you know who it is and that really does not apply to everyone.  She takes that lead singer role to another level... She is totally kick ass – and I love her for it

  9. Frankie Miller: Angels With Dirty Faces
    I got asked to record this song for a charity compilation. I didn’t know it at all at that time but it has lived with me ever since. Learning it was a joy.

  10. The Blue Nile: Happiness
    It’s hard to describe the emotional impact it has on me… it makes me roar, it makes me feel overwhelmed… It could honestly push me over. To do that with a song is what music is all about for me. 

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  1. Altered Images: Insects
    I have always been fascinated by Clare Grogan. There were so many myths swirling around her at the time of their success and I’ve always had a sweet spot for her band. This song is so twisted! Hearing it out of the mouth of this diminutive, innocent looking creature always thrills me. 

  2. The Associates: Gloomy Sunday
    The greatest male singer to come out of Scotland bar none. This is an incredible, gut-wrenching version of a classic song that showcases Billy Mackenzie’s prodigious talents. 

  3. The Hook 'n' Pull Gang: Pour it down your throat
    Incredible singer, super cool band…….. always with an interesting choice of notes and harmonies……… They remain one of the coolest Scottish bands of ALL TIME. Should have been HUGE. You can listen to the song on YouTube here.

  4. The Blue Nile: Stay
    Paul Buchanan is a genius. And the Blue Nile catalogue is gorgeous, unique and magical. 

  5. Hey! Elastica: My Kinda Guy
    I was OBSESSED with this band when I was young. I wanted to be Giles SOOOooooo badly.

  6. Goodbye Mr Mackenzie: Face to Face
    My first band and my introduction into big adventures. Martin Metcalfe is a fine singer and writer and deserves a bigger, better crack at the whip.

  7. The Shop Assistants: Somewhere in China
    I love this song SO much. The sound of it so perfectly captures a particular moment of time in my life.

  8. Jesus and Mary Chain: Just Like Honey
    They are the gods of Scottish Rock’n’Roll. Timeless and tasteful and unique. 

  9. Cocteau Twins: Wax and Wane
    When I heard Liz Fraser sing for the first time I thought I was being introduced to an entirely different species of human. One of my all time favourite singers. There is no one, absolutely NO ONE who sounds like her.

  10. Primal Scream: Velocity Girl
    Bobby Gillespie is a Scottish treasure and I have loved him from afar as long as I can remember. 

Listen on Spotify

  1. Primal Scream: Movin’ On Up
    The opening guitar riff from the album Screamadelica (1991) always gets to me. A wonderful band
  2. Carly Connor: Who’s Gonna Love You?
    A big soulful voice that will bring any house down. From Glasgow, Carly is one of the top live performers I’ve seen in years, please watch out for her. Love this track from 2017.
  3. Hue and Cry: Labour of Love
    The band are my two older brothers Pat and Greg. This song was their first big hit and seeing them on Top of the Pops in 1987 with family and friends all crowded into the living room was a magical moment. Fabulous track as well, perfect pop for me.
  4. Paolo Nutini: Scream (Funk My Life Up)
    A talent we should celebrate to the max and from sunny Paisley. I own all his albums but this track from Caustic Love (2014) is superb.
  5. BrownBear: Olive Tree
    Another new talent coming out of Scotland and his latest album What is Home (2018) is on rotation in my playlists.
  6. Average White Band: When will you be mine
    1970s Scottish music from Dundee. It’s as funky and groovin’ as the James Browns and Sly Stones of this world. Every home should own AWB albums. Real class.
  7. Gerry Rafferty: The way that you do it
    What a voice – this track has had me an emotional wreck a few times. Another national musical hero from Paisley in my eyes. Sadly gone but left behind timeless tracks for us to enjoy forever.
  8. The Proclaimers: Through Him
    I’ve been part of the band for 15 years now, live and studio recordings. This is one of my favs from Craig and Charlie. The body of work they have produced over the last 30 years isn’t a fluke, just a huge Scottish talent that keeps getting better and better. New album Angry Cyclist out 10 August 2018. 
  9. Button Up: Not Interested
    Best band in Scotland ever, ever, ever. I’ll say no more haha.
  10. Daniel Meade: Oh My My Oh
    A 2018 release from one of Scotland’s hardest working musicians. Great songwriter from Glasgow on his seventh album to date, just brilliant.

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  1. The Trojans: Arna-fari (Scotland the Brave)
    There’s something so instantly Scottish about the sound of bagpipes. Club promoter and bandleader Gaz Mayall tales the instrument into the world of Ska to great effect on this iconic tune.

  2. The Rezillos: Flying Saucer Attack
    The opening cut from Can’t Stand The Rezillos, this is an absolute rocker. Jo Callis was, to my mind, the best guitarist in those early days of punk. I can’t listen to it in the car as it makes me drive faster.

  3. Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert feat. Siobhan Wilson: Cockcrow
    The homespun minimalism of the sound created by Moffat & Hubbert is quintessentially Scottish. The stories they tell have a bleak beauty. Factor in Wilson’s ethereal vocal and you have a truly astonishing piece of work.

  4. Martyn Bennett: Move
    I first heard the album Grit performed live at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections. To be so affected by a piece of work which was new to me, came as a complete a complete shock. I’ve become a firm fan of Bennett’s irreverent and singular take on traditional Celtic music.

  5. Michael Marra: Frida Khalo’s Visit to the Taybridge Bar
    This song makes me cry like a baby, sorry… ‘Greet like a bairn’.

  6. Lulu: The Boat That I Row
    If Dusty Springfield was the UK’s answer to Aretha, then Lulu was our Diana Ross. I always preferred her sassy roar on stompers like this. No wonder The Beatles were fans. I saw her costumes on display at Rip It Up. She was tiny.

  7. Eddie Reader: Never Going Back Again (Queen of Scots)
    A beautifully witty reworking of the song from Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. I remember chatting to Eddi about how she was working at a biscuit factory when she answered an advert in Melody Maker for a job as a backing singer for The Gang of Four. I saw her on that first tour singing with them in Basildon. You can take the girl out of Scotland… Etc…

  8. Edwyn Collins: 20 Years Too Late
    I just bloody love this song. Edwyn is a master songwriter with wit and heart, and this sub-disco anthem about the double-edged sword of late career success is a stone cold classic.

  9. James Yorkston: Summer Song
    Yorkston lives up the road from me in Fife. I hadn’t been there for more than a fortnight before he tracked me down and invited me to perform at his ‘Tae Sup Wi A Fifer’ night in Kirkcaldy. I can never tell when he’s taking the mick, but I can tell when he’s singing. 

  10. Aztec Camera: Jump
    This is one of my favourite cover versions of all time, first heard on one of those NME cassettes. It seems wrong to pick Roddy and the band doing a cover when he’s such a phenomenal songwriter, but I do love this.

