Five awesome but underrated albums from 1980s

Here are five albums you might have missed, been unaware of or just forgotten from the 1980s.

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Danny Wilson - Meet Danny Wilson

There should have been a Scotpop category back in the 1980s. Lots of amazing bands and music were emerging from Scotland at that time. Danny Wilson was just one of many. If you don't know them, Danny Wilson is not a person, it’s a trio of two brothers, Gary and Kit Clark plus Ged Grimes.

Meet Danny Wilson was their debut album, released in April 1987. It had some success, but it was a bit of a slog to get that, and it deserved so much more. The single “Mary’s Prayer” was released three times in the UK before reaching the number three spot. It also got into the US top 40. But that wasn’t enough to take the album any higher than number 65 in the UK.  

This is a great album though. It's not just about the single, however good “Mary’s  Prayer” is with its slick lyrics and bright sound. Gary Clark was the lead singer and songwriter and has talked of his main influences being Frank Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, Steely Dan, and Tom Waits, amongst others. And you can hear all that coming through on the album. Meet Danny Wilson and the group's name are both named after a 1952 Sinatra movie.

The album is packed with clever instrumentation and sophisticated arrangement. Lush soft vocals on some tracks are matched with upbeat pop on others. There are jazzy tones throughout. “A Girl I Used To Know” is another standout track, a simple bass line underlining some great guitar work and a snappy drum beat. It all sounds way too sophisticated for a wee band from Dundee on a debut album.