Deacon Blue Raintown Deluxe Edition
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The first thing to say about these reissues: this is how it should be done. Reissuing the original albums with just a handful of bonus tracks wouldn’t suit Edsel and they have really come up trumps. In some cases, the original album comes with two bonus discs And a Dvd. It basically collects everything and anything you wanted to know about Deacon Blue from their debut in 1987 to 2001. Add in a running commentary from mainman Ricky Ross and a nicely produced ‘media book’ with memorabilia and lyrics and your Deacon Blue Life is complete. Until now I hadn’t realised how prolific the band were during this period and how well crafted the songs. In fact, to be truthful, in the pantheon of Scottish pop rock of this period I had altogether overlooked Deacon Blue in favour of Love And Money, Hue And Cry - even Simple Minds. But I found some connection with Ross’ tunesmanship and that of James Grant of Love And Money, so it was a good enough starting point. (By way of further connection the band’s original bass player Ewen Vernal now plays bass with Love And Money). Deacon Blue also had an appealing and distinctive sound with Lorraine McIntosh occasionally stepping out of her backing and harmonising role to deliver the main vocal. This was also a bygone era of big label budgets and bands exposed to excess in all areas, as recounted by Ross in his informative liner notes. And of course, labels were always looking for the next hit single and, of course, Ross duly obliged in the early days. In truth, the band never really achieved the creative consistency of their debut Raintown which yielded the band’s best-known songs such as ‘Dignity’ and ‘Chocolate Girl’. Now it is expanded with two extra discs featuring B-sides and the 2006 reissue extras whilst a DVD includes their promo videos.