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Rip It Up would not have been possible without all the amazing loans from artists, bands, their family members and more, and the Registrars are the team that make these loans happen. Here they share their top tracks inspired by the exhibition.

Becky Storr

  1. Garbage: Stupid Girl and I think I’m Paranoid
    Sums me up! [We would beg to differ – ed.]
  2. Orange Juice: Rip it Up
    Many late nights throwing shapes in the living room to this one.
  3. Human League: Don’t you want me
    Ideally from the 1982 remix album ‘Love and Dancing.’ (I realise they’re from Sheffield but I think there’s a poster of them on display!)
  4. Texas: In Demand
    I could watch Alan Rickman in the video all day long!
  5. Biffy Clyro: 27
    Definitely didn’t have a troubled emo phase, definitely don’t have their lyrics tattooed on me…
  6. Annie Lennox: Why
    For my mum and singing along on repeat in the car.
  7. The View: Same Jeans
    For my dad who thought it was cool to have this as his ringtone for two years.
  8. Wet Wet Wet: Sweet Little Mystery
    Because I was in love with Marti Pellow circa 1994.

Liz Mylod

  1. AC/DC: Back in Black
    Because it has best intro ever created.
  2. Runrig: O Cho Meallt
    Because my boyfriend has played Runrig vinyls every Friday night since I moved in and I’m now a fan too. This is the one I listen to when he’s away and I’m missing him.

Susannah Darby

  1. Travis: Why does it Always Rain on Me?
    I remember dancing to it at a disco on a rainy night when I was in Year Eight. Seventeen seemed so grown up and sophisticated then…
  2. The Proclaimers: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
    For the sheer joy of it, whether it’s being played at the end of the night after a ceilidh’s finished and the band have packed up and being in a room full of people singing along, or walking past Easter Road stadium and hearing what feels like the whole of East Edinburgh vibrate with the song
  3. Ultravox: Vienna
    For my Dad, who cites this song every time anything means nothing to him…
  4. Calvin Harris: Acceptable in the 80’s
    An earworm from when I was at university.
  5. Paolo Nutini: Jenny Don’t be Hasty
    When I was in first year at university a friend of mine claimed her boyfriend had said he’d marry her if she was twenty-three. It seemed like an odd assertion. Then I heard this song and felt cheated of a good bit of gossip. Good song, though
  6. Emeli Sande: Read All About It
    I’m sure everyone remembers where they were when they heard Sande’s electrifying performance of this song at the opening of the 2012 Olympics in London.
  7. Texas: Summer Son
    Another absolute tune that I remember seeing performed on Top of the Pops and which was on Now That’s What I Call Music 44, which my Dad bought me for Christmas in 1999, and which I played a lot with my friends when I was first at secondary school.

Samantha Jenkins

  1. Franz Ferdinand: The Dark of the Matineé
    I remember going to V Festival in Chelmsford way back in 2005, and going to see Franz Ferdinand, dancing with my friends and enjoying being teenagers. That was my first festival, and had so many amazing bands I can barely remember everyone I got to see.
  2. The Fratellis: Chelsea Dagger
    This was another song very popular with my group of friends when I was in school, and was still played regularly when I got to University. I can remember everyone singing along, feet sticking to the floor in the Uni club.
  3. The Jesus and Mary Chain: Never Understand
    This one’s in honour of my dad, who has the largest record collection I’ve seen (even he doesn’t know what he has) and is responsible for my love of music. When I mentioned working on this exhibition, the first thing he wanted to know was if The Jesus and Mary Chain were being included, and then he told me how his house at uni had five copies of their first album – one for each of the residents!
  4. Belle and Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
    I was introduced to Belle and Sebastian when I was around 12 or 13 by one of my school friends. Music had always been a large part of our house growing up, and it was nice being able to share that with other ‘indie’ kids and introduce each other to our favourite songs. Which were mostly just whatever our parents listened to…

Lucy Gorringe

  1. Travis: Driftwood
    I used to pinch this album from my older brother’s CD collection all the time. He’s six years older than me and used to go to lots of concerts, gigs and festivals, while I was at secondary school, which I thought was really cool.
  2. KT Tunstall: Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
  3. This and ‘I’m Gonna Be’ were on a ‘Scotland’s Greatest Hits’ album that I bought in HMV in Kendal in 2008. I’d just met my then boyfriend (now husband), who grew up in Shetland and the West Coast of Scotland – which I thought was very dark, romantic and mysterious. (I should say that, after almost 10 years together, he is still all of those things!) He really introduced me to Scotland, in particular, the West Coast, and we used to play this CD on a loop in my old, beloved beat-up Citroen Saxo on trips to visit his uni friends in Glasgow.
  4. Runrig: Loch Lomond
    No New Year’s party would be without Runrig’s classic anthem. (The live version of course!)
  5. Simple Minds: Don’t You Forget About Me
    I have to put this one in as ‘The Breakfast Club’ is my husband’s favourite film…
  6. Franz Ferdinand: Take Me Out
    I spent the second semester of my second year at Bristol University in 2004 studying at the British Institute in Florence. One of my classmates was a huge Franz Ferdinand fan and was obsessed with this particular song.
  7. Capercaillie: Beautiful Wasteland
    Me and my then boyfriend (now husband) saw Capercaillie during The Gathering festival in Edinburgh in the summer of 2009, not long before we moved to Scotland in January 2010. It was during this festival that we agreed that we didn’t want to go home and, instead, wanted to look towards a move to the Scottish capital.

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  1. Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Swampsnake
    First band I was aware of as being Scottish (?). Alex takes us from early 60s scene through to mid-70s.

  2. The Skids: The Saints Are Coming
    My local heroes when punk struck! Used to go see them at Kirkcaldy’s Pogo-A-Gogo Club. Stuart Adamson was a scant few years ahead of me at Beath High School. We never met.

  3. The Bathers: Kelvingrove Baby
    The hit band that got away. Poetic, poignant, gorgeous sounds and fine lyrics. They made Glasgow feel like Paris or Rome, a place of aesthetic romance. Which didn’t stop me name-checking them in one of my more violent novels...

  4. Mogwai: Mogwai Fear Satan
    Scottish bands have always felt to me to be left-field or outsiders, going their own way without an eye on chart success. These noisy f***ers have mellowed and matured but early on their racket shook my synapses awake. I write to this soundtrack...

  5. Jackie Leven: Exit Wounds
    Rebus likes this music and so do I. A name-check in one of my books led to a friendship and from there to a working relationship and even an album. Jackie had a great voice and a great troubadour heart. And boy could he play guitar.

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  1. Karl Denver: Wimoweh 
    Wimoweh is a wonderful South African song and there were several great versions including The Tokens ('The Lion Sleeps Tonight') but Karl's version was sensational. I just loved his raw spine-tingling vocal... Fab.

  2. Incredible String Band: Everything's Fine Right Now
    My favourite all time band and this track is just an uplifting optimistic musical joyride. Mike and Robin are such gifted musicians and they were a huge influence on the 60s music scene. (Beatles/Stones/LedZepelin all inspired by them) Their first five albums are classic.

