Best of the Rest, Vol 11: Del Amitri
Justin Currie from Del Amitri is, and always has been, my guy.
It was 1990, Bush Sr. was president, Sam Malone’s hair still seemed real, and the 12-year-old me found himself in Tower Records faced with a debilitatingly difficult decision.
Let me back up for a second….
One of the great joys of my young life was successfully sneaking in viewings of MTV.
I had that shit dialed in.
I’d discovered this perfect little window of time after school where I could sneak into my parents’ bedroom, flick on the tube, turn the volume to low and watch two to three whole videos before I had to relocate my position in order to not tip my hand for future viewing potential.
It was dicey and the stakes were high.
The small sample size of videos really fucked with my young musical palate. Whatever was playing during those precious moments was all I had to daydream about until my next opportunity to sneak in a few more.
Back to my Tower Records conundrum.
Consequently, due to several recent MTV sneaking missions, I’d inadvertently developed a taste for BOTH Del Amitri and Nelson.
Oh yes people, I thought Nelson’s “After the Rain” was indeed the shit and I had that cassette in one hand and what was in the other, you ask?
Del Amitri’s Waking Hours.
…because I’d also been loving a new video called “Kiss This Thing Goodbye.”
It was my jam!
For some unknown reason, Waking Hours prevailed and this random event thusly consummated my lifelong love of Del Amitri.
For all of my adventures into the durgy, punky and grungy, the romance I’ve always found in Del Amitri records has never waned.
How they eluded long-standing super stardom remains the greatest of mysteries. They had some big hits, sure, but it wasn’t to be as it should have been. And it should have been huge.
It’s long been legend that the first conversation I ever had with Stereo Embers Honcho-in-Charge Alex Green was on the topic of Del Amitri (and likely Emmet Swimming) sometime in 1998.
In fact, one of our earliest musical reference points together was the task of name-checking bands who we both surmised had recorded 3 truly exceptional albums in-a-row (You should try that shit, it’s a toughy).
Del Amitri made both our lists, as Waking Hours, Change Everything, and Twisted are impeccable and I’d even go as far as to add that Some Other Sucker’s Parade makes it four-in-a-row.
Rarified air, indeed.
What Justin Currie and Ian Harvie have done together is nothing short of miraculous and considering the current trends in Americana and folk, they’ve also been highly influential.
Luckily for me, none of Del Amitri’s “Hits” are high on my lists of favs (although they are all highly recommended), therefore this “Best of the Rest” playlist contains some of my most treasured and beloved tracks by this legendary Scottish band.
These are the ones that really matter, the ones that count…the ones that break your heart.