Jesse Rae

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Jesse Rae
Birth nameWilliam Philip Jesse Rae
OriginScottish Borders Scotland
GenresFunk, R&B, dub, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, composer, film director, film maker
InstrumentsVocals, bass, keyboards
Years active1978–present
LabelsBold (TK), Columbia, WEA, On-U, Luzuli Music
Associated actsSpace Cadets, Strange Parcels
WebsiteJesse Rae's channel on YouTube

Jesse Rae is a Scottish singer and composer from St Boswells in Scotland.[1]


In the 1970s Rae moved to the USA securing work as a runner in the New York stock exchange to fund his stay. Through work in Cleveland and Los Angeles studios, he became acquainted with several leading soul and funk artists, including Roger Troutman, Bernie Worrell, Nairobi Sailcat and Michael Hampton from the Parliament (band) / Funkadelic enclave.

Returning to the UK, he was unable to secure a recording contract despite offering several demos and his debut single 'D.E.S.I.R.E.' was latterly released via the Miami based TK Organisation.

In 1981 he worked with Worrell as part of the P-Funk offshoot band 'Space Cadets' whose sole album was released in the US in that year. Rae also spent a brief time with members of Granicus in a band called The Boys. Jesse can be heard on their album 'Thieves Liars and Traitors' on a cut called "Taste of Love".

Jesse Rae has recently been working with an abundance of students from the Borders College Campus. He has reached out to three Students to help create him a website to get Brick FM (Funk and Soul of the Scottish Borders Community Radio) out to his Afro American friends and public. Jesse Rae is The Scottish Borders and Scotland, Funk Ambassador for The Funk Music Hall Of Fame and Exhibition Centre in Dayton Ohio USA.[2]


As a songwriter, Rae is best known for the 1982 song, "Inside Out", a hit single by the band Odyssey.[3][4] Rae's own version was included on his debut album, The Thistle.[5] Rae dedicated the album to "Luzuli and Senkrah and Scotland."[6]

Rae's single "Over the Sea", reached number 65 in the UK Singles Chart in 1985.[7][8] The Thistle was then released in 1987 on WEA.[5] 1992. Tour of Japan with on U Sound in 'Strange Parcels' and release of 'life's a Killer Dog'(1) /Body Blast'n 10 " single.

A second studio album, Compression was eventually released in 1996.[9] The album was notable for being recorded via the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) system, a product of the BT Group.

A remastered version of The Thistle was released by River Records in 2004 and included a DVD of three promotional videos for the songs "Over The Sea", "The Thistle" and "Chainsaw" directed by Rae in the mid-1980s.

On 21 October 2010, Rae opened for Adam Ant at The Union Chapel in London, UK, playing a 30-minute set.[citation needed] On 23 May 2011, Rae was again a support act for Adam Ant, who performed at the O2 Academy in Glasgow, Scotland. On 11 December 2011, Rae played two "live music video shows" at Edinburgh, Scotland's "Voodoo Lounge" bar. In regard to the Voodoo Lounge shows, Rae explained: "I call it, my Aye Pad, using the frontier of technology using pioneering software for full interactive entertainment, and the 'Rae formula' to making Music Videos."[10]

Rae's compilation album, The Best O' ,[11] was released on CD, with a companion CD release of rare tracks, Funk Warrior – A Collection, in July 2012. Both editions were limited to 500 copies.

A second reissue of The Thistle was released as an expanded double-CD on 12 May 2014, and features 12 unreleased mixes and four tracks previously unavailable on CD. The reissue, entitled The Thistle (Special Edition), was limited to a run of 1,000 copies (packaged in a jewel case with an eight-page booklet) and was released by Rae's own Luzuli Music label.[12]

A 2-CD album of unreleased recordings entitled Worae was released in November 2017. Worae features instrumental tunes recorded with the late Bernie Worrell.[13]


The music video for the single ‘Over The Sea’ in which Rae wears a kilt and helmet, while holding a claymore, in both New York City, United States (US) and the Scottish Highlands—won a Vira award.[14]


