It's likely that all you know of The Proclaimers is their single American hit, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. After all, that song is completely awesome, and if it's good enough to send off David Tennant from Doctor Who, then it is good enough for the likes of us, by golly.
Seriously, watch that video I linked to. You'll grin like an idiot throughout the whole thing.
The Scottish band started by twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid, both of whom turn 51 years old today, is an international success outside of the United States. They've released nine albums since 1987, with two Top 10 singles on the UK charts, and their 2002 Best of compilation went platinum as well. You know who doesn't have two Top 10 singles on the UK charts? Freakin' Bauhaus and Eric Clapton as a solo artist, that's who.
So today we thought it might be nice to introduce some people to other songs that make The Proclaimers a band that deserves more of your attention. Much love to the Scottish lasses who helped me put together the best and nothing but.
"Letter From America" One of the band's greatest tunes is this ode to the many Scots who escaped economic depression in Scotland by emigrating. The Reids are active campaigners for Scottish independence and identity, and you can hear that love of the land in "Letter" as well as other places.
"My Old Friend the Blues" I'm sure Steve Earle appreciated the royalties that he picked up when Sunshine on Leith exploded on the back of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." The Reids do an absolutely excellent job of bringing Earle's country anthem of constant losing to life, and it's one of the best moments on the album.
"I'm on My Way" You might remember "I'm on My Way" from the Shrek soundtrack, and it's a good pick for a quest film. The lyrics dance above a jaunty walking tune, and echo both the idea of seeking love and the power of a journey for its own end.
"Whatever You've Got" These are all old tunes, though, you're saying. Stuff The Proclaimers put out at their peak. How are they now? They're astounding is what they are, and "Whatever You've Got" from 2012's Like Comedy proves it.
It's got two things to really love, a bitchin' guitar line and a nod to Vidal Sassoon's time in the 43 Group, which fought against lingering fascism and anti-Semitism after World War II. Great song.
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"Love Can Move Mountains" Another great modern offering from the band is 2009's Notes & Rhymes, whose lead single, "Love Can Move Mountains," is just as life-affirming a pop song as you could ever want. There's nothing to it but simple affection, the same universal search for love that has always been The Proclaimers' greatest strength.
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Happy birthday, guys, and keep on making that beautiful music.