As promised on the last podcast (while in conversation with Chris Ward and Arran Arctic who gave their own examples), this is the first in a new regular Scots Whay Hae! column which, while not dazzlingly original, will hopefully be informative, entertaining and mildly diverting, and why else do you read this if not to be mildly diverted?
After ditching the unwieldy title of Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard This One Before for the more manageable Lost In Music, the column will look at those albums which slip between the neat narratives that are often used when talking about the history of music. Early 80s Scottish pop? ‘It was all Postcard Records’; but what about Scars and The Fire Engines? ‘Britpop was a return to guitar music’…then what are we to make of Tricky and Portishead? I want to look at the albums that for whatever reason just didn’t fit the times, but still deserve our attention.
To kick off I’m going back to 1993, probably 18 months too late for this album to be the success it should have been. It is the only album by One Dove, called Morning Dove White, and while some of the sounds may have dated, it is still one of the best records of that time when pop/rock/dance all came together under a, often mellow, groove. I had first heard them when the song Fallen was played in clubs, and most people who loved music in Glasgow thought they were going to be huge. Primal Scream, with the hugely important influence of producer/DJ Andy Weatherall, had taken what had started in Manchester to embrace a marriage of rock music and what was happening in clubs, both on the dancefloor and off. If Morning Dove White had managed to avoid the problems detailed below then I believe it could have been a success to stand alongside Screamadelica; perhaps the morning after to the Screamer’s night before.
One Dove consisted of producer Ian Carmichael, ex-Altered Image Jim McKinven and Dorothy ‘Dot’ Allison. What does date the album, far more than the music, is all the references to doves, love, laughing, smiling; you get the idea. If there is one word to sum up Morning Dove White it would be bliss, with all that entails. It is one of those records to stick on on a mid-summer’s morning as the sun is rising. It will make you feel just grand.
There are a number of factors as to why the album didn’t reach the people it deserved. There were record company wrangles as London Records took over Boy’s Own records which delayed its release. The first single, another version of the aforementioned Fallen (with obligatory Andy Weatherall remix) was pulled after a week as it used an unlicensed Supertramp sample and legals were threatened. It was the right record at the wrong time. By 1993 the drugs were changing and so were the bands. In April Select magazine put Suede’s Brett Anderson on the cover in front of a Union Jack in a prescient statement of things to come.
Morning Dove White was more influential than you may expect. Kylie Minogue and her producers nicked the sound of the record, (and Dot’s suits and glasses), for her self titled album released in 1994, and there were lots of female singers over ambient tracks in the following years that seemed to owe quite a debt to One Dove. As was the vogue of the time, every single seemed to come with about ten different remixes, and the strongest song on the album, White Love, was no exception. The track is so good that every version is worth a listen, but this is the best from the boys from Slam:
This is my truth, now I’d really like you to tell me yours. My thought is that we all have at least one ‘lost’ album that we want to tell people about, and here’s your chance to do so. There is no claim that the albums featured will be unknown to all, or even many. I’m sure plenty will gasp at the choices and say ‘everyone knows (insert name here)’…but you’d be surprised.
You can email your own choice to Scots Whay Hae! at firstname.lastname@example.org. It should simply be a short article about why you love the album, any story that surrounds it, and a link to any video or musical clip that we can post to accompany it. I’ll keep posting my choices, but I already know what they are. I would really love to build up a collection of posts about the best music that some of us may never have heard of, and that would make our lives better if we did.