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Country Scotland

Style New Wave/Alternative Rock/AOR


The band was formed in mid-1980 by Cast Colin Thom ( guitar , accordion , keyboards , vocals ), Brian Smith ( vocals guitar , keyboards ), John Baird ( bass , keyboards , vocals ), Johnny O Neill ( keyboard ) and Iain Hardie ( drums , percussion ) in Edinburgh . The heads of the band are lead singer and guitarist Brian Smith and Colin Thom. Some of the members knew each other during the school days in Edinburgh since 1977 and played in a band called “Cardinal Eugene” songs in the rough style of the Rolling Stones or Humble Pie . Then reverted back but under sustained and disposals of various band members and softer and more melodic influences of the zeitgeist by bands such as Roxy Music and Japan towards an independent genre and so the actual band Sideway Look born musical.

As an independent music group from the heart of Scotland began to Sideway Look a reputation as a very dynamic, some say, “overpowering live act” to acquire. As a result of the live gigs appeared inevitable not only enthusiastic concert-goers, but also interested listeners from major record companies. This led to the release of their first album with Virgin Records in September 1984. The album was produced by producer Ian Taylor. The multifaceted and complex musical result was brought out under the self-titled album the band’s name – namely Sideway Look . The name was program, because the cover of this album Sideway Look graced then an ensemble of modern surveying equipment (for closer viewing) of the Scottish Highlands . For this album three singles were released – 1984 the two singles: Knowing You From Today and Tell Me Tonight and 1985 the song: Till the Bitter End .

Following very positive reactions to the Buyer, at radio stations and critics, especially in Europe, (including Germany highlight) but also in North America, was the Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor  attention to the band.

In 1995, published a report in the music magazine “Freddie Mercury Paradise” that Virgin Records had decided in March 1985 Roger Taylor book and Richards to produce Sideway looks second album for Virgin. No sooner had we but really started to mix the album in English “The Town House” and “Eden Studios” , appeared on the veto of the record company, and it came to artistic differences over the musical direction, the critical texts to to the method of marketing the music. The music label Virgin under strictly tied then the other recording sessions . It is still unclear how much material was actually completed, because it disappeared into the archives of Virgin and to this day remained unpublished. From a single Bulletproof Heart , a cover version of the 1980 published title of the band Fingerprintz , it was assumed that she was completely finished for publication, but this material has been released officially never. The band played the song Bulletproof Heart but like their live concerts, such as in the famous temple of music Apollo, one of the most prestigious music venues and live acts in Glasgow .


The text of the single Bulletproof Heart can also be interpreted unambiguously / ambiguous as a massive criticism of the recording industry itself, therefore, appears today with this knowledge, the decision by Virgin Records , the release of the album simply boycott not surprising. According to the maxim: The hand that feeds you, can not bite you.

Not the first time that the machinery of the music major record companies the career of some promising independent Scottish bands with their socially critical lyrics brought to a halt. Other examples of the Bands “Sunset Gun” and “Sugar Sugar” would be – both with CBS Records . The fate of the group Sideway Look So no isolated on the rough floor of the international recording industry. One remembers such prominent artists as Prince .

Of course not agree with the record company Virgin Records chosen path, forcing the band to a more commercial and streamlined predetermined path, decided Sideway Look for a pause. Sun spent the Members of the Scottish quintet their time to write it, and producing for other bands. On display were Sideway Look 1986 in the 3-part TV series “Blood Red Roses” which ran in the UK and the U.S.. In 1987, she brought together with artist Karen Rix, a maxi-single names Hungry Waters out.

During these recordings and their constructive time with Karen Rix they learned the producer and sound engineer Tim Summerhayes know that at projects, among others, Status Quo , The Police , The Clash , Paul McCartney , Foreigner , Gary Numan , and the Dire Straits worked. They learned to know and appreciate each other and they went after each other one a healthy respect had developed a connection with him. In the summer of 1988 came together Sideway Look and Tim Summerhayes, to work on a joint album project. It was found that the appropriate way of cooperation was that three of the band members were responsible for the production and Summerhayes was sitting at the console. The result is Taming the Blade , produced by Smith / Thom and Baird and mixed by Tim Summerhayes.


1988 appeared the first single of the same before the 1989 label SPV GmbH , the band Taming the Blade released its second and most recent studio recording since 1984 erschienenem at Virgin Records self-titled debut album Sideway Look and the unpleasant turbulence thereafter. On various rock and pop samplers and compilations of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s are several of their singles to hear so among other things on the Pop Compilation of AriolaSuper 20 – Hit-New Sensation ’85 the single Knowing you from today . 

Sideway Look and their music is readily and often in the style and tradition of Scottish bands like Aztec Camera , Runrig , Big Country or the Simple Minds belongs, but also with the early phase of the Irish rock group U2 compared to the early 80s. Sideway actually look is a completely independent and separate band from Scotland that can be squeezed into any musical concept.

Don Shewey , well-known journalist and critic writes for such prestigious newspapers like the New York Times , The Village Voice , Esquire , or the Rolling Stone magazine said the new band at Virgin Records in the journal “The Rolling Stone Review” 1985 mutatis mutandis about Sideway Look: Each new Scottish band, despite its very own home typical wealth, their charm and their roots and their influences and so he arranges the music of Sideway Look easily derived their musical flow somewhere between the sensitivity of Aztec Camera and the grandeur and splendor of Big Country one, with a touch of the Simple Minds .

1984 f trhrhrt sideway_look-taming_the_blade

– Sideway Look [1984]
– Bulletproof Heart [1985]
– Taming the Blade [1989]



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SIDEWAY LOOK, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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