Monday, May 7, 2012

THROWBACK 1987 || The Proclaimers: "The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues"

These Throwback entries have fallen by the wayside big time. Don't get me wrong, they were always intended to be a secondary aspect of the site, basically something to fill in the cracks during lulls in notable new releases. The problem with that is that there's been a fairly steady influx of quality tracks that have been coming out in the - oh - eight months since Throwback was last updated regularly.

On the other hand, I really do want WKMR to eventually become a resource encompassing all of music history, and not just the best shit released since 2011... so it looks like I'm going to need to make a greater effort to squeeze these Throwback tunes in, regardless of how much good shit is otherwise being released in any given week.

And what better time to knock the dust off than with this blog's 500th post?

If you're familiar with Scotland's The Proclaimers for any single reason it's almost certainly "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles", a song that was originally released on the Sunshine in Leith album in 1988, but didn't get much airplay in America until it was included on the Benny & Joon soundtrack five years later. If "500 Miles" is the only Proclaimers song you know, I'm estimating a 50% chance that you hate the living fuck out of this band.

Hear me out.

First of all, Sunshine in Leith is a pretty pimp album in its own right, whether you care for that particular song or not. It features a cover of Steve Earle's "My Old Friend the Blues", which in and of itself negates any badwill that "500 Miles" may have engendered. But what I'm here to focus on is their 1987 debut, This Is the Story; now, if there are two Proclaimers songs you know, the second is likely to be "Over and Done With", which Wes Anderson prominently featured in his first movie Bottle Rocket.

That song is track two on This Is the Story and is a stone cold classic in its own right, but no single track showcases the Reid brothers' back-and-forth singing - which you'll recognize from elementary school as a round - better than "The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues", a rousing trad folk romp that is long on spirit but short on schmaltz.

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