Joy (Skids album)
|Studio album by Skids|
|Recorded||Britannia Row Studios, London, England, UK and Highland Studios, Inverness, Scotland, UK|
|Genre||Rock, electronic folk|
Joy is the final album by the Scottish band Skids. It was the fourth studio record and their first after the departure of signature guitarist Stuart Adamson, who then founded Big Country. As such, it represented a change of direction from rock to folk music, amplifying the traditional Scottish element already hinted at in previous releases.
The band line-up featured Richard Jobson and Russell Webb, with J. J. Johnson (drums/percussion), Paul Wishart (saxophone/flute/keyboards/percussion/vocals) & a collection of musical friends. They all went to Britannia Row Studios in London for rehearsals and song development. Sessions in July 1981 led to the release of the first single from the upcoming album.
The single "Fields" (Virgin VS-401) was released in August 1981, with Kenny Hyslop on drums. The song also featured Billy MacKenzie (vocals), and Alan Rankine (guitar), who were the core members of the band The Associates. Guesting, early in her career, was Virginia Astley (flute). The strummed guitar and marching band elements (bagpipe emulation, percussion) signalled a change in direction, though the rabble-rousing melody and football pitch vocal delivery were standard Skids fare.
Sessions continued through September 1981 and produced a second single, the harmonically rich Iona (named for the Scottish island). It was the only song on the album to be recorded at Highland Studios in Inverness, Scotland. Released in October 1981 (as Virgin VS-449) this was the last Skids track to feature Adamson, alongside Mike Oldfield. At 3:24 the single edit is significantly shorter than the epic to be found on the album.
Joy was issued November 1981 (as Virgin V-2217). It marks a concerted effort to update traditional Scottish music into the age of modern rock recordings. The sound is fundamentally more pastoral than previous Skids efforts. Gone are the layers of harmonically treated electric guitar. However, elements of this style were hinted at previously, particularly on the Strength Through Joy mini-album. The lyrical concerns of strife, war and brotherhood are Jobson staples.
Although the band recorded a BBC Radio 1 session and shot a music video for "Iona", promotion problems at Virgin forestalled a tour. With patchy coverage, no live support and a difficult change in musical direction, the record sank without a trace. Critical reception was mixed at best. For example Trouser Press wrote "To call it bad is curt but realistic," and Allmusic calls it "[a] gloomy conclusion to what was once a most vibrant band." The Guardian, however, greeted it happily.
The album bore fruit in several working relationships. For example, Virginia Astley was to record her debut solo releases with Russell Webb and also guests on Jobson's poetry album "The Ballad Of Etiquette".
All songs composed by Jobson/Webb unless indicated otherwise. Track timings taken from listing on band's official site.
|1.||"Blood and Soil" (Jobson/Adamson)||3:58|
|2.||"A Challenge (The Wanderer)"||6:10|
|3.||"Men of Mercy"||1:11|
|6.||"In Fear of Fire"||0:42|
|8.||"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (Bogle)||5:30|
|9.||"The Men of the Fall"||6:04|
|10.||"The Sound of Retreat (instrumental)"||3:13|
MP3 release (7 December 2009)
All songs composed by Jobson/Webb unless indicated otherwise.
|1.||"Blood and Soil" (Jobson/Adamson)||4:00|
|2.||"A Challenge (The Wanderer)"||6:11|
|3.||"Men of Mercy"||1:12|
|6.||"In Fear of Fire"||0:43|
|8.||"And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (Bogle)||5:32|
|9.||"The Men of the Fall"||6:14|
|10.||"The Sound of Retreat (instrumental)"||3:08|
|12.||"Iona (7-inch single mix)"||5:07|
|13.||"Blood and Soil (7-inch single mix)" (Jobson/Adamson)||3:11|
|14.||"Fields (7-inch single mix)"||3:32|
|15.||"Brave Man (7-inch single mix)"||3:37|
|16.||"Fields (12-inch single mix)"||4:27|
|17.||"Brave Man (12-inch single mix)"||6:43|
Some pressings of the 7-inch vinyl single for "Iona" listed a 4:55 version of the title track: this was a labelling error, and these pressings actually contained the 5:07 "7-inch single mix" included on the 2009 MP3 release. Other pressings contained a shorter remix/edit which ran 3:20 (with the correct running time listed on the label); this has been released on various CD compilations (e.g., Dunfermline: A Collection of the Skids' Finest Moments).
- Richard Jobson — vocals / guitar / keyboards
- Russell Webb — bass guitar / vocals / guitar / keyboards / percussion
- J J Johnson — drums / percussion
- Paul Wishart — saxophone / flute / keyboards / percussion / vocals
- Alan Darby — guitar
- Stuart Adamson — guitar
- Mike Oldfield — keyboards
- Dave Duncan — bodhrán
- Tim Cross — keyboards / flute
- Alan Rankine — guitar
- Billy MacKenzie — vocals
- Ken Lockie — cello / vocals
- Virginia Astley — flute / vocals
- Kenny Hyslop — drums
- Frances Lynch — vocals
- Nicky Holland — vocals
- Debbie Mitchell — vocals
- Nick Griffiths — vocals
- Carey Taylor — percussion
- Joy (Skids album) at AllMusic
- Trouser Press entry for Skids
- Allmusic review
- Liner notes from Fanfare by John Peel, 1982 Scroll down page: no direct link to article available
- "Joy (plus Bonus Tracks)". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Skids Vinyl Album LP Releases". Official Skids Website. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Skids, The – Iona (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.