I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I realized that this consummate Scottish pop band's long-awaited sophomore album, Hats, was released at the tail end of 1989, making this tune a viable candidate for showcasing here. I was also amazed to discover that this track made the Top 10 on the modern rock charts from an album that nearly made the Top 100 on Billboard's album charts. I don't know why MTV couldn't have shown the video for Bulletboys' rather revolting "Smooth Up in Ya" a few less times to make room for groups like the Blue Nile to get some exposure way back when, but I guess there are some mysteries that will always remain unsolved.
Nonetheless, this is a rather rare kind of forgotten gem of a band, one that has released only four albums over the course of a quarter-century but has successfully championed quality over quantity for that entire period. Still, while it's a bit understandable that songs like "The Downtown Lights" have sometimes flown under the radar because of a lack of momentum within the public consciousness, there is really no excuse for artistry this profound to have been so radically unheard. Luckily, fans of this fine band can perhaps expect a new album by oh, around the time the Olympics begin in London and the election heats up during the summer of 2012. Hey, at least this band always leaves us with something new to look forward to somewhere down the line.
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Virgin