Deacon Blue When The World Knows Your Name 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 key to Deacon Blue's second album comes in its title. While Raintown was largely a series of portraits of Glasgow and its environs, 1989's When The World Knows Your Name, takes the band's experiences of the previous few years and opens them up in the lyrics. The album was recorded over a 9 month period with time spent in Glasgow, London and Los Angeles.
The U.S. recording dates were part of an internationalizing process which influenced such songs as the British top 10 single "Real Gone Kid," which was inspired by a performance of Lone Justice singer Maria McKee. The same is true of "The World is Lit by Lightning" and "Orphans," whose lyrics deal more with being away from your hometown and looking at it from a distance.
Elsewhere, "Wages Day," another British top 20 single, is perhaps the bridging point between Deacon Blue's first two albums, concentrating heavily on the "work" imagery of Raintown while "Fergus Sings the Blues" is a joyous investigation of the Celtic fascination with R&B music. A direct Celtic musical influence can also be heard in the opening track, "Queen of the New Year," a song which in both its title and musical direction owes something to the work of Van Morrison.
The album's final two tracks, "Your Constant Heart" and "Orphans," make for an interesting conclusion, with more emphasis on mood and atmosphere. While these songs were less likely to make a commercial impact, they certainly highlight the strength of Ricky Ross' songwriting talents.