|On this page you can read versions of the Skids' history by various people. Choose from the ones listed below:
The following is taken from the sleeve of the "Fanfare" LP released by Virgin Records Ltd. (Cat. no. VM2) It contains the songs "Into The Valley", "Working For The Yankee Dollar", "Sweet Suburbia", "A Woman In Winter", "Masquerade", "The Saints Are Coming", "Animation", "Out Of Town", "T.V. Stars", "Of One Skin", "Charade" and "Circus Games".
"Richard Jolson (vocals)
Alexander Plode (guitar)
Stuart Adamson (guitar)
Thomas Bomb (drums)
Yes, Jolson. This, according to a mimeographed sheet from No Bad Records of Dunfermline, was the original line-up of the Skids. The anonymous writer of this press release, which accompanied the first Skids single, was of the view that the band was 'destined for the top', and he was almost right. To quote further from his thoughtful paragraphs, the Skids were 'causing a substantial "BUZZ",' and this time he was spot on. This was early 1978 and for some months Scottish fanzines had been noising abroad the excellence of Messrs. Jolson, Plode, Adamson and Bomb, remarking that they had moved beyond the confines of pure punk and were evolving into something entirely of their own devising, something that was, or so it was hinted, identifiably Scottish.
Thus it was that when No Bad NB1, 'Reasons', 'Test Tube Babies', and 'Charles', reached the sink-pits and stews of London, the Skids already enjoyed the first murmurings of a reputation, and when the band followed the record south they must have hoped for an enthusiastic reception. Back home they had been heard on Radio Forth, for Heaven's sake, and had supported the Stranglers in Edingburgh, and when they clambered on stage in a Stoke Newington pub they must have been disappointed at the mute, incurious glances of the few regulars which greeted them. Happily, my old brave ones, this performance was enough to win the Skids an outing on Radio 1 and a subsequent approach from Virgin Records.
The rest, I am tempted to say, is history.
First out of the Virgin gate was 'Sweet Suburbia'. 'This white vinyl record has a wierd gimmick', warned the company's effervescent promotions department mysteriously, adding 'You'll like it'.
Consumers did, but only a bit, as the record pounced on the number 70 spot in the charts but then fell away into nothingness. 'The Saints Are Coming' improved on this, clawing its way as high as 48.
Next on our turntables was 'Into The Valley', released in February 1979, which reached the top ten, although the truly discerning preffered the reverse, 'TV Stars', assuredly the only record to date to bring together in song the stars of 'Coronation Street' and 'Crossroads' along with Kenny Dalglish, the greatest living Scotsman, and this typist.
There were further hit singles, stirring LPs, and it wasn't too long before the music weeklies, having come to terms that Richard Jolson was really Richard Jobson, spotted that he was also a likeable, gregarious, and highly quotable chap. 'Jobbo', as we had to learn to call him, has never been backward at coming forward, and he took to this notoriety with definate enthusiasm, using it to his own advantage and diversing into poetry and the theatre.
After the Skids third LP, 'The Absolute Game', Stuart Adamson, by now a highly individual guitarist, resigned his commission, leaving Richard, brother to Meadowbank Thistle's goal-hungry striker, John Jobson, to soldier on with bassist Russell Webb.
On the stage, amid locker-room gossip that he never simulated anything, no siree, Richard was to be spotted spending evenings lying on top of the celebrated ingenue, Honey Bane, and he could be observed at artistic soirees declaiming his and other folks' poems in a firm and manly voice. Contemporary with this arts-lab activity Richard was working with Russell on 'Joy', an LP in which they ferreted back into Scottish history and culture. Despite a warm review from the Guardian, reaction to 'Joy' was pretty frosty and shortly after release the Skids were no more.
Brushing aside with a contemptuous snort all the usual stuff about legacies of fine music, the great sadness in the demise of this most admirable of bands lies, for me, in that in his search for a Celtic identity and sound, Richard Jobson (nee Jolson) overlooked the fact that it was precisely these elements that distinguished the Skids from the post-punk herd in the first place.
If you don't believe me, listen again."
"The Skids, from Dumfermline in Scotland, enjoyed a career lasting just under five years, starting in early 1977. Between 1978 and 1980, they scored ten British hits, half of them reaching the top 40. In many ways the Skids were the stylistic link between The Clash and The Alarm - punky, with that same classic line-up, moving into superior technique and far less anthemic material. Among the group's longest-standing members were vocalist Richard Jobson and singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson. Jobson was the only Skid there from start to finish - subsequently he's tried more groups, solo albums, being a TV personality, & male model. Adamson went on to even greater fame as founder of Big Country, an internationally famous band today. Bass player Russell Webb (ex-Zones) was an ever-present after Bill Simpson emigrated to Australia, but drummers regularly changed.
The band's most successful year was 1979, when they spent over half the year in the chart, with hits like "Charade", "Working For The Yankee Dollar" and their biggest song, "Into The Valley". Later hits like "Goodbye Civilian" and "Circus Games" (both from 1980) were less successful, and the final Skids single (virtually a Jobson solo single, and not unlike "Mull Of Kintyre"!), failed to chart at all. A rather sad end to one of the more interesting punk bands of their era. This tape presents their successes, shows their growing maturity and the start of the differing roads taken by Jobson and Adamson. A little bit of history."
For The Record, 1989
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