When The World Knows Your Name
The Guardian 7th April 1989
Deacon Blue, an outfit named after a baffling line in a Steely Dan song (‘they call Alabama the crimson tide, call me Deacon Blue...’). Their first album, Raintown (about Glasgow), was released two years ago, and did remarkably well despite the fact that it included only minor hit singles. The follow up is going to do even better. It includes the band’s two recent well-deserved major hits. Real Gone Kid and Wages Day, and is said to be selling so well, after just a few days in the shops, that it might be an instant £1 album next week.
Deacon Blue have succeeded by mixing rousing but smoothed-over ballads with a welcome dash of confidence and energy, and are guaranteed to appeal to the sort of audiences who turn out for anyone from Billy Joel to Bruce Hornsby. They have a neat line in balancing male and female voices (Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh), but it’s a pity that urgent and up-beat songs like the country-tinged Queen Of The New Year, or a throbbing ballad like Orphans, are mixed with the occasional plodding, leaden rocker. Still, I admire their enthusiasm and their instant cross-over ability. Straight to the concert halls, and next the arenas. Robin Denshaw