  3. Average White Band: Put It Where You Want It
    Alan Gorrie and I became great friends in the early 60s when I became a fan of his first band The Vikings from Perth. This track is from the first AWB album (Show Your Hand) and should have been a smash hit. Soulful joy. Of course they rightly went on to amazing worldwide success. 

  4. Primal Scream: Rocks
    Pure unadulterated rock'n'roll from another of Scotland's most exciting original nandenduring bands. Bobby Gillespie is a rock'n'roll God.

  5. Withered Hand: New Gods
    My favourite artist of the last few years and a wonderful songwriter. This is the title track from his last LP and just simply 'turns me on'. It's bliss. Dan is a charismatic performer.

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  1. Camera Obscura: Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
    I could probably have submitted a list of ten Camera Obscura songs as my top 10 so picking just one was a chore! This band have been a constant presence in my life for fifteen years, through joy and heartbreak. ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken’ is in my opinion, about as perfect a pop song as you’re ever going to hear.

  2. Kathryn Joseph: The Bird
    ‘The Bird’ was the first song I heard by Kathryn and I distinctly remember feeling as though I’d been hugged and winded simultaneously. When a song causes such a visceral reaction, you know it’s something extraordinary.

  3. Frightened Rabbit: Head Rolls Off
    I swapped out my chosen FR song numerous times, it’s almost impossible to pick just one. The Midnight Organ Fight is an album that means an incredible amount to so many people, including me. Scott’s lyrics, although often incredibly sombre, always offer hope. A chink of light in the darkness. No more so than on ‘Head Rolls Off’. 

  4. Young Fathers: Shame
    The most exciting band to come out of Scotland in a long time. If you ever get the chance to see Young Fathers play live, take it! Trust me. ‘Shame’ is a vibrant, funky, thrilling four minutes.  

  5. Mogwai: Coolverine
    Why do Mogwai just keep getting better? I caught them at Brixton Academy just before Christmas and (despite not being able to hear properly for two days afterwards – a lesson in why ear protectors at loud gigs are important!) it was one of the most incredible live shows I’ve been to. ‘Coolverine’, the opening track on Mogwai’s most recent album Every Country’s Sun, is otherworldly, guitar-heavy, gorgeous pop.

  6. The Waterboys: The Whole of the Moon
    I was one in 1985 when ‘The Whole of the Moon’ was released. A track that’s wrapped up in lots of nostalgia; it reminds me of late 80s parties and sunburned nights in Spanish pubs on family holidays.

  7. Mastersystem: Bird Is Bored Of Flying
    A project comprising Scott and Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit and Justin and James Lockey of Editors and Minor Victories. There’s something really special about the juxtaposition of fuzzy, dirty, loud, gnarly rock music layered with Scott’s utterly heart-wrenching lyrics. 

  8. The Delgados: Accused Of Stealing
    The beautifully dreamy ‘Accused Of Stealing’ was my gateway song as a latecomer to the band. Individually the members of The Delagdos have affected the landscape of Scottish music immeasurably through Chemikal Underground, Chem19 and Stewart’s work with the Scottish Music Industry Association and The SAY Award.

  9. Del Amitri: Driving With The Brakes On
    ‘Driving With the Brakes On’ perfectly captures the feeling of being in a relationship that isn’t working out and tussling with whether or not to stick it out. Just a great song

  10. Out Lines: There Is A Saved Place
    After falling in love with Kathryn Joseph’s debut Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled I couldn’t wait to hear what she did next and I was delighted to find out that she was in the studio with James Graham of The Twilight Sad. A match made in Scottish music heaven. ‘There Is A Saved Place’ is the stand-out track from the magnificent Confalts.

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Greg's choices

  1. Stealers Wheel: Stuck In The Middle With You
    Always loved Gerry Rafferty’s voice. This is such a clever arrangement. Not much going on, so every part as important as the other in keeping it all together. A triumph.

  2. C Duncan: Garden
    This guy’s a master craftsman when it comes to constructing his music. Just so beautiful and complex.

  3. Young Fathers: Shame
    Best band to come out of Scotland in years. Ingenious, powerhouse soul.

  4. RM Hubbert with Sarah J Stanley: Probably Will / Probably Do
    One of Scotland’s unsung heroes is oor “Hubby”. Guest vocalist Sarah J Stanley is the perfect match to his emotive guitar playing. An uplifting song.

  5. Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
    Annie Lennox at her best. Iconic pop.

Pat’s choices

  1. Blue Nile: A Walk Across The Rooftops
    One of the greatest pieces of modern art that Scotland has ever produced. Light-years ahead of anyone, and remains so. And with a raw beating Glaswegian lover's heart at the middle of it. Still gives me goosebumps – even thinking about it, never mind listening to it – to this day

  2. Tommy Smith with SNJO and Kurt Elling: Loch Tay Boat Song
    Tommy played with us in the early years of Hue and Cry, and it was like standing next to a 20th century jazz giant whenever he blew. We are so proud of his achievements as an educator, and as leader of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Here they all make a thing of peerless beauty, with our favourite Chicago jazz singer, Mr Elling. You can listen to the song here.

  3. Average White Band: When Will You Be Mine
    We have played this twice with AWB on stage in Glasgow – and again, it gives me the shivers. The best funk guitar parts you’ve ever heard – impossible to figure out how they play what they do. Set me off on the funk-soul path as a wee boy, and I never came back. 

  4. Pronto Mama: Arabesque
    The best blast of youthful magic, virtuosity and ambition I've heard coming out of Scotland for a decade. Their drummer should be given a lifetime basic income, just to keep drumming

  5. Michael Marra: Australia Instead of the Stars
    Instant tears. I miss the wee republican revolutionary terribly. And this is his spectral, shimmering, art-song critique of self-imposed mediocrity in Scottish life. I listen to it every three months, in order to stiffen my spine and drive me on. 

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  1. Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams are made of this
    Saw a pretty raw version of the Eurythmics at Aberdeen University Student Union. The electricity cut out and Annie Lennox wasn’t chuffed. A year or so later they were selling out the SECC Glasgow.

  2. APB: Rainy Day
    One of Oily Records' finest. Reminds me of three years in Aberdeen – great music, great nights out.

  3. Aztec Camera: Oblivious
    For some reason I keep calling this track ‘It’s Obvious’.

  4. Orange Juice: L.O.V.E. Love
    Quite simply a beautiful song.

  5. The Associates: Party Fears Two
    What a strange and wonderful sound this is. It never gets old.

  6. Simple Minds: I Travel
    This band just keeps going. This is only one of many tracks that I love, including ‘Promise You a Miracle’, ‘Waterfront’ and ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me).

  7. KT Tunstall: Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
    I defy anyone who saw her perform ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ on Later … with Jools Holland – with just a guitar, tambourine and loop pedal – not to have been amazed.

