Del Amitri is 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.
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'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'."
Formation and early years (1980-1984)Edit
Del Amitri grew out of Justin Currie's Jordanhill College School band and came together after Currie placed an advertisement in the window of a music store asking for people who could play to contact him. 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. They were replaced with Iain Harvie and Bryan Tolland. From then on, Currie and Harvie have remained the only constant members of the band.
del Amitri (1985)Edit
In 1984, Del Amitri were signed by Chrysalis Records, which released their eponymous debut album in 1985. The band also appeared on the front cover of influential weekly music magazine Melody Maker and supported The Smiths on tour. Despite this exposure, neither the album nor its singles were a commercial success. The band was dropped by Chrysalis but continued working together.
In 1986 Del Amitri toured the US, financed partly by themselves and partly by their small, enthusiastic American fan base.
Waking Hours (1989)Edit
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)Edit
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. Their international tours saw them playing to increasingly larger audiences. The popularity in the US saw them being invited to play at 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, reach 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. Cummings left the band and was replaced by Jon McLoughlin.
Some Other Sucker's Parade (1997)Edit
Del Amitri's fifth album, Some Other Sucker's Parade, was released in 1997 and reached No. 6 in the UK chart.
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. Following the recording of the album, both McLoughlin and Soan exited the band. They were replaced on tour and on subsequent recordings by Kris Dollimore (guitars) and Mark Price (drums). McLoughlin died in March 2005, aged 42, from complications arising from diabetes.
Don't Come Home Too Soon and Hatful of Rain: The Best of Del Amitri (1998)Edit
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. The best of album had been released by Mercury, who took over the band's contract after A&M had gone out of business.
Can You Do Me Good? (2002)Edit
The album Can You Do Me Good? was released in the spring of 2002. Both the album and the single "Just Before You Leave", reached the Top 40. Later in the year, the band was dropped from the Mercury label. The band then went on hiatus.
Reunion tours (2014, 2018)Edit
On 18 August 2013, during an interview with Terry Wogan on his BBC Radio 2 programme, Currie hinted at a Del Amitri reunion. A full 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". Currie has said that a new group album and further activity is 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 & Stones Girl" (1985)
- "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 founding members and main songwriters, Currie and Harvie. Other members are employed on a salary. The line-up of Del Amitri has changed many times over the years, as shown in the chart below.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 149. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- McLaughlin, Chloe (3 July 2018). "Exclusive interview with Justin Currie of Del Amitri » Northern Life". Northernlifemagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- Dingwall, John (26 May 2018). "Scottish rockers Del Amitri to return with song about Princess Diana's death". Dailyrecord.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- English, Paul (12 January 2014). "Del Amitri: We'll play our hometown for first time in 12 years but it's not a reunion.. we never split up". Dailyrecord.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- Steinfeld, Dave. (2010). "Catching Up with Justin Currie Archived 3 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine." Beyond Race Magazine. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- Rawlings-Way, Charles (2018). These Are Such Perfect Days: The Del Amitri Story. Urbane Publications. pp. 35–36. ISBN 1911331418.
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 255–256. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- "Pedro Romhanyi –". Indiepedia.de (in German). Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- "Del Amitri performance", Late Night With David Letterman, NBC, on YouTube, c. 1992, retrieved 25 October 2012,
Welcome back to the program — Del Amitri!
- Rawlings-Way, Charles (2018). These Are Such Perfect Days: The Del Amitri Story. Urbane Publications. p. 259. ISBN 1911331418.
- "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.