Deacon Blue Raintown on Limited Edition 180g Import LP
From their inception in Glasgow, Scotland in 1985 where every band was expected to be either a funky, white soul band or some mutant offspring of the Velvet Underground, Deacon Blue sidestepped both cliques, concentrating its attention on blue collar life and death with all the compassion and humanity of seasoned veterans.
The band's 1987 debut album, Raintown, sweats with the same grim ambience as Glasgow itself. An overwhelming sense of romantic optimism pervades the album, from the hurricane force of the opening prologue "Born In A Storm" and the homage to drizzly Caledonia, "Raintown," to the closing moments of "Town To Be Blamed." And few songs have captured the imagination of serious British listeners like "Dignity which cuts to life's melodrama with the economy of an Anglo-Saxon ballad and the intelligent conviction of a singer/songwriter you should trust.
Along the way we are introduced to a cast of characters who wouldn't be out of place in Grapes of Wrath or Bound For Glory: the ragdoll and her make-believe "Ragman"; aging Hiroshima photographer Harold Agnew "He Looks Like Spencer Tracy Now"; Alan, who doesn't understand the "Chocolate Girl"; and of course the homesick council worker who sails away on "the ship called Dignity." And Ricky Ross' notion of a love song is best observed in the endless chasing, searching and waiting of "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)."