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4.6 out of 5 stars53
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2000
In 1987 I was fourteen years old. I lived in Glasgow. Raintown came out, I loved it then, and I love it still. Deacon Blue manage - perhaps more than anyone else but in the mould of Van Morrison, Brian Kennedy, Steely Dan, to evoke the world from which the come. A mix of blues, folk, and good good songs, Raintown defined the mood of a nation with Dignity, an anthem for ordinary folk, and When Will You ( Make My Phone Ring) the plea for the unloved. These songs are about love and politics; clever but not obtrusively so, deep but not pretentious. Different things in this album have defined my life as time has elapsed, but the songs are so rich in human life that something will always knaw at the heart. I'm getting older; the old songs are changing with me, but they're fresh and new too.
This edition includes songs from the special ed album Riches which, in its original format as a rare collectors item. Sometimes Deacon Dlue B sides are better than the record company pleasing singles, and Shifting Sands and Ribbons and Bows are tiny gems which dreams are made of. It's 2000 now and I'm still wating for an album I like as much as this one. I live in the south and hope for the north, and I think of the title track.
Youre in the suburbs waiting for somewhere to go/ I'm down here working on some dumb show. Raintown.
Dougie Vipond, come off of your travels. Ricky Ross, get the band together. Graeme, Lorraine, Jim, play for us. We'd love to see you now.
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on 10 December 2011
Don't be put off by the fact that Deacon Blue were never particularly hip. So what? This is a brilliant album that fuses epic melodrama with boy / girl love songs, white pop sensibility with soul leanings and a little bit of Springsteen for extra flavour. Led by Ricky Ross, lead singer and main songwriter the album spawned 3 hit singles and the album consequently followed into the charts.

The album opens with the bare piano chords of 'Born in a Storm' before the clouds crack and they burst into Raintown. Did they ever have a better moment on record than the opening to this album? Lots more to enjoy though. Songs like 'Chocolate Girl' and The Very Thing were pure pop but they wore their soul influences on their sleeves with 'When will you make my telephone ring', a song that sooo wanted to be sung by Al Green whilst their Scottish working class, socialist values permeated numbers like 'Dignity', 'This Town to be Blamed' and the title track.

The original album in its single CD or vinyl format is one of the albums of the eighties and an overlooked classic. This should have been the springboard for mega stardom but if they didn't quite get there this was a deserved hit and they had a good few years. Ricky Ross was a prolific songwriter in those days and the decision to release it with the free album Riches to emphasise this was a classic case of quantity exceeding quality. Okay but unmemorable. But the original album....ahhh. Perfect!
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on 26 October 2012
Nice little package this. How do you make an already brilliant album even better? - Add 38 extra music tracks and 6 tracks on DVD.
Yes thats right in total there are 49 tracks here including some live tracks and remixes plus the 6 promo dvd's all for the pre order price of £13.

It is also well presented - a strong hardback front and back gatefold and sandwiched inbetween there is a glossy booklet containing photos, credits, a piece written by Ricky in May 2012 and lyrics to all the songs here, including the B sides.

Raintown the album in its day, 1987 was a classic.

25 years on Raintown the special deluxe edition is still a classic.

No need to review the album - you all know the tracks - superbly composed from the start, Born in a storm to the end Town To Be Blamed with all the classics, Loaded, Dignity, Chocholate Girl in between.

If nothing else this package just reminds you
1) How good Raintown is
2) How good Deacon Blue sound live
3) How good their B sides were

Go buy it and whilst you are there the When the World Knows Your Name special delux edition aint half bad either
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on 25 October 2000
When I first heard Deacon Blue back in the late 80's I was really taken with the strength of the lyrics and the way that images were evoked by them. I have to agree that Raintown is like taking a journey to the North that I spent a long time in. But with Dignity, I see myself going from one stage of my life to another. If a bands music is a key part of your life then it is always with mixed emotions that you play their music. Thats why Deacon Blue will always be a part of my memories and perhaps a hope that in the future some sort of comeback will happen. But in some way, it might be like going back to the town you grew up in only to find that the character and spirit had gone to be replaced by bland commercial hype. Like the first pub you ever drank in, got drunk in and met your first girlfriend in, being knocked down and replaced with a wine bar or McDonalds? Perhaps this is a question for Ricky Ross and the others to answer.
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on 20 December 2013
This is one of my favourite albums, which of itself I would rate higher than three stars. As for the actual product, this is not great. The blue vinyl is quiet - which is good as the sound level seems a little low. The tracks are not cut very close to the end of the sides, which is also a bonus. However, the top end is not reproduced very well: there's less high frequency information and it sounds smeared/fluffy in that area too. A common 2nd hand, inexpensive, black, thin vinyl copy of the album sounds much better to me. This blue pressing doesn't appear to suffer the compression and challenging top end of the Sony Legacy remaster, but it just isn't as good as it could be, and has been. There is a download voucher, for the album in mp3, but that's all you get, and some nominal artwork - but not even the sleeve notes that came with the CD edition.

