Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Skids - 1981 - Joy (UK)

Skids - 1981 - Joy (UK)
download pt. 1
download pt. 2
.
Joy is the final album by the Scottish band The Skids. It was the fourth studio record and their first after the departure of signature guitarist Stuart Adamson, who then founded Big Country. As such, it represented a change of direction from rock to folk music, amplifying the traditional Scottish element already hinted at in previous releases.
The band line-up featured Richard Jobson and Russell Webb, with J. J. Johnson (drums / percussion), Paul Wishart (saxophone / flute / keyboards / percussion / vocals) & a collection of musical friends. They all went to Britannia Row Studios in London for rehearsals and song development. Sessions in July 1981 led to the release of the first single from the upcoming album.
The single "Fields" (Virgin VS-401) was released in August 1981, with Kenny Hyslop on drums. The song also featured Billy MacKenzie (vocals), and Alan Rankine (guitar), who were the core members of the band The Associates. Guesting, early in her career, was Virginia Astley (flute). The strummed guitar and marching band elements (bagpipe emulation, percussion) signalled a change in direction, though the rabble-rousing melody and football pitch vocal delivery were standard Skids fare.
Sessions continued through September 1981 and produced a second single, the harmonically rich Iona (named for the Scottish island). It was the only song on the album to be recorded at Highland Studios in Inverness, Scotland. Released in October 1981 (as Virgin VS-449) this was the last Skids track to feature Adamson, alongside Mike Oldfield. At 3:24 the single edit is significantly shorter than the epic to be found on the album.
The eleven track Joy was issued November 1981 (as Virgin V-2217). It marks a concerted effort to update traditional Scottish music into the age of modern rock recordings. The sound is fundamentally more pastoral than previous Skids efforts. Gone are the layers of harmonically treated electric guitar. However, elements of this style were hinted at previously, particularly on the "Strength Through Joy" mini-album. The lyrical concerns of strife, war and brotherhood are Jobson staples.
With Paul Wishart on saxophone, "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is a cover of the song by Eric Bogle.
Though the band recorded a BBC Radio 1 session and shot a music video for "Iona", promotion problems at Virgin forestalled a tour. With patchy coverage, no live support and a difficult change in musical direction, the record sank without a trace. Critical reception was mixed at best. For example Trouser Press wrote "To call it bad is curt but realistic." However The Guardian greeted it happily.
The album bore fruit in several working relationships. For example, Virginia Astley was to record her debut solo releases with Russell Webb and also guests on Jobson's poetry album "The Ballad Of Etiquette".
Later, The Skids split up and the remaining members Richard Jobson and Russell Webb formed The Armoury Show, with Magazine's John McGeoch and John Doyle shortly afterwards.
This album is unreleased on CD.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Skids' posts, Felipe, great band with lots of singalonga songs :D
Saludos,
Fernando :)

Anonymous said...

thanx for this raritie!
not the best Skids lp but a good one.

isksp said...

you're very welcome!

Anonymous said...

Felipe, i don't know if you have this raritie but the second SKIDS lp "Days In Europa" was remixed by Bruce Fairbairn soon after its 1st release. this second version had a black cover (with a painting of 2 women & a man) and the track 'Pros And Cons' was removed in place of 'Masquerade' (a single A'side released some months before the album). ...maybe a future post?

isksp said...

i can't tell you exactly which LP i've got, beacause it's in my other hard-drive

but i'm pretty sure that i've got both (and thanks for the explanation... didn't understand what were those remixes hehe)

post in a while, definitely!