  8. Barbara Dickson: MacCrimmon’s Lament
    Singing without accompaniment, usually at the end of her concerts, this is Barbara Dickson at her very best.

  9. Eddi Reader: Wild Mountainside
    Written by the Trashcan Sinatras, this wonderful song sits cheek-by-jowl with Eddi Reader’s renditions of Robert Burns. This is my current sing-along.

  10. The Alexander Brothers: The Dark Island
    My dad was an accordion player. This was the last song he could play before dementia took all his notes away.

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  1. Belle and Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister
    Basically all Belle and Sebastian songs sound exactly like Glasgow but this one wins because of the wee Glaswegian boy at the beginning shouting “C’moooooon!” And also because I love it.

  2. Mull Historical Society: Instead
    Meet me: 17, first year at Glasgow Uni, sat in the QMU (the indie student union), wearing my incredibly cool Mull Historical Society T-shirt, listening to this on my portable CD player. I relistened to ‘Instead’ recently and it’s still an absolute tune.

  3. The Reindeer Section: Strike Me Down
    This two-album supergroup featured members of Glasgow’s indie elite in the early 2000s, including Arab Strap, Mogwai, Idlewild, Snow Patrol and loads more. Their second album, Son of Evil Reindeer, is quietly excellent and this supersweet, and all too short, breakup song featuring Jenny Reeve and Eugene Kelly from The Vaselines is my favourite. You can listen to the track here.

  4. Camera Obscura: Knee Deep at the NPL
    The Woodside Social Club was brilliant for lots of reasons: the orderly queue at the bar (despite rabble-rousingly cheap prices), the generous placement of giant fans around the dancefloor (to counteract the sauna-like temperatures), and stupidly fun club nights, including National Pop League, forever immortalised here.

  5. The Blue Nile: Tinseltown in the Rain
    It rains so much in Glasgow you kind of stop noticing after a while. Something about Paul Buchanan’s image of a big soggy, glittery city is exactly how I think about Glasgow on a Saturday night.

  6. Primal Scream: Loaded
    This song will forever remind me of both the most and least cool night of my life whereby, following a genuinely incendiary performance of ‘Loaded’ at the Barrowlands which saw the ballroom floor bouncing like a trampoline, I ended up backstage. With my parents.

  7. Arab Strap: The First Big Weekend
    Half song, half spoken-word, here Arab Strap perfectly capture long, bittersweet summer nights and days in Glasgow clubs, pubs, parks and hanging out round yer pal’s flat with a carry out.

  8. The Blue Nile: From A Late Night Train
    It's raining (again). You're trundling slowly home on the last train from Central Station. Someone's eating a sausage supper. This song is playing.

  9. Errors: Mr Milk
    Members of Errors not only made me many a mean White Russian in Nice N Sleazys but this underrated tune soundtracked pretty much all of my nights out circa 2006-7.

  10. Liquid Liquid: Optimo
    OK, so it’s not technically a Scottish song but there are few things I miss more about Glasgow than Sunday nights at Optimo, the ever-enduring club night at the very excellent Sub Club. This belter by New York’s Liquid Liquid is where the night got its name.

  11. The Vaselines: Molly’s Lips
    Bonus track! Because nothing is more lo-fi Glasgow indie than a chorus with a honking horn.

  12. The Delgados: Coming in From the Cold
    Bonus track! Because Emma Pollock’s voice is magnificent on this.

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  1. Harry Lauder: Roaming in the Gloaming
    This is a great Scottish pop song. I like it when he laughs. 

  2. Michael Marra: Baps and Paste (live)
    The bard of Dundee. 

  3. Orange Juice: Blue Boy
    Art School punk rock. The best. 

  4. Breakfast Muff: Lunch Money
    The new school. 

  5. The Waterboys: Fishermans Blues
    Melancholy and uplifting. With added fiddles. 

  6. The Vaselines: You think you're a man
    One of Scotland’s greatest ever pop songs. 

  7. Jackie Leven: The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ
    A strange epic. Scottish songwriters are good at these often. 

  8. Sons and Daughters: This Gift
    They were underrated and cool. 

  9. Altered Images: Happy Birthday
    I wish I'd written it. 

  10. Dick Gaughan: Both Sides of the Tweed
    One of Scotland’s most authentic voices. 

  11. Teenage Fanclub: Start Again
    I'm not sure I've ever met a Scottish person who isn't a fan of this band. Very timeless. 

  12. Frightened Rabbit: I wish that I was sober
    Many great songs. Wonderful band. 

  13. The Proclaimers: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
    Don't tell me you don't like it. Everyone does. It's great. 

  14. Simple Minds: Don’t You (Forget About Me)
    Again, don't tell me you're not into it. 

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  1. Shamen: Move Any Mountain
    Aberdeen’s finest, this song is timeless and possibly the most remixed ever. The track was also used for the Team Scotland entrance to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

  2. Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
    Annie Lennox may have left Aberdeen earlier than Lord Byron but this synth pop tune released in 1983 the same year Aberdeen won the Cup Winners’ Cup is an absolute beauty.

  3. Kathryn Joseph: The Bird
    This Aberdeenshire quine is the Scottish Kate Bush and I was truly blown away at last year’s Running Up That Hill - A Celebration Of Kate Bush gig in Glasgow.

  4. Spare Snare: Bugs 
    A Dundee band this was always first on my tape compilations I made for friends and family.

  5. Deacon Blue: Dignity
    Another band with Dundee connections. This song always made me want to buy a dingy but was too scared to use it in the North Sea.

  6. Arab Strap: Girls of the Summer
    This a nostalgic reminder of listening to this track beside the Grand Canyon and loving the authentic Scottish voice so far away from home.  

  7. Veronica Falls:  Found Love in a Graveyard
    This track from their debut album is a wonderful symbol of the immense music of Patrick Doyle, who sadly died this year.

  8. The Pastels: Worlds of Possibility
    Annabel Wright has the most dreamlike voice that is epitomised in this track and Stephen McRobbie worked in a library too.

  9. Future Pilot AKA: Witchi Tai To
    This track from the Tiny Waves, Mighty Sea album from the former Soup Dragon is majestic. You can listen to the track here.

  10. BIS: Kandy Pop
    I went to see BIS supporting Super Furry Animals at Lucifer Mills, Dundee, and the sheer youthful exuberance made them the best support act ever.

  11. Teenage Fanclub: What You Do to Me
    Forget ‘Flower of Scotland’ or ‘Scotland the Brave’, this is the true indie anthem of Scotland.