During an October 2012 solo performance at the Paisley Abbey venue in Paisley, Scotland, Roddy Frame, formerly of Aztec Camera, performed a rendition of "Inside Out". Frame explained that during his time as a WEA artist, he was asked about Rae, who was conveyed as a Scottish musician who always wore a kilt and helmet. Frame expressed "love" for the song and explained that he enjoyed playing the song at his home.[15]


In 2007 Rae stood for the Scottish Parliament as an independent in the Scottish Borders electoral constituency of Roxburgh and Berwickshire.[16] He gained 318 votes for a 1.2% share of the vote.[17] He stood again in 2011 as an independent candidate in the expanded seat of Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire this time polling 308 votes for a 1.1% share.

In the 2015 general election, he stood in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.



  • "D.E.S.I.R.E." / "Skydiver" – (1979 US 12" single / 1981 UK 7" & 12" single)
  • "Rusha" / "Desire" – (1982 12" single)
  • "(It's Just) The Dog in Me" / "Be Yourself" – (1984 12" single)
  • "Over The Sea" / "Party Crackers" (edit) / "Over The Sea" (Instrumental Version)* – (1985 7", 7" picture disc & 12" single*)
  • "Hou-di-ni" (edit / full version*) / "Idio-syn-crazy" – (1987 7" & 12" single*)
  • "That Kind O' Girl" (Scottish Additional Mix*) / "Friend-Ship" – (1987 7" & 12" single*)
  • "Body Blastin" / "Life's A Killer Dog" / "Jacob's Pillow" – (1993 10" single – 1000 copies only)


  • The Thistle – (1987) LP & Cassette – Initial LP copies included free 7" single of "Over The Sea" (Video Soundtrack Mix) / "Party Crackers" (edit)
  • Compression – (1996) CD
  • No Surrender – (2003) Privately released CD-R
  • The Thistle – (2004) CD reissue with bonus DVD
  • The Thistle – Special Edition (2014) 2CD – Limited edition of 1000 copies.
  • Worae (with Bernie Worrell) (2017) 2CD – Limited edition of 500 copies.


  • Greatest Funk Hits – (with the Space Cadets) – (2000) Privately released CD-R
  • Greatest Hits – (2001) Privately released CD-R
  • The Best O' – (2012) CD – Limited edition of 500 copies.
  • Funk Warrior – A Collection – (2012) CD – Limited edition of 500 copies.


  1. ^ "Candidates and Constituency Assessments: Roxburgh & Berwickshire". Scottish Politics. Alba Publishing. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Jesse Rae".[non-primary source needed]
  3. ^ "Townsend eyes Borders return". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Sword taken from singer at court". BBC News. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Jesse Rae – The Thistle". Jesse Rae on Discogs. discogs. 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Jesse Rae – The Thistle". Jesse Rae on Discogs. discogs. 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Jesse Rae – Over The Sea". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  8. ^ Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. p. 888. ISBN 978-1-84449-058-5.
  9. ^ David Belcher (11 October 1996). "New world warrior takes on the globe". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Jesse Rae". The Voodoo Rooms. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Jesse Rae – The Best O'". The Rocktologist. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Jesse Rae – The Thistle (Special Edition)". Jesse Rae on Discogs. discogs. 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  13. ^ jesserae1 (25 May 2017). "WORAE The Funk Music Hall Of Fame and Exhibition Center Dayton" – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Fairburn, Robert (19 September 2004). "The chop for Rae's claymore". Sunday Mirror. Mirror Group Newspapers. Retrieved 29 July 2008.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ k1rk1c (30 October 2012). "Roddy Frame – Live – Inside Out (Jesse Rae Cover), Paisley Abbey 27-10-12" (Video upload). k1rk1c on YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  16. ^ Rinaldi, Giancarlo (12 April 2007). "Tartan rocker seeks election role". BBC News. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  17. ^ "Scottish elections 2007: Roxburgh & Berwickshire". BBC News. 4 May 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2008.

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