Dougie MacLean is one of Scotland's best-known folk musicians, a singer and multi-instrumentalist with deep traditional roots who has gone on to explore more contemporary folk styles. MacLean started out as a member of the Tannahill Weavers, and was briefly part of the band Silly Wizard. He also made his mark as an independent label owner -- in 1981 he founded the Dunkeld label, on which he released almost all of his subsequent albums, as well as several records by other Scottish artists. Here's a quick look at his work...
The Tannahill Weavers "Are Ye Sleeping Maggie?" (Hedera, 1974)
An early album, featuring Dougie MacLean on vocals...
Dougie MacLean & Alan Roberts "Caledonia" (Plant Life, 1977)
Dougie MacLean/Alan Roberts/Alex Campbell "CRM" (Plant Life, 1979)
The album title stands for "Campbell, Roberts, MacLean" -- or, Alex Campbell, Alan Roberts and, well, our pal Dougie.
Dougie MacLean "Snaigow" (Plant Life, 1979)
Dougie MacLean "On A Wing And A Prayer" (Plant Life, 1981)
MacLean's last release for the Plant Life label was more of a pop/dance oriented album; many of his more trad-minded followers find this disc to be a bit of a misfire. And, after this record came out, MacLean went on to form his own independent label, Dunkeld, on which almost all of his subsequent records were released.
Dougie MacLean "Craigie Dhu" (Dunkeld, 1983)
A stalwart of the early-'80s Scottish folk-trad scene, singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean remains popular today, although over the years he has become progressively more of a folk-pop crossover artist. This is one of his best trad-oriented albums, and includes the lovely classic, "Caledonia," which has a truly beautiful melody, and a hauntingly memorable refrain. The song is also anthologized on a recent best-of on the Putumayo label, which is also worth looking for, if you want a wider view of MacLean's career.
Dougie MacLean "Fiddle" (Dunkeld, 1984)
Dougie MacLean "Singing Land" (Dunkeld, 1986)
Dougie MacLean "Real Estate" (Dunkeld, 1988)
Dougie MacLean "Butterstone" (Dambuster Music, 1989)
Dougie MacLean "Whitewash" (Dunkeld, 1990)
Dougie MacLean "The Search" (Dunkeld, 1991)
Dougie MacLean "Indigenous" (Dunkeld, 1991)
Dougie MacLean "Sunset Song" (Dunkeld, 1993)
Dougie MacLean "A Scot's Quair Destiny" (Dunkeld, 1993)
Dougie MacLean "Marching Mystery" (Dunkeld, 1994)
Dougie MacLean "Tribute" (Dunkeld, 1995)
Dougie MacLean "Riof" (Dunkeld, 1997)
I love MacLean's voice, yet still it must be said this is a pretty sleepy set. Heavy on the sententious singer-songwriter folkie tip, light on the trad. Oh, well.
Dougie MacLean "Live" (Dunkeld/Blix Street, 2000)
A sweet, stripped-down solo acoustic set which, while dipping deep into his singer-songwriter material, sheds the drippy poppish arrangements that make his studio albums so sluggish. MacLean's personal appeal comes through crystal clear, and his light, airy brogue is enough to charm any Scot-o-phile, and his personal asides are quite fun. The songs sound pretty and MacLean's charisma is complete. Nice version of "Caledonia," too, by the way.
Dougie MacLean "Perthshire Amber" (Dunkeld, 2000)
Dougie MacLean "Who Am I" (Dunkeld, 2002)
Dougie MacLean "Inside The Thunder" (Dunkeld, 2006)
Dougie MacLean "Muir Of Gormack" (Dunkeld, 2007)
Dougie MacLean "The Plant Life Years" (Plant Life/Osmosys, 1997)
Dougie MacLean "The Dougie MacLean Collection" (Putumayo, 1995)
A fine best-of set which covers the various phases of MacLean's career. This includes the sublime song, "Caledonia" (which can also be heard on the Craigie Dhu album, as well as some of his goopier pop material (which doesn't do much for me, but which is certainly part of his ouvre.)
Dougie MacLean "The Essential Dougie MacLean" (Dunkeld, 2007)
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