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Sensational Alex tops Ian Rankin’s top 10 Scots bands

IAN Rankin has revealed his top Scottish group of all time – the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

The Inspector Rebus author placed the rock band at the top of a recent favourites list – and says he loved them so much he even bought a stripy Alex Harvey shirt aged 14.

The list, published in a magazine, also includes the likes of Glasgow-based Mogwai and hard rock band Nazareth.

Rankin has revealed his top ten Scots bands of all time
Rankin has revealed his top ten Scots bands of all time


But his picks have prompted mixed reactions from fans, some of whom claim he has missed out key groups.

The Sensational Alex Harvey band, who formed when Rankin was just a teenager, is described by the author as “a really tight and inventive group led by a charismatic showman”.

Their top hits include ‘Boston Tea Party’, ‘Next’ and ‘The Faith Healer’, and they produced a succession of highly regarded albums and tours throughout the 1970s.

Coming in second place is The Skids, a punk rock band whose guitarist was two years above Rankin at Beath Senior High school in Cowdenbeath, Fife.

Glasgow-based Mogwai made it into the list
Glasgow-based Mogwai made it into the list


Rankin revealed he used to go and see them “most Sunday nights” at the Station Hotel’s punk club in Kirkcaldy.

A close third was Jesus and the Mary Chain, who Rankin describes as “properly chippy, properly maverick, properly rock n roll.”

Fourth is another rock band, the Cocteau Twins, who produced “gorgeous otherworldly sounds”, and in fifth place comes Nazareth, a hard rock band who had several hits in the early 1970s.

The second half of the list comprises John Martyn, Jackie Leven, Mogwai, and indie pop band Belle and Sebastian.

Rankin revealed he listens to Boards of Canada albums when writing
Rankin revealed he listens to Boards of Canada albums when writing


Coming in last on the list is Boards of Canada, an electronic music duo consisting of two brothers.

Despite their low placing, Rankin revealed he often has their albums playing as he writes his novels.

Some fans wholeheartedly agreed with his list.

Gordon MacPherson said: “Decent! My maw’s cousin was the keyboardist in Nazareth.”

But others were appalled at the bands he left out.

Alan Shaw joked: “What? No Primevals? You’ll be hearing from my solicitor.”

Callum Macleod added: “I’d be more worried about the absence of Runrig. Next time you return to your Highland hidie hole, expect pickets or pitchforks.”

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