TODAY we wrap up our look at the best of Scottish rock and pop between the 1960s and the 1990s. As ever, apologies if we have missed out your favourites – but thanks to those readers who emailed with suggestions.


As Vic Galloway puts it in Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop, Primal Scream had recorded a couple of ineffective albums [in 1987 and 1989] and had relocated to Brighton, and might have ended up a lost cause “were it not for their continual ability to connect with their own cultural surroundings”. Immersing themselves in rave, they had an epiphany when Andrew Weatherall transformed an old track into the “dancefloor destroyer”, Loaded, which, Vic says, “immediately captured a perfect moment in pop”. The subsequent album, Screamadelica (1991) won the first Mercury Prize. “One of this era’s most beautiful, far reaching pieces of musical adventure”, said the NME. The next album, Give Out But Don’t Give Up (1994) peaked at number two. Still to come were the excellent albums Vanishing Point (1997, number two) and XTRMNTR (2000, number three).


“What’s Belle And Sebastian music like? A breathy rush. Gorgeous. Witty. Urgent. No half-measures. Nick Drake. Wondrous tunes. Without Tigermilk . . . your life – incomplete!”. So wrote David Belcher in these pages in 1996, upon the release on B&S’s debut album. So hot were the band that two US music industry figures, whose joint record of signings had included Talking Heads, Beck, Madonna, Guns’n’Roses, and the Ramones, were on their way to an impromptu B&S gig in a Glasgow church. The follow-up album, If You’re Feeling Sinister, is often seen as the band’s masterpiece; the opening line of the title track – “Anthony walked to his death because he thought he’d never feel this way again” – is typical of Stuart Murdoch’s arresting way with a lyric. Rolling Stone would put the album at number 75 in its list of the 100 top albums of the 90s.


A run of outstanding albums in the nineties – Sweet Deceit, Lagoon Blues, Sunpowder, Kelvingrove Baby, Pandemonia – gave ex-Friends Again Chris Thompson and his band a loyal following and acclaim. “Lagoon Blues is an atmospheric concoction”, David Belcher noted. “Pianos tinkle in moonlit Venetian apartments. Hearts are variously poured out and/or broken; gruffly, languorously. Throughout, Chris sounds like the mutant cousin of Tom Waits and Paul Buchanan”. Kelvingrove Baby’s title track and No Risk No Glory are perfect example of their gorgeous, literate art. Sunpowder, with Elizabeth Fraser guesting on some tracks, was described by Q magazine as “gorgeous … inhabiting the same honey-spun, abstract turf as Van Morrison, Tom Waits, and Tim Buckley”. “Criminally overlooked” is a phrase that has often been used about the Bathers.


“His music begs for images to accompany its majestic sweep”, the Sunday Herald observed, many years ago. “Listen with your eyes shut to his [1998] album The Space Between Us and the music plays widescreen, as threatening and sombre as the skies over Armstrong’s beloved Glasgow.” Armstrong had already made his name with film scores and musical collaborations; The Space Between Us, his first solo album, assembled works from his career up to that point, from the ethereal Balcony Scene (from Baz Lurhmann’s film Romeo + Juliet) to a stirring reworking of the Blue Nile classic, Let’s Go Out Tonight.


Annie’s accolade-laden career – the Tourists, Eurthymics – contined in the nineties with two chart-topping albums, Diva (1992) and Medusa (1995). The former yielded such classics as Why, and Walking on Broken Glass; the latter a selection of covers: A Whiter Shade of Pale, Blue Nile’s Downtown Lights, Neil Young’s Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Al Green’s Take Me to the River, and The Lover Speak’s No More ‘I love you’s’.


Their debut album, Good Feeling (1997) charted, as did several of its singles, but the follow-up, The Man Who (1999) changed everything. It topped the album charts for two months, aided by singles Why Does It Always Rain on Me?, Driftwood, Writing to Reach You, and Turn. “Travis’ style of heartfelt, melodic rock, centred on [Fran] Healy’s soaring vocals, would develop into something of a prototype for the next wave of up-and-coming bands such as Coldplay and Keane”, says Vic Galloway in Rip It Up. The third album, The Invisible Band (2001) also went to number one.


Their debut album, Southside, reached number three in 1989 but it was their fourth collection, White on Blonde (“a modern soul record”, said singer Sharleen Spiteri) that topped the charts: a formidable collection of irresistible songs, from Say What You Want and Halo to Put Your Arms Around Me and Insane. It was the album of their career, says Vic Galloway; and the songs are modern-day classics to fans old and new. The Hush (1999) also reached number one.


In 2018 the band posted a video, from the Belladrum festival, of an acoustic version of their 1998 top 30 hit, I Wasn’t Built to Get Up. It’s sometimes overlooked that this fine, melodic Glasgow band had nine hit singles in the second half of the 1990s.


The charismatic Derek William Dick fronted Marillion until 1988 and embarked on a fine solo career. He was a regular visitor to the charts: his highest-placed album (number 5) was Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors (1990). A skilful lyricist and a formidable live presence, and possessed of a distinctive voice: a DAB radio station put him in its list of the 40 greatest voices in rock, in 2009.


Great name, great band. Cake (1990) their debut album, rang with melodic gems and astute lyrics: Obscurity Knocks, The Best Man’s Fall, Maybe I Should Fall. I’ve Seen Everything (1993) was even better. “Awesome”, David Belcher said in 1994; he’d already made I’ve Seen Everything one of his albums of the year. A Happy Pocket came out in 1996; the excellent Weightlifting in 2004.


Eddi came to national attention with Fairground Attraction and went on to have considerable success as a solo artist, with her albums Mirmama, Eddi Reader, Candyfloss and Medicine, and Angels & Electricity all charting between 1992 and 1998. She is a first-class interpreter of Burns as the success of her 2003 album of his songs indicates. And what a voice: listen to her sing Kiteflyer’s Hill, a song about unrequited love, written by her Fairground Attraction colleague, Mark Nevin: magnificent.


As the NME phrased it back in 2015, Quaye has encountered various problems in recent years; last year there was a court case following an altercation in London. Back in the 1990s he was a rising star; his 1997 album Maverick A Strike sold well, reaching number three, and he had hit singles with Sunday Shining, Even After All and It’s Great When We’re Together. He won the 1997 Mobo Award for best reggae act and in 1998 he was named Best British Solo Male Artist at the Brits. As Galloway remarks, Quaye would experience a downward spiral and he released two more albums to diminishing returns. “Despite all this, Finlay Quaye was a serious talent,” he says.


A run of great albums in the nineties – Bandwagonesque, Thirteen, Grand Prix, Songs from Northern Britain – saw Teenage Fanclub climb ever higher in the album charts while cementing their reputation as first-rate songwriters. As the Guardian put it in 2018, Bandwagonesque was “a glorious rush of bubblegum melodies bundled in layers of dazed distortion”, Thirteen was “increasingly being reassessed as a lost classic ...”, while the latter two albums “are commonly perceived as the band’s two cast-iron masterpieces”.