Runrig

Amazing Things

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Runrig's eighth studio album was their most successful in terms of chart position in the U.K., peaking at number two in March 1993, and it's not difficult to hear why. The folk genre that dominated their early independent albums had virtually disappeared and had been replaced by an anthemic rock sound heavily influenced by their fellow Scots countrymen Big Country and Irish band U2. In keeping with their tradition, three of the 12 tracks were sung in Gaelic and the first of these, "Pog Aon Oidche Earraich" which translates as "A Kiss One Spring Evening" was mainly a somber spoken passage interspersed with harmonic singing and chanting. Both the other two Gaelic language songs, "Sraidean Na Roinn Eorpa" ("Streets of Europe") and "Ard" ("High") were more rock oriented, and the final track, "On the Edge," was a haunting guitar instrumental. Both the title track and the first single to be taken from the album, "Wonderful" were heavily influenced by the more rock oriented Big Country, keyboard player Peter Wishart having been a member of that band in their early days, although Malcolm Jones played the bagpipes for real, not a synthesized version. Wishart would soon leave the band to follow a career in politics as a member of parliament for the Scottish constituencies of Tayside North and Perth and North Perthshire. The song "Greatest Flame," the second hit single from Amazing Things was a stadium rock anthem designed to sway with a lighter held high, and one of the greatest strengths of Runrig was their ear for a good melody, shown on the ballads "Dream Fields" and "Forever Eyes of Blue." Runrig never again hit the heights in the charts of Amazing Things.

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