The 1997–2002 Del Amitri line-up on stage at the Guildhall in Southampton on 16 May 2002
|Years active||1980–2002, 2013–present|
|Labels||Chrysalis, A&M, Mercury|
|Past members||Donald Bentley|
James M Scobbie
Del Amitri are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in Glasgow in 1980. Between 1985 and 2002, the band released six studio albums. Their 1995 single "Roll to Me" reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Five Del Amitri albums have reached the Top 10 in the UK. Globally, Del Amitri have sold six million albums.
Del Amitri's founding member and main songwriter, Justin Currie, explained in 2010 that the band's name "was invented to be meaningless – basically a corruption of the Greek name 'Dimitri'." In 2018, Currie clarified that 'Del Amitri' is a bastardisation of the name of a film producer who appeared in the closing credits of a film he saw in 1979 – "probably Dimitri-something, but we couldn't remember... so eventually through osmosis or maybe Chinese Whispers 'Dimitri' became 'Del Amitri'." Many sources have repeated a claim that the name was chosen because it is Greek for "from the womb", but this is untrue.
Formation and early years (1980-1984)
Del Amitri grew out of Justin Currie's Jordanhill College School band. The band was formed with the original line-up of Currie (bass and vocals), James Scobbie (guitars), Donald Bentley (guitars) and Paul Tyagi (drums). Scobbie and Bentley left the band in 1982 to study at university. A new line-up came together after Currie placed an advertisement in the window of a music store. Scobbie and Bentley were replaced by Iain Harvie (guitar) and Bryan Tolland (drums). From then on, Currie and Harvie have remained the only constant members of the band.
del Amitri (1985)
Waking Hours (1989)
As recording started for what would become Del Amitri's second album, the line-up changed. Currie and Harvie invited keyboard player Andy Alston to join the band and fired both guitarist Bryan Tolland and drummer Paul Tyagi. Tolland was replaced in the studio by Mick Slaven and Tyagi by The Commotions' Stephen Irvine. However, Slaven and Irvine chose not to join the band full-time and were replaced by David Cummings and Brian McDermott, respectively.
Released in 1989, Waking Hours reached No.6 in the UK Albums Chart and gave the band their most successful UK single, "Nothing Ever Happens", which peaked at No 11. They also gained some mainstream exposure abroad for the first time, as Waking Hours was a success in several territories with the single "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" flirting with the lower reaches of the US Billboard Hot 100's Top 40. In between Waking Hours and their next album, the band released the single "Spit In the Rain", which reached No. 21 in the UK.
Change Everything (1992)
The line-up of Currie, Harvie, Alston, Cummings and McDermott proved to be stable and successful. They stayed together to record the follow-up album Change Everything, which was released in 1992 and became the band's biggest chart success, reaching No. 2 in the UK, being held off top spot only by Lionel Ritchie's best-of collection, Back to Front. The single "Always the Last to Know" peaked at No. 13 in the UK, and again provided them with an entry into Top 40 in the US. The video for the song was directed by Oil Factory's Pedro Romhanyi. Their increasing success in the USA led to appearances on the television show Late Night with David Letterman and the Woodstock '94 anniversary festival.
Twisted was released in 1995 and peaked at No. 3 in the UK. Soan joined the band as a permanent member. The single "Roll to Me", only a moderate hit in the UK where it reached No. 22, reached the Top 10 in the US charts; this was a noteworthy achievement during an era when British acts were finding success in the US difficult.
Some Other Sucker's Parade (1997)
The band found it harder to capitalise on their previous successes in the US, however, and lost out on more airplay at home when their record company took the decision to withdraw the album's planned third single "Medicine" in September 1997, putting out a false press story that the lyrics could be interpreted as a critique of the then recently deceased Diana, Princess of Wales.
Don't Come Home Too Soon and Hatful of Rain: The Best of Del Amitri (1998)
Five years passed before Del Amitri released another album. In 1998, however, they recorded the official anthem for the Scottish World Cup squad, "Don't Come Home Too Soon". It reached No. 15 on the charts, becoming their third biggest UK hit and their last Top 20 entry to date. They also released a best of album, Hatful of Rain: The Best of Del Amitri, which was a No. 5 success in the UK Albums Chart and was accompanied by a new track, "Cry to Be Found", which reached No. 40.
Can You Do Me Good? (2002)
Reunion tours (2014, 2018)
On 18 August 2013, during an interview with Terry Wogan on his BBC Radio 2 programme, Currie hinted at a Del Amitri reunion. A UK tour was subsequently announced. As part of the tour, the band played to 8,000 people in the SSE Hydro, Glasgow on 24 January 2014. A live album, called Into The Mirror, was released following the tour.
Del Amitri reformed again in July 2018, playing eight dates in seven UK cities. Their live set included a new song, 'You Can't Go Back', and a cover of Twenty One Pilots' hit song, "Heathens". In July 2018, Currie said that a new group album and further activity was possible.
- del Amitri (1985)
- Waking Hours (1989)
- Change Everything (1992)
- Twisted (1995)
- Some Other Sucker's Parade (1997)
- Can You Do Me Good? (2002)
- The Best of Del Amitri: Hatful of Rain (1998)
- Lousy with Love: The B-Sides (1998)
- 20th Century Masters – The Best of Del Amitri (2003)
- The Collection: Best of Del Amitri (2007)
- Into the Mirror: Del Amitri Live in Concert (2014)
- "Sense Sickness" / "The Difference Is" (1983)
- "Hammering Heart" (1985)
- "Sticks and Stones, Girl" (1985) CHS 12 2859 (b/w "This King is Poor")
- "Kiss This Thing Goodbye" (1989, 1990)
- "Stone Cold Sober" (1989)
- "Move Away Jimmy Blue" (1990)
- "Nothing Ever Happens" (1990)
- "Spit in the Rain" (1990)
- "Be My Downfall" (1992)
- "Always the Last to Know" (1992)
- "Just Like a Man (1992)
- "When You Were Young" (1993)
- "Roll to Me" (1995)
- "Driving with the Brakes On" (1995)
- "Tell Her This" (1995)
- "Not Where It's At" (1997)
- "Medicine" (1997)
- "Some Other Suckers Parade" (1997)
- "Cry to Be Found" (1998)
- "Don't Come Home Too Soon" (1998)
- "Just Before You Leave" (2002)
Del Amitri operates as a "benign dictatorship" under its main songwriters, Currie and Harvie.
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Welcome back to the program — Del Amitri!
- Clarke, Donald. "Peace, love and wilful misunderstanding". The Irish Times.
- "some other suckers parade | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Rawlings-Way, Charles (2018). These Are Such Perfect Days: The Del Amitri Story. Urbane Publications. p. 259. ISBN 1911331418.
- "cry to be found | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Dingwall, John (20 July 2018). "Del Amitri singer says old bands like his are 'killing music'". dailyrecord. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Into The Mirror | Del Amitri". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "The Godfathers of Pop: Justin Currie inteview". Classicpopmag.com. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- Rawlings-Way, Charles (2018). These Are Such Perfect Days: The Del Amitri Story. Urbane Publications. p. 258. ISBN 1911331418.