Regular readers (I know, let me pretend I have regular readers) will remember in the Love & Money review I mentioned going to the Queen Margaret Union in the 80’s.
Glasgow was on the up, with the already mentioned Love and Money, Hipsway, Fruits of Passion, and Blue Nile all regularly played and all seemingly on the verge of a breakthrough.
For me, the best of the lot was Goodbye Mr Mackenzie featuring Big John from The Exploited on guitar and future Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson on keyboards and backing vocals. I attended several of their concerts and they were as good live as on record.
This record is ten perfect songs all building to magical choruses and the harmonising between lead singer Martin Metcalf, Shirley Manson and Rhona Scobie works perfectly and needs to be heard none more so than on the rousing openers Open Your Arms and Wake It Up.
Goodwill City is built on a single riff before the band all come in and
Candlestick Park is more laid back but beautifully layered and emotional.
Lead single, The Rattler had top ten hit written all over it but only scrapped into the UK top forty, still to this day when the organ starts its instantly recognisable and I would call it a classic Scottish single, one of our best.
The song Goodbye Mr Mackenzie is excellent driving along on a catchy chorus, should have been another hit.
Dust builds and builds and when Manson comes in with the line “Over the railroad track” she enriches the song, destined for bigger things.
The album ends with Good Deeds all rhythmic drums and Metcalfe’s vocals becoming more deranged. What an album.
Garbage had their moment in the sun, it’s an injustice Goodbye Mr MacKenzie didn’t.
GIVE IT A STREAM: sadly, the album is not available, listen on YouTube, buy it on vinyl or CD and if you can catch them now, they have reformed I would strongly recommend it. The Rattler is available on streaming sites.