The album artwork is pretty good, although it looks like a scan of an original sleeve with some of the typefacing tarted up. The inner sleeve looks to be newly type set, mine was very tightly stuck with static to the record on arrival making it a challenge to remove. The sleeve has a little creasing as a result, and the vinyl had a lot more friction contact with the sleeve on first go than was necessary. The labels essentially the same as the original albeit with the Demon name rather than CBS, and maybe some small text details.

If you want a pretty record, then this could be for you, if you want the album to sound good you can pick up a second hand copy of the thin black vinyl for not very much. The old black vinyl has been my preferred version for sound against the original CBS CD and the Legacy remaster. I've not compared to the Demon CD yet though, although I read somewhere it used the same mastering as the Legacy - I hope not. (What a horrible name for a record label too.)
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on 23 February 2014
I was 17 in 1987 and joined the Army along with a load of guys from Scotland who introduced me to Deacon Blue. I loved them then and saw them in Newcastle in around 2008 and they were great then too. Forgot how much I had missed them when I got this CD on a whim, as the last time I owned it was on tape. Fantastic classic tunes.
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on 14 June 2005
I only got into Deacon Blue about 6-8 weeks ago and not only has this band impressed me so much that this album is now at the top of my CD rack but i have listened to it constantly and i mean like everyday! Great song after great song after great song as simple as that could easily be a greatest hits album!
It will be a long long time before i get tired of this an absolute must for any music fan.. go get it!!
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*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 EDSEL 3CD and 1DVD 'Expanded Edition' REISSUE ***

Named after the last track on Side 1 of Steely Dan's 1977 masterpiece "Aja" – Scottish Soul-Rock band DEACON BLUE signed to CBS Records and released their superlatively melodic debut album "Raintown" in the Spring of 1987 – and it's now part of a massive full catalogue reissue campaign by Edsel Records of the UK (see list below). Here are the finite details...

Released 22 Oct 2012 in the UK (16 Oct 2012 in the USA) - “Raintown” by DEACON BLUE on Edsel EDSJ 9002 (Barcode 740155900236) is a 3CD + 1DVD ‘Expanded Edition’ in a mini hardback book (limited edition) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (76:58 minutes):
1. Born In A Storm
2. Raintown
3. Ragman
4. He Looks Like Spencer Tracy Now
5. Loaded
6. When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)
8. Dignity
9. The Very Thing
10. Love’s Great Fears
11. Town To Be Blamed
Tracks 1 to 11 are the vinyl album "Raintown" released May 1987 on CBS 450549 1. The Cassette and CD featured two bonus tracks - “Riches” and “Kings Of The Western World” on CBS 450549 4 and 1 respectively (tracks 17 and 13 on this expanded version).

BONUS TRACKS - The “Riches” LP:
The "Raintown" album was re-released in August 1988 on CBS 450549 0 with a BONUS LP inside called "Riches" (XPR 1361). "Riches" contained non-album sides from their first four releases and a new song…

12. Which Side Are You On? (from "Loaded" on CBS DEAC 2)
13. King Of The Western World (from "Loaded" on CBS DEAC 2)
14. Angelou (Live) (from “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" on CBS DEAC 3)
15. Just Like Boys (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" - a 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 4)
16. Raintown (Piano Version) (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" - a 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 4)
17. Riches (from “Dignity" on CBS DEAC 1)
18. Church (from “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" on CBS DEAC 3)
19. Shifting Sand (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" - a 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 4)
20. Suffering (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" - a 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 4)
21. Ribbons And Bows

Disc 2 (63:38 minutes):
1. Dignity (Bob Clearmountain Version) (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" on CBS DEAC 4)
2. Long Distance From just Across The Road "Loaded" (from “Dignity” on CBS DEAC 2)
3. When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)? (Extended 12” Version) (from “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" - 1st issue on CBS DEAC 3)
4. Town To Be Blamed (Live) (from “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" - 1st issue on CBS DEAC 3)
5. Ronnie Spector (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" on CBS DEAC 4)
6. Dignity (Extended 12” Version) (from “Dignity – A Brand New Recording" on CBS DEAC 4)
7. That Brilliant Feeling No. 1 (from “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" - 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 5)
8. Punch And Judy Man (from “When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" - 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 5)
9. Disneyworld
10. S.H.A.R.O.N. (from “Chocolate Girl" on CBS DEAC 6)
11. Chocolate Girl (Extended 12” Version) (from “Chocolate Girl" on CBS DEAC 6)
12. Dignity (Live At Glasgow Barrowlands 1988) (from “Chocolate Girl" on CBS DEAC 6)
13. Love’s Great Fears (Live At Glasgow Barrowlands 1988) (from “Chocolate Girl" on CBS DEAC 6)
14. The Very Thing (Livesy Mix) (from “Chocolate Girl" on CBS DEAC 6)
15. Love’s Great Fears (Brauer Mix) (from “Chocolate Girl" on CBS DEAC 6)

Disc 3 (47:02 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are all of the Bonus Tracks that came with the 2CD Legacy issue of "Raintown" in 2005 (Disc 2) – they're mostly live versions and demos

DVD contains 6 Promo Videos - "Dignity – Version 1", "Loaded", "Dignity – Version 2", "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)", "Dignity – US Version" and "Chocolate Girl".

