The SKIDS – ” Scared To Dance ” Released 40 Years Ago Today

Posted: February 27, 2019 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

The Skids were they just punks with O-levels, or new wave cop-outs, or just chance-takers and opportunists? The answer is probably a combination of all three. Far more important, however, is the fact that they left behind a clutch of great, if sometimes pretentious, singles. On album, it was hard not to get a little miffed at Richard Jobson’s would-be aristocrat pop nonsense. Still, this debut album release had some good tunes, courtesy of pre-Big Country Stuart Adamson, like “The Saints Are Coming” and, of course, the wonderful “Into the Valley.”

Anti-war themes are a recurring motif in the album. There are also a great deal of references in singer Richard Jobson’s lyrics to the band’s home region in Scotland, “Scared to Dance” was the first album to feature Stuart Adamson’s ‘bagpipe styled guitar playing’, which would be the trademark of his later band Big Country.

Scared to Dance has been well received by critics. Ira Robbins of Trouser Press called the album “excellent […] Using loud guitar and semi-martial drumming for its basis, Jobson’s hearty singing sounds like an 18th century general leading his merry troops down from the hills into glorious battle

The album was preceded by the single “Into the Valley”, released on 16th February 1979, which reached No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart, “Into the Valley” became popular as adopted and sung by fans of Dunfermline Athletic F.C., the band’s local football team.

Of huge importance to Skids fans is that the CD reissue includes the original live B-side to the latter, “TV Stars,” a song which will mean nothing to anyone who didn’t grow up watching British television, but a whole heap to those who did.  ‘Scared To Dance (Expanded)’ is a three CD reissue of the Skids seminal debut album through Caroline International.

Each disc comes in it’s own cardboard wallet and is housed in a clamshell box featuring the original ‘Scared To Dance’ artwork.

Disc one contains the original album expanded with nine bonus tracks. Disc two features 12 previously unreleased 1978 studio demos (long sought after by collectors of the band) and a third disc contains a complete live show from late 1978 at the legendary London Marquee from which the b-side ‘T.V. Stars’ (Albert Tatlock!) was taken. Also included is a 28 page bookle t with lyrics to the album, pictures of all relevant singles and detailed liner notes.

Originally released in February 1979 the album spent ten weeks in the UK National Charts, eventually peaking at number 19. It spawned the singles ‘Sweet Suburbia’, ‘The Saints Are Coming’ (which was covered by U2 and Green Day in 2006 as a charity single in the wake of Hurricane Katrina) and the track that catapulted them into the top 10 ‘Into The Valley’.

All though maybe not the first punk band on everyone’s lips – Skids are without doubt one of the most important. They were big influences on rock behemoths U2 and the Manic Street Preachers, and having reformed in 2017, they have been playing to sold out shows and festival across the UK with more announced in 2018.”

The Skids
  • Richard Jobson – vocals, guitar
  • Stuart Adamson – guitar
  • William Simpson – bass guitar
  • Thomas Kellichan – drums

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