  12. Beta Band: Dr Baker
    I love the piano on this track from the 3Eps, it’s always a stand out.

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  1. Dancing on Tables: Missing
    Hailing from Dunfermline, pop band Dancing on Tables have featured in various Scottish ‘ones-to-watch’ shortlists and recently signed to American record label LV Music.
  2. SKJØR: Living Without You
    SKJØR is a four-piece indie-rock band from Edinburgh. Named in several Scottish ‘ones-to-watch’ shortlists, SKJØR have recently supported big names such as Scouting For Girls and Fickle Friends.
  3. Gus Harrower: Where We Were
    Singer-songwriter Gus Harrower has performed around Scotland and been featured in several well-known Scottish publications and productions including The Scotsman and STV News. Gus was nominated for the Best Acoustic act for the 2017 Scottish Alternative Music Awards.
  4. Diving Station: Drown
    Anna McLuckie is a folk musician from Edinburgh. Her music is instantly recognisable by its inclusion of the clarsach – a small Celtic harp. Anna was featured on The Voice back in 2014 and was mentored by during her time on the show. Alongside performing as a solo artist, Anna also fronts indie-rock band Diving Station.
  5. CoriAnder: When You Coming Home?
    CoriAnder is an electronic music producer based in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders. He was one of three music students chosen to represent Scotland at an international songwriters' camp in the Netherlands. Several of his songs have been played on BBC Introducing.
  6. Be Charlotte: Discover
    Having signed to record label Columbia/Sony Music earlier this year, Dundee's Be Charlotte blends distinctly Scottish vocals with hard-hitting electronic beats.
  7. Kyoto: Heart Beats Loud
    Electronic-pop band LaKyoto have recently developed a huge presence in Edinburgh's live music scene.
  8. NOAH NOAH: Thick As Thieves
    Named in several ‘ones-to-watch’ shortlists, Scottish pop-rock band NOAH NOAH have performed live sessions for the BBC, STV and Amazing Radio.
  9. Annie Booth: Over My
    Annie Booth is a Scottish indie-folk singer-songwriter. Her debut album ‘An Unforgiving Light’ received strong reviews from The National, The Scottish Sun and BBC Radio Scotland.
  10. The Vegan Leather: I Take American
    The Vegan Leather are a four-piece pop-rock band from Paisley who have performed at T in the Park, TRNSMT and Edinburgh's Hogmanay.

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  1. Aztec Camera: Somewhere in My Heart
    Summer in the city and the air is clear – joyous and uplifting and, more recently, my three-year-old daughter’s hands down favourite song: a testament (of one kind or another) to her upbringing thus far.
  2. Altered Images: Happy Birthday
    Perky, poppy, a little punky and infinitely preferable to the dirge of the traditional song to hear the opening bars of this blaring out of a birthday morning
  3. Orange Juice: Falling and Laughing
    Bloody impossible to choose a single Orange Juice track, even before you get into Edwyn’s solo work, so let’s go back to the beginning with the first single released by Postcard records and you can take it from there. This is another track with a great intro, heralding the opening of a portal to the glorious world of Orange Juice, Postcard and, later, the masterpiece which is ‘You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever’.
  4. Ballboy: Avant Garde Music
    Ballboy should be straddling the world like a colossus. Or, at the very least, should have carved out a slightly more lucrative niche in the family of lyrical, smart, jangly Scottish bands. Could have picked out any number of tracks, but this one’s about record shops so, er, there.
  5. BMX Bandits: E102
    Over thirty years young, supported by Oasis, namechecked by Kurt Cobain and, at various points, having had half of Glasgow’s music scene in their line-up, this jaunty wee slice of twee is where it all began, and remains a joyful live standard for the Bandits to this day.
  6. Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas
    My mate Al, source of a fair slice of my late teenage musical education, brought round the album one day and I initially thought ‘Al, what the hell is this’ before tuning into this – the one with actual words in – and saying ‘no wait, what is this’ and going back to listen again and again.
  7. Camera Obscura: Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken
    Wonderful band, fantastic album and this track – smart, fun and with a superbly hooky riff – never fails to make me smile.
  8. Skids: Into the Valley
    More lately adapted in our household to encourage efficient bedtime practices cf ‘into the jammies/ready for bed…’, which puts it narrowly at the top of a long list of Scottish post punk belters from an astoundingly rich creative period.
  9. Jesus and Mary Chain: Reverence
    Honey’s Dead is probably my favourite Jesus and Mary Chain album, and I’ve picked this track, which bookends the album, because not only is it a splendid bit of classic grinding Mary Chain, it’s also a homage to the great Jonathan Richman, so two all-time favourites for the price of one.
  10. Flowers for Algernon: Optimism
    OK, going a bit niche here. James Igoe, lead singer, is also founder of Out of the Bedroom, Edinburgh’s longest running open mic night, which is now on at Woodland Creatures on Leith Walk. James has been giving a stage to nascent performers in Edinburgh since 2001, for which we salute him. And it is a lovely song too.

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  1. Pilot: Just a Smile
    Pilot had a couple of big hits that everyone knows but this is my favourite and possibly my favourite Scottish pop track ever. The structure of the song and how it keeps building is so elegant. If there is ever a movie of my life I'd want this to be the music over the end credits. Pure and perfect pop.
  2. Bill Wells & Lorna Gilfedder: My Family
    The most recent track on my list and very possibly my favourite song of the 21st century so far. Bill is a true musical giant. This is an incredibly wise, poignant and musically brilliant song. I love Lorna's lyric, it's so vulnerable, filled with regret. I think it could easily transfer as a platinum mega hit for some 21st century pop diva superstar. Of course it could never match the rare and precious fragile beauty of the original. You can hear the song on Soundcloud here.
  3. The Pastels: Comin’ Through
    The Pastels are so important to Scottish music, it's not just their music, it's beyond that. I like the newer Pastels work more generally but this is still my favourite. Great pop song with a great structure and sound.
  4. Spook School: I Want To Kiss You
    Life can be hard, it can be difficult but it can also be wonderful and this track captures the wonder and joy of life and love. Spook School make joyous exuberant uninhibited pop but they also have a message about gender issues in the 21st century.
  5. Donovan: Season of the Witch
    This is such a killer track from Donovan. I think he has been unfairly written off by some and he made some really great music. This track is sexy, seductive and dark. I think some Scottish artists have been a bit reserved about making sexy music and that's a shame. 
  6. Teenage Fanclub: Some People Try To **** With You
    There are a bunch of TFC tracks that I considered but I went for this one because of the originality of the musical content and the lyric. It's both romantic and defiant. Quite a few of Teenage Fanclub's best songs, like this one, are hidden away on B sides. You can hear the song on YouTube here.
  7. Belle & Sebastian: The State I'm In
    I had known Stuart Murdoch a few years when I first heard this song. I had been in a make believe band with him called Deadly Geometry who didn't play or have any songs. I had no idea he had such great talent and creative drive. I was hooked immediately. In that song he painted his own world in which he existed, even if some of the details were fiction. It had a level of ambition as I writer that really impressed me.
  8. Randolph's Leap: Going Home
    This one rips my heart out my chest and fills it with a deep longing. The organisers of Home Coming events in Scotland should be using this as their theme. I can imagine it being covered by a plethora of mainly but not only Celtic acts. It would be tough to get another version better than the Randolph's Leap original.
  9. Momus: Nervous Heartbeat
    Momus is one of Scotland's most prolific and most adventurous music makers and artists. He always takes chances. This track is so tender and beautiful and uses a Japanese form of onomatopoeia in a really smart and sensual way.
  10. Ivor Cutler: Yellow Fly
    I owe Ivor Cutler a large debt. His work and the world he created in it made me realise it was good sometimes not to fit in or to be fashionable. As an artist it is best to follow your own instincts even if you faced ridicule from others who don't "get it". Ivor wrote some wonderful songs about bugs and insects.