The PHIL KINRADE remaster doesn't seem to have messed with the original that much - it's just punchier – lovely clarity on each track - and thankfully the whole thing is devoid of the bombastic Eighties production that accompanied 1989's more commercial "When The World Knows Your Name" (see separate review). The album opens slowly with the mournful "Born In A Storm" followed by the uptempo synths of "Raintown". Songs like "Ragman", "Dignity" and the longing of "Love's Great Fears" are all good too - but for me the real magic begins with "He Looks Like Spencer Tracy Now" – a gorgeous floating melody that still sounds contemporary to this day. "Loaded" was the 2nd single off the album in June 1987 – a superbly soulful song. Its followed by two more singles - the pleading "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" (lyrics from it title this review) and the so pretty "Chocolate Girl". And one of my other favourites ends the album on a high note with great vocal work from principal songwriter and lead singer Ricky Ross – "Town To Be Blamed". A smouldering debut album that defined their sound - and one that fans love…

There was a time when DEACON BLUE 12" and CD singles used to go for real money precisely because their non-album sides were considered to be so good - and in some cases - better than what was on the album. Listening to "Riches" and Disc 2 especially - it's easy to hear why. There are fantastic tracks on here in upgraded sound quality – the mournful "Shifting Sands", their live cover of Van Morrison's sublime "Angeliou", the guitar jaunt of "Suffering", the wallop of "Ronnie Spector" and the superb uptempo spelling song "S.H.A.R.O.N." which could easily have another album A-side.

Downsides - as fans felt in 2005 – the bonus disc of the Legacy Edition (Disc 3 essentially) lets the side down terribly – unremarkable live versions and dismissible demos. But as with the "When The World Knows Your Name" reissue (their 2nd LP from 1989 that saw them go to Number 1 in the UK - see separate review) - these are minor quibbles in what is an astonishing overview of a great album.

As you can see in the list provided below, Edsel have done Deluxe Editions on their whole catalogue and more - and they're to be praised for these superb presentations pitched at a more than reasonable price. Coming after the questionable and hugely disappointing reissue of Peter Gabriel's "So" which offers bugger all to long-suffering fans - this is one of those rare occasions where quality and quantity make good bedfellows.

There’s a newspaper clipping on Page 17 of the booklet that reviews a dual concert in Aldwych King's College shared by THE BIBLE and DEACON BLUE (just reviewed The Bible's fab "Eureka" from 1988). Now there's a gig I would have sold my 'dinghy' and my 'dignity' for…

PS: the DEACON BLUE titles is this 2012 series are
1. "Raintown" (1987) - Deluxe 3CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSJ 9002
2. "When The World Knows Your Name" (1989) - Deluxe 3CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSJ 9003 [see REVIEW]
3. "Fellow Hoodlums" (1991) - Deluxe 2CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSG 8021
4. "Whatever You Say, Say Nothing" ((1993) = Deluxe 2CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSG 8022
5. "Homesick" (2001) - 1CD Expanded Edition on Edsel EDSA 5015
6. "The Rest" (2012 Compilation) - Deluxe 2CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSG 8023
7. "The Hipsters" (2012 New Album) - Edsel DEACON 001
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 May 2015
'Raintown' is a criminally overlooked album from one of Scotland's best ever pop bands. Released in 1987, it is easily up there with the best debuts I have in my extensive musical collection, and a real 1980s highlight. This is intelligent, melodic and upbeat adult pop music that sounds great today, it doesn't sound all that 'aged' at all.

The best known song is probably 'Dignity', a wonderful tune with timeless lyrics, that had to be released a second time (as is sometimes the case), to become a minor chart hit, and it was re-issued a third in 1994, when it became a rightful top 20 success. It's the story of a simple and honest man who works hard at a job he doesn't particularly mind doing because he doesn't see it as a knock on his 'dignity', simply because he is saving up for better things.

Although there isn't a bad egg in the batch, my other real standouts include the funky and atmospheric title track, and the sentimental 'Chocolate Girl'.

I only have the original standard CD version for the time being, but I know that there is now a 'Legacy Edition' from 2006, which can purchased here: Raintown: Legacy Edition, this one includes an extra disc of mostly live recordings. For fans of Del Amitri, The Beautiful South, and The Christians, you'll love Deacon Blue, and 'Raintown' is the album I recommend you begin with.
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on 13 January 2013
Listening to this again brought me back to the 80's in my bedroom listening to this on my record player! I have this on vinyl still. Sounds as good as ever, great band and great songs. Love it!
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