18 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guitarist Stuart Adamson found musical redemption for his majestic Caledonian anthems when his band Big Country earned worldwide fame in 1983. But before that, his first (and arguably better) group, The Skids, unfurled four great, if moderately selling, albums and many singles on the U.K.'s Virgin Records from 1978 to 1981. What makes The Skids' music age well is how their songs sound like what exultation feels like. It’s heavy rock ’n’ roll tinged with Scottish regionalism that soars like Thin Lizzy (“Circus Games,” "Masquerade”) and is as strident as The Clash (“Workin’ for the Yankee Dollar,” “Charade”). “A Woman in Winter,” “Fields,” “Iona,” and the commanding, Bill Nelson–produced “Animation” are all major-to-minor anthemic mixes of melancholia and powered-up Celtic folk. The tunes traded on youth and fervor: the same combination that defined early U2, a band whose Skids fandom was obvious. (In 2006, U2 and Green Day together covered The Skids’ great “The Saints Are Coming” to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guitarist Stuart Adamson found musical redemption for his majestic Caledonian anthems when his band Big Country earned worldwide fame in 1983. But before that, his first (and arguably better) group, The Skids, unfurled four great, if moderately selling, albums and many singles on the U.K.'s Virgin Records from 1978 to 1981. What makes The Skids' music age well is how their songs sound like what exultation feels like. It’s heavy rock ’n’ roll tinged with Scottish regionalism that soars like Thin Lizzy (“Circus Games,” "Masquerade”) and is as strident as The Clash (“Workin’ for the Yankee Dollar,” “Charade”). “A Woman in Winter,” “Fields,” “Iona,” and the commanding, Bill Nelson–produced “Animation” are all major-to-minor anthemic mixes of melancholia and powered-up Celtic folk. The tunes traded on youth and fervor: the same combination that defined early U2, a band whose Skids fandom was obvious. (In 2006, U2 and Green Day together covered The Skids’ great “The Saints Are Coming” to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims.)

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