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  1. Eugenius:  Pebble/Shoe
    A two chord indie masterpiece so simple and simply delightful you’d call it minimalism if you were a tit. 
  2. Altered Images: I Could Be Happy
    Brilliant bassline, delirious B-section (Get away, run away...) and a great example of Martin Rushent’s bold primary coloured production. Truly melancholy and exuberant. Classic girl pop. 
  3. Teenage Fanclub: Dumb Dumb Dumb
    Remarkably clever in so many ways. It takes real genius to sound so simple while being so sophisticated. 
  4. Simple Minds: This Fear of Gods
    By their third album Simple Minds were the future. Krautrock, Studio 54 and Magazine melted into one big gothic mirror-balled trans-European express. All sung by a genuine rock star to boot. Their apex. 
  5. The Delgados: Hate
    In their follow-up to the grim and gruesome Great Eastern the group excelled themselves and made conceptual ambition hip. Like the Beach Boys boiling in bleach, an anti-anthem, a sea of rage. 
  6. Withered Hand: California
    A fever dream telling of a feverish bad trip, Dan Wilson’s narrative genius has you enthralled in the beat poet nightmare from the opening line. A diary entry spun into gold by one of Britain’s best lyricists. 
  7. Arab Strap: Glue
    Scotland’s greatest slow-mo hip-hop act delivering a sweltering autopsy of curdled love affairs. I once covered this and escaped unscathed but only because the crowd were stuck to their beer-soaked stools in frozen horror. 
  8. James Yorkston: Broken Wave
    Beautiful mourning from Yorkston’s classic LP. Up there with the best Will Oldham and Bill Callahan recordings. Perhaps the most brilliantly English thing ever produced by a Scot. 
  9. AC Acoustics: Stunt Girl
    Still Scotland’s only decent grunge album, Victory Parts fuses pop with angst and rifferama. No one else got close to this in the 90s. ‘Stunt Girl’ sums it up – fast, fretted with melody and filled with desperation. 
  10. Attic Lights: Never Get Sick of the Sea
    It was either this or ‘No Time’ by Whiteout for pure Jocktastic powerpop. Joyousness and ridiculousness in perfect harmony. As if early 10cc had embarked on a Bay City Rollers covers album but been fatally distracted by a re-run of Hard Day’s Night on the telly. A lovely thing to be treasured. 

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  1. The Beatstalkers – You’d better get a hold on
    A fizzy, mod stomper from Scotland’s No.1 beat group.
  2. The Poets – That’s the way it’s got to be
    A freakbeat 60s masterpiece and great on a dancefloor.
  3. Alex Harvey – Midnight Moses
    Scotland’s first rocker gets soulful on this brilliant brass-infused 1969 single.
  4. Average White Band – Pick up the pieces
    A monstrous instrumental that everyone knows, but still sounds fresh and funky
  5. John Martyn – Go Down Easy
    Slinky, soulful and dreamy – my favourite off Solid Air.
  6. AC/DC – Riff Raff (LIVE)
    Yes, they’re Scottish! The LIVE version of this on the If you want blood… LP is one of the greatest rock’n’roll statements ever.
  7. Orange Juice – Blueboy
    Their second single with a stuttering, addictive groove and singalong chorus. My favourite OJ song.
  8. Simple Minds – Theme for great cities
    Minimal synths, huge bassline and funky drums – a superb instrumental with anthemic melody.
  9. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Never Understand
    Life changing when I heard it as a 13 year old. Still gives me shivers and makes my ears bleed!
  10. Teenage Fanclub – Everything flows
    First TFC tune I heard, and I was smitten. Noisy guitars and melancholy melodies…
  11. Cocteau Twins – Carolyn’s Fingers
    My favourite Scottish act of all time? An utterly unique piece of music from Blue Bell Knoll.
  12. Primal Scream – Don’t Fight It, Feel It
    Screamadelica was a game-changer for everyone who heard it, and on this one I love the dub.
  13. Belle & Sebastian – Seeing Other People
    From the incredible ‘If you’re feeling sinister’ album and an underrated, piano-driven tune.
  14. The Beta Band – Inner Meet Me
    Hard to choose one track, but this is a mantra-like psych opus from The Patty Patty Sound EP.
  15. Mogwai – Hunted by a freak
    The instrumental rock behemoths with one of their signature pieces, it spirals and weaves its strange melody into your mind.
  16. Franz Ferdinand – (Dark of the) Matineé
    From a bonafide classic pop debut, this is the stand-out track full of melodic and rhythmic twists and turns.
  17. King Creosote – 678
    The most prolific songwriter of his generation, I’ve chosen a song of hope that’s made me cry on occasion when he’s played it LIVE.
  18. Frightened Rabbit – Head Rolls Off
    Another song of hope from a special, intimate and honest songwriter, Scott Hutchison - made all the more poignant after the tragic news of May 2018.
  19. The Phantom Band – The Howling
    A sprawling epic that encompasses krautrock, indie, folk and psychedelia. Great band!
  20. Hudson Mohawke – Fuse
    An irresistible earworm with the best wibbly keyboard sound over the sound of instrumental, stadium hip-hop. Aces.

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Edinburgh Top 10

  1. Bert Jansch – Angie
    Signature guitar instrumental made world-famous by the man himself…
  2. The Rezillos – (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures
    Punk pop at its best – fast, frenetic, packed full of melody with daft lyrics and art-school suss. Love it.
  3. Scars – Horrorshow
    Scotland’s post-punk ground zero… snarling, surreal, feral fun. You can hear the song on YouTube here.
  4. Fire Engines – Candyskin
    Wonky, off-kilter and sugar-sweet, the scratchy Beefheart-lovers add strings and make their finest single. You can hear the song on YouTube here.
  5. Finitribe – De-Testimony
    Loved by the Balearic house scene and proto-industrialists alike, this bell-sampling oddity is a slice of 80s dance culture and a… tune!
  6. Goodbye Mr Mackenzie – The Rattler
    An 80s anthem and a single which should have been #1 for months…
  7. Idlewild – Roseability
    From 100 Broken Windows and perfectly balancing loud guitars, literary affectations and subtle Smiths-esque melodies.
  8. Boards of Canada – ROYGBIV
    Revered as global electronica pioneers for good reason, this track is ominous, apocalyptic and full of some kind of futuristic hope.
  9. Aberfeldy – Love is an Arrow
    A knowingly perfect pop song with some of the best rhyming couplets in any song ever.
  10. Young Fathers – Get Up
    One of the most exciting bands in the world, both LIVE and on record, with a call to arms and a call to the dancefloor!

