Thursday, 25 April 2013

Desert Island Discs 15 Meet Danny Wilson by Danny Wilson

15 Meet Danny Wilson by Danny Wilson 1987

My how I loved this lp when it came out , everything from the glossy cover photo, the hats , the gatefold sleeve , the lush production (it has dated a tad but I still love the layered weave of instruments, mixing traditional with a sampler) , the smart lyrics, the bands name (although they soon became to resent the constant which one is Danny question seeing it as "3 men in one grave") , the big guitars that all 80s Scottish bands seemed to play, the strange rhythms and meanderings the songs would take, etc. If only all pop music could be this smart.

Dominated by the we'll release it until it is a hit Mary's Prayer (up there for the perfect pop song), there are lots more hidden treasures on the lp.

Songs about memories , about leaving ,about change. The lp kicks off and ends with a goodbye.

Davy a goodbye to a friend  and I Won't Be Here When You Get Home a goodbye to a lover

I always though Davy was a strange choice to follow up Mary's Prayer with. I would have gone with Aberdeen . It always made me smile as the songs subject makes Aberdeen seem like it was the other side of the world from Dundee!

Aberdeen - Danny Wilson

I remember reading when the 2nd lp came out that the band weren't happy with the production on their debut , if so this may give a clue as to where they wanted it to go

Third single rips along like the half sister of Prefab Sprout's Faron Young

The song I keep going back to is Steam trains to the Milky Way with its nod to Steely Dan ( a future ep was called Strepzil Logic)! I've no idea what it is about but I love all the imagery, the way the songs meanders to a standstill, the subtle Lester Bowie brass , it is one of those songs that I can lose myself in as it takes me back to having a mid afternoon nap in Bronte Hall.

Steam trains to the Milky Way by Danny Wilson

Finally here is clip of them performing some of the songs from the debut live (and a cover of Abba's knowing me knowing you that is great because it plays it straight) as well as some short interview interludes , . In one bit they sum themselves perfectly - stealing everything from everywhere and throwing it into a big mixing pot)

Up there in bands I'd most to see reform , you can get this undervalued pop gem here 


  1. Really??? Danny Wilson No. 15!!!

  2. One of the best albums to come out of the 80's. Don't agree,however, about 'Davy' being a strange choice for follow up single,I love that song.Really interesting to hear the version of 'Aberdeen'.Think I prefer the original but maybe that's because I've been listening to it for 25 years!. I'd be tempted to fly over for the gig if they ever reformed.
    @15 Talk Talk - Colour of Spring. I think everything's been said about this album.Just leaves me to say great artwork on the album and the singles lifted from it!

  3. Meet Danny Wilson is an album full of wonderful pop songs. Yes, Mary's Prayer is a pretty damn perfect pop song. A Girl I Used To Know, whether it's the vinyl version or the CD version is also a wonderful song!
    Whatever the band thought was lacking from the production, I always thought it was the follow up album that was sort of all over the place - although I have a real soft spot for "The Ballad Of Me And Shirley MacLaine."

    1. I really like the 2nd lp but agree don't the production is as good as the 1st lp just not crisp enough

  4. "Mary's Prayer" absolutely swamped the 80's air waves here in Canada, to the point I was sick of it. It STILL gets frequent play on MOR radio! I never even bought the album. Not fair... I'll have to give it a proper chance...


    I love 'Idlewild' & 'Amplified Heart'... they seem to win the popular vote awards and hold my two favorite EBTG tunes, "I Don't Want To Talk About It" & "Two Star". Both songs are stunners. But for an album, once again I've gone with a dark horse. 'Worldwide' wins out by a nose for me. It's kind of a concept album about a subject close to me - the joy of wanderlust conflicted by a deeper longing for home...

    "You know that I have found I'm happiest weaving from town to town, and you know Bruce said we should keep moving 'round.
    Maybe we all get too tied down, I don't know, Hell, I don't know.
    Still I'm happy to be home, happy to be home." (from "One Place")

    There are also heartfelt recollections of childhood experience in "Old Friends" "Boxing & Pop Music" & "British Summertime"...

    "Leaving at dawn to beat the traffic, do you remember that too? Curled asleep on the back seat, do you remember that too? The soundless dark, the empty road, do you remember that too? And that child asleep, only eight years old, do you recognise as you?"
    "Windows down on the coast road, wanting to be first to see the sea. The whole world seemed a safe place, temporarily. But it was never as simple as you thought, and you found out as you grew, That up ahead your parents had borne the weight of all their worries and yours too."

    Sad songs...

    "I've never been skating on a frozen river, Joni and Jane make it sound so cool. Sometimes I can get so down it seems, Nothing much is gonna turn me around." (from "Frozen River")

    And Love Songs...

    "And do you know even when we disagree, And freedom holds out a hand to me, You know I would never want to be without your company, And I mean that totally.
    We have reached an understanding..." (from "Understanding")

    Some complain the album is too slick and poppy, but that's fine with me. I never tire of the timeless melodies & lyrics, and Tracey and Ben's vocals are sublime. A dark horse to be sure, but a big winner in my books...

    Old Friends (video):
    Boxing & Pop Music:
    British Summertime:
    One Place (acoustic version):
    One Place (album version):

    1. I do love this one as well. Don't think it is too smooth just don't think the production has dated as well as some of the others. The songs on the other hand are some of their best

  5. At the time I would have dismissed this as pleasant background music. I must give them (along with so many others highlit over the past few months) a bit more of a listen.

  6. A quirkiness under the surface saves it from dinner party hell


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