Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers has sadly passed away today.

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Originally discovered by Tony Roberts who went on to be Managing Director of Warner Brothers Music, they became an overnight sensation

“Scotland’s Tartan Teen Sensations” was a good fit. Probably now more remembered for the sheer exuberance of their tartan finery (this was the 70s), it’s largely forgotten that they were a hugely successful, 120 million-selling band who scored a string of Top Twenty singles and albums in the UK, the USA and Canada.

With the Gold compilation, Crimson Productions has crammed all the oldies but goldies from the band’s untouchable, 8 albums, 5 years run into 3 cracking CDs.

The songs written by producers PhilCoulter & Bill Martin dominated the debut album, Rollin’ (1974). The hits, ‘Remember’, ‘Shangalang’, ‘Summerlove Sensation’ and ‘Saturday Night’ were graced with impossibly infectious singalong tunes, whose lyrics were rooted in sentimentality and nostalgia – sure-fire winners.

The band’s own compositions were inclined to be outshone by the commerciality and sheer pop optimism of the Coulter/Martin stuff initially, but many critics, in retrospect at least, have nothing but praise for much of the self-penned material. That recognition grew, from the derivative but surefooted Stuart “Woody” Wood/Eric Faulkner compositions, ‘My Teenage Heart’ and ‘Angel Baby’ on their second album, to the confidence and maturity of 1977’s ‘Another Rainy Day In New York City’ and ‘Don’t Let The Music Die’, two balladic, heart-string tugging songs that saw the band very successfully climb aboard the burgeoning late seventies AOR bandwagon.

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