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  1. The Associates: Party Fears Two
    The most exotic, orgasmic three minutes (or so) in Scottish pop… just supreme in every way.
  2. The Jesus & Mary Chain: Upside Down
    The Jesus & Mary Chain were my punk rock awakening and gateway drug to the likes of the Velvet Underground. Still Scotland’s finest exponents of the melody/noise interface.
  3. Gerry Rafferty: The Ark
    The production’s supersmooth but check out the yearning melody. Rafferty was a musical alchemist.
  4. Simple Minds: I Travel
    Forty years on, this Kraftwerk-meets-Giorgio Moroder trailblazer still sounds like the future… straight out of Toryglen. See you on the dancefloor.
  5. Bay City Rollers: Saturday Night
    And while we’re dancing… my favourite glam cheerleader stomp from this underrated band of hopefuls. Influenced The Ramones (fact).
  6. Treacherous Orchestra: March of the Troutsmen
    The Led Zeppelin of Scottish folk. Dig this riff and try saying otherwise.
  7. Frankie Miller: Be Good To Yourself
    Righteous rocker from our greatest soul man. You have to check out his covers of Lennon’s 'Jealous Guy' and Jim Reeves’ 'He’ll Have To Go'. Rod who?
  8. Belle & Sebastian: The State I Am In
    Side one, track one of debut album Tigermilk – what better place to start with Scotland’s most singular band?
  9. The Primevals: Prairie Chain
    While their mid-80s Glasgow contemporaries were jangling guitars and flopping fringes (and, believe me, there is nothing wrong with that), The Primevals seemed to have crawled from the swamp. They were intimidating and I liked it!
  10. Sheena Easton: For Your Eyes Only
    Rip It Up divas Lulu and Shirley Manson have both belted/crooned creditable James Bond themes but I’ve got a soft spot for the softcore ballads of the late 70s/early 80s films, so Sheena is the Bond girl for me. 
  11. Ivor Cutler: Women of The World
    The inimitable Cutler wrote this prescient ditty 35 years ago and we need it more than ever.
  12. Young Fathers: Get Up
    Loved them when they used to smile, still love them in their feral intensity. Best Scottish band of the last decade.

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  1. The Proclaimers: Sunshine on Leith
    Because there is nothing that lifts the heart quite like seeing actual sunshine in Leith. Or listening to this song.
  2. Nazareth: Holiday
    Despite the jaded lyrics, this is a car favourite for, er, holidays…
  3. Guns ‘N’ Roses: Hair of the Dog
    Admittedly they’re not Scottish, but ‘the most dangerous band in the world’ covered this classic Nazareth track on their punk covers album “The Spaghetti Incident?”
  4. AC/DC: Long Way to the Top
    The only legitimate use of bagpipes in rock. Ever.
  5. Vantage Point: 24 Hour Breakdown
    Edinburgh’s finest NWOBHM band at their catchiest.
  6. Goodbye Mr Mackenzie: Diamonds
    A student favourite to listen to whilst sulking in a darkened room.
  7. The Amorettes: Everything I Learned I Learned from Rock’n’Roll
    Hard-rockin' Scottish trio on the way up. And, yes indeed, everything I learned I learned from rock’n’roll. And books.
  8. The Faces: Stay with Me
    Classic sleazy British pub rock from Rod Stewart and co. Her name is Rita, Rod, Rita.
  9. Sensational Alex Harvey Band: Delilah
    Tom Jones did it well, but SAHB do it better.
  10. Gun: Word Up!
    Cameo did it well, but Gun did it with more guitars…

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Scottish Top 10

  1. Donovan: Catch the Wind
    Glasgow born Donovan was still a teenager when he recorded this self-penned song. Remarkable
  2. Meursault: A Small Stretch of Land
    Edinburgh singer-songwriter Neil Pennycook recorded this song all the way back in 2008. That’s ten years ago. This makes me feel old.
  3. Colin Hay: Overkill
    A child of Kilwinning, Hay emigrated to Australia with his family in his teens, probably best known for being the front man in Australia band Men at Work but is a very talented singer-songwriter in his own right, here performing a song from his Men at Work phase acoustically as himself.
  4. Cocteau Twins: Lorelei
    The Cocteau Twins, a mighty exotic band name for a trio from industrial Grangemouth. It was a number of years before I realised they were not from Paris.
  5. Lomond Campbell: The Lengths
    Found collective member and native of Hawick, Ziggy Campbell, took himself off to a derelict school building in the highlands to create a wonderful album called Black River Promise.
  6. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions: Are you ready to be heartbroken?
    My answer would always be no… However…
  7. Camera Obscura: Lloyd, I’m ready to heartbroken
    A poetic and emphatic response to Lloyd Cole from this wonderful Glasgow band.
  8. Camera Obscura: Razzle Dazzle
    Camera Obscura, I love them. That’s why I have included them twice.
  9. Billy Mackenzie: Wild is the Wind
    Mackenzie was quite the most amazing singer. He is in the exhibition already but I really wanted you all to hear this incredible cover by him and Steve Aungle.
  10. John Martyn: Run Honey Run
    Half Scottish, born in London, educated in Glasgow, real name McGeachy, Martyn was initially a key figure in the British Folk scene but developed his musicianship through jazz, rock, folk and blues right up until his death in 2009.
  11. Talking Heads: This must be the place
    Frontman David Byrne was Dumbarton born but left as an infant to go to Canada then the US. I love this song.
  12. Martyn Bennett: Hallaig
    Canadian born Bennett returned to his Scottish mothers native country aged six. He became a talented piper and multi-instrumentalist. Bennet fused folk with modern dance music, creating a unique sound. In Hallaig he takes Sorley Maclean's words and voice and overlays it with chimes, flute and beats to make something as ethereal as the deserted township of Hallaig itself.

