Scared to Dance
Young Scottish punks The Skids kicked down doors with this 1979 debut by building upon a flair for huge, romantic-sounding choruses similar to those that U2 later took to the bank. Singer Richard Jobson, a tough son of a miner, had a militaristic quality to his vocals. The band’s hummable—if often indecipherable—poetics (such as “Charles,” about a hapless worker in a dystopian factory who literally becomes his job) and muscular Kipling-esque yarns of soldiers in plight (“Melancholy Soldiers,” “Hope and Glory”) complemented the big guitars and hard rock arrangements well. Guitarist Stuart Adamson honed his anthemic chops here (listen to “Sweet Suburbia” and the incredible “Into the Valley”) before going mainstream in the '80s with Big Country. A surreal moment in pop history saw Green Day and U2 jointly cover a single from this album (“The Saints Are Coming”) to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims, and the two bands played it live on TV’s Monday Night Football when the New Orleans Saints returned to the Louisiana Superdome after the storm. Said performances were testament to The Skids' overlooked power.