Scotland’s Greatest Album, Corrected

Let’s set aside any effort to explore the egregious errors made in selecting (first of all Geoff Ellis) then bits of the playlist for Scotland’s Greatest Album, The Oughties. We won’t go into why The View, Eddi Reader and Amy Macdonald are all unworthy contenders, all for very different reasons (they are children, classification error and entirely derivative respectively if you really must ask). Let’s just look at the blanks. No Martyn Bennett?! FFS. No Electronica, spoken word, jazz, contemporary folk (new folk or worse nu folk?). Not a bleep.

If this is the musical landscape of Scotland then missing out Mogwai, Arab Strap, Idlewild, the Beta Band and Michael Marra is like demolishing Schiehallion, the Wallace Monument and the Pentlands before erasing Buachaille Etive Mor and Salisbury Crags.

Here are some of our very best music that the STV team inexplicably missed out on:

Martyn Bennett – Nae Regrets
– You Held the World in Your Arms
Mogwai – We’re No Here
Admiral Fallow – These Barren Years
Arab Strap – The Shy Retirer
Tommy Smith – Spartacus
Karine Polwart – The Good Years
Boards of Canada – The Smallest Weird Number
Julie Fowlis – Tha Caolas Eadar Mi ‘s Iain
King Creosote – Homerun and a Vow
Michael Marra – Hamish the Goalie
Beta Band – Assessment
Aberfeldy – Young Forever
Dumb Instrument – Suffering from Scottishness
Malcolm Middleton – We’re All Going to Die

Comments (0)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. bellacaledonia says:

    Inexplicably missed out by STV and the Bella Mike/BurdsEye team are:

    Twilight Sad – 14 Summers & 15 Winters
    The Proclaimers – Persevere
    Parka – Attack of the Hundred Yard Hardmen
    Nectarine No 9 – I Love Total Destruction
    James Yorkston – When The Haar Rolls In
    The Aliens – Astronomy For Dogs
    Fiona Soe Paing – No Man’s Land
    Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Streetcore
    Paul Haig – Go Out Tonight
    Sons & Daughters – The Repulsion Box.

    Thats all!


    STV even managed to include the wrong Primal Scream album.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      You claiming Joe Strummer as one of our own Kev?

      1. bellacaledonia says:

        Damn right. His mother was a Highland lass from Bonar Bridge. Under SFA rules he’s Scottish.

    2. fiona says:

      whoot – am really chuffed to be on the Corrected list! Thanks xx

      1. bellacaledonia says:

        Didnt know you read this blog Fiona! But would have your album on any best of list from the last 10 years. Not just Scottish (or Burmese) ones. 🙂


    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Thanks Chris, absolute class

  2. Alan G says:

    I never watched the show but I suspect they missed
    Mountain Men Anonymous – Krkonose
    Flying Matchstick Men vs grnr – The Sleeping Sonqztq

  3. Another two major omissions, although not to everyone’s taste, are The Exploited and Marillion.

  4. Douglas Strang says:

    I’m with Kevin, James Yorkson should be there.
    And what about the Soupdragons for pure fun-packed indie-pop nostalgia?

  5. Doug Daniel says:

    Sorry, but there is no credibility to any list of best Scottish songs that leaves out Musette & Drums by Cocteau Twins, the best band we’ve ever produced. And I Travel by Simple Minds, for that matter.

    I knew the STV programme wouldn’t pick the best Simple Minds song, but I did hope they might at least pick Love Song, which is surely surely still mainstream enough to be picked for such a programme. Apparently not.

    As for Idlewild, personally I’d pick Modern Way Of Letting Go or A Little Discourage. You Held The World In Your Arms is the kind of song BBC Scotland picks for Sportscene trailers…

  6. Tocasaid says:

    Aye, surely the Exploited must have a track there. Simplistic stuff some of it, but ‘voice of a generation’ for many. Also in the punk vein is Oi Polloi’s ‘Take Back the Land’ or ‘Ar Ceol, Ar Canan, Ar-a-Mach’.

    Eddi Reader????????

  7. bellacaledonia says:

    I’d take all these – I Travel!!! Brilliant.

    But your all missing the point, this is just suggestions for the Oughties – first half of the 21stC – then we’ll go back and do 70s, 80s & 90s. Btw – check out Kates selection here: – love her suggestion for Sons & Daughters…

  8. Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. says:

    The Pentland Hills – inspiration such greats as Ian Hamilton Finlay and Boards of Canada – deserve better than to be compared to a band as dreary as Idlewild! But they are pretty big, so their exclusion is rather odd.
    The View shouldn’t be discounted because they’re children; they should be discounted because they are absolutely horrendous, the worst kind of sub-Libertines lad-indie. They were only in there because certain people in the Scottish music biz have a vested interest in them, even though their career is in sharp decline. Geoff Ellis even made a comment about putting them on ‘in Dundee the other night’ during the show. He’s not even trying to hide his interest. Shameless.
    I find Eddie Reader’s take on Burns to be horribly mannered and precious.
    Alasdair Roberts should have been in there for folk, and Martyn Bennett too.
    Tommy Smith for jazz? I respect his educational work, and I loved his solo at Edwin Morgan’s funeral, but all too often his work is in the staid jazz-as-classical mode, or it’s slick ‘fusion’ with no fire. Gimme Bill Wells or something involving the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. Admittedly they had nae chance, but just thought I’d give ’em a plug.
    Scotland has one of the most exciting and diverse underground music scenes around, from the warped club music of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke, to the eclectic folk-punk-jazz of Tattie Toes and the brutal racket of Divorce. The future is bright, and it’s got nothing to do with the corporate world of this useless STV show.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Agreed all round Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. Especially on Geoff and the not-so-subtle commercial backdrop to this whole thing. Great suggestions on the jazz stuff, thanks.

  9. Ard Righ says:

    Guys, the point missed here is that an english broadcasting company thinks it is plausible to reduce an entire nations phenomenal musical talent and output to one trival programme is absolute nonsense and doomed to derision.

    What about Scotlands links to Jimi Hendrix ,Elvis and Joan Baez ? where would it end, oh I know, Ireland!

    1. Poor.Old.Tired.Horse. says:

      I don’t think this can be turned into some kind of evil colonial plot. It’s an STV production and I doubt ITV had anything to do with it.
      Furthermore, tv producers frequently reduce entire continents/nations/genres/individuals etc with their trivial programming. Even BBC4 do it. For every quality documentary they do on an interesting musician or scene, there are three more useless ones that follow the same old narratives, feature the same old clips, and have the same inane talking heads.

  10. kelly cullin says:

    jesus what an itch you have to scratch..and quite rude and disrespectful into the bargain..well done to you guys for airing your opinions insuch a vile and angry go and have a nice cuppa and lick yer wounds

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.