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Fife Top 10

  1. Frightened Rabbit: Good Arms vs Bad
    The now sadly departed Scott Hutchison teamed up with his brother Grant and formed a band that talked about emotions most others are scared to. Although not from Fife, I am claiming them as they are played loud and long in my house.
  2. King Creosote: And the racket they made
    A real tear jerker - by HMS Ginafore and performed here by Fence head honcho Kenny Anderson
  3. Lone Pigeon: Untitled#2
    Fife calling Space… Kenny Anderson’s brother, Gordon, founding member of the Beta Band and The Aliens and otherwise known as Lone Pigeon.
  4. Beta Band: Inner Meet Me
    If you’ve never seen the video for this you really should. Band member John Maclean filmed this and is now wowing Hollywood.
  5. Steve Mason: Fight them Back 
    For the days that you wonder what it’s all about.
  6. James Yorkston and The Athletes: I Spy Dogs
    If you head down the beach in the East Neuk you might see one or two pooches.
  7. King Creosote: Little Man
    Written By Gummi Bako and Performed by GB and King Creosote in full wonky tonk style.
  8. KT Tunstall: Feel it All
    As they say around East Neuk parts, “Aye, she’s a talent that one”. KT may jetset here and there but is at home in LA or with her old pals in Scotland.
  9. Pictish Trail: Winter Home Disco
    I have very happy memories of having a disco, in the winter, at Pictish’s home when he stayed in Fife. Eigg is a bit far to go for one of these but that is where this talented chap now resides and runs the Lost Map Records empire.
  10. Kid Canaveral: Pale White Flower
    From their St Andrews University beginnings and for many moons they have kept producing songs that will work their way into your brain and wow you with supremely awesome live performances.  
  11. King Creosote: I’ll fly the seat of my pants
    I couldn’t resist.
  12. Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra: Foggy Mountain breakdown 
    Featuring Kenny Anderson and his brother Een (AKA Pip Dylan) and indeed most of the early Collective members. Not sure if we have strayed into the Catskills or Crail.

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  1. Franz Ferdinand: The Dark of the Matineé
    This reminds me of when they had just become massive. Glasgow founded but Alex Kapranos grew up in the North East I believe (where I’m from). I went on holiday with a group of friends and I played this album over and over till everyone was sick of it. It comes from a perfect pop album IMHO.
  2. Belle and Sebastian: Step into my office, baby
    I love the trajectory of this song - liked by babies and children, which is always a good sign.
  3. The Proclaimers: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) 
    Played at the end of everyone’s wedding, including my own, but a fantastic dance floor filler.
  4. Talking Heads: Burning Down the House
    I’m claiming this because David Byrne was born in Dumbarton.
  5. Calvin Harris: Feels
    I love the loungey upbeatness of this track.
  6. Nick Drake: Northern Sky
    Not Scottish but totally connected in my head to being in Stornaway, Isle of Lewis, with its massive open skies. I was there years ago with National Museums Scotland delivering outreach workshops, so connected also the museum.
  7. Django Django: Default
    I saw them at a Museum Late and thought they were fab. They reminded me how much I loved hearing live music.
  8. Paolo Nutini: New Shoes
    I totally appreciate the joy in having new shoes. Who doesn’t?
  9. The Beta Band: Dry the Rain
    Played in every student/young person’s pad on a loop at a certain point during the late 90s. Searing and hypnotic.
  10. KT Tunstall: Suddenly I See
    Just a perfect pop song. I think it’s meant to be about Patti Smith?

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  1. Simple Minds: Changeling
    From The Minds’ second album, 1979’s Real To Real Cacophony. A massively brave artistic leap into the European dark. From dark ambient imagined film soundtracks to Euro-influenced mekanik dance numbers, it set up the following year's equally brilliant Empires and Dance. Simply groundbreaking.
  2. Sensational Alex Harvey Band: The Faith Healer
    At The Odeon in Edinburgh on the SAHB's 1976 tour, my 17-year old self was totally sold from the opening pulsing throb.
  3. Average White Band: Keepin' It To Myself
    From 1974’s legendary White album. Who’d have guessed that it would be fellow Scots that would open up my exploration of the wider world of Soul music? For that, eternal thanks to Messrs. Gorrie, Stuart, Ball, McIntosh, Duncan and McIntyre.
  4. The Skids: Of One Skin
    Visceral punk rock that showed that Scots bands could not only compete with London and Manchester outfits but could also better them.
  5. Big Country: Just A Shadow
    Stuart Adamson: incomparable brilliance. Rest In Peace pal.
  6. Frankie Miller: I Know Why The Sun Don’t Shine
    Our very own Otis Redding. Still sounds like a classic.
  7. Associates: Tell Me Easter’s On Friday
    What drama! What grandeur! Where did that come from? Dundee, Linlithgow… and outer space. 
  8. The Blue Nile: Tinseltown In The Rain
    First heard during my time at Virgin Records in London. We simply had to sign this and we did. Timeless and classically original.
  9. John Martyn: Solid Air
    Freshers Week, Edinburgh University 1975, Martyn and his echoplex effects pedal made turned me into a lifelong fan.
  10. Danny Wilson: Mary’s Prayer
    I heard a demo tape by the band then known as Spencer Tracy and fought the competition tooth and nail to sign the Dundonian trio responsible for this classic pop song. Loved working with Gary, Ged and Kit and if this is the only song you know by them, please investigate the Meet Danny Wilson and Bebop MopTop albums for more exquisite musical gems.
  11. Cocteau Twins: Sugar Hiccup
    Taking their name from an early Simple Minds song, nobody ever sounded (or will sound) like Grangemouth’s finest.
  12. The Big Dish: Slide
    Formed in 1983, Airdrie’s The Big Dish was the musical vehicle for the now highly regarded painter Steven Lindsay. Again, an honour and privilege to have worked with this massively underrated band and songwriter.

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  1. The Rezillos: Flying Saucer Attack
    Art school power pop at its best.
  2. Orange Juice: Felicity
    Thrashy and breathless.
  3. Camera Obscura: Swans
    Possibly the best song by the best band in the world.
  4. Tracyanne and Danny: Home and Dry
    New venture from singer of the above.
  5. Phantom Band: Folk Song Oblivion
    Krautrock with a Scottish accent.
  6. The Pictish Trail: Michael Rocket
    This man is responsible for three great Eigg weekends.
  7. Belle & Sebastian: Lord Anthony
    We’ve all been there!
  8. King Creosote/Jon Hopkins: John Taylor’s Month Away
    You can smell the Fife sea spray.
  9. Teenage Fanclub: The Concept
    California via Bellshill.
  10. Ballboy: A relatively famous victory
    Should be playing arenas, but is a primary headteacher so much more value to society.

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  1. Bill Ryder Jones: Wild Roses
    Ex Coral guitar genius.
  2. Echo and the Bunnymen: A Promise
    Epic pop, before they went a bit too epic pop.
  3. The La’s: There She Goes
    Slice of west coast USA transported to north west England.
  4. Pale Fountains: Thank You
    What Arthur Lee would sound like if he was a Scouser.
  5. Half Man Half Biscuit: Time Flies By (When You’re The Driver Of A Train)
    Comic and melody genius.
  6. Marble Season: The King Of Rock And Roll
    I saw them on Saturday, and they made me laugh. Great Prefab Sprout cover.
  7. OMD: Enola Gay
    Effortless early electro pop.
  8. Jens Lekman: I Know What Love Isn’t
    OK, he’s not from Liverpool, he’s from Sweden. But he should be.
  9. Elvis Costello: Shipbuilding
    Genius lyricist who mines the classic genres of pop.
  10. Deaf School: Working Girls
    Liverpool’s Roxy Music. Mid 70s glamour and archness.

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