Del Amitri's easy blend of Beatlesque pop and country-rock has made them a worldwide road and radio staple since the mid-'80s. Formed in Scotland in 1982 by bassist/vocalist/songwriter Justin Currie and longtime guitarist and collaborator Ian Harvie, the duo released Sense Sickness on a small Glasgow indie label the following year. Through heavy touring and positive word of mouth, the band -- which now included drummer Paul Tyagi and guitar player Bryan Tolland -- managed to impress the suits at Chrysalis Records enough to offer the fledgling group a recording contract. Their Hugh Jones-produced self-titled major-label debut was released in 1985 amidst a tidal wave of hype, but their signature blend of new wave and country-folk isolated audiences and critics alike, resulting in their inevitable departure from the Chrysalis family.
Del Amitri rebounded with a self-financed U.S. tour that broadened their network of fans and landed them a deal with A&M. In 1987 the quartet expanded by one, adding keyboardist Andy Alston and replacing Tolland with David Cummings and Tyagi with Brian McDermott, and began work on Waking Hours. Released in 1989, the Gil Norton/Hugh Jones-produced LP yielded the band's first British hit, "Kiss This Thing Goodbye," a song that also found success in the U.S. In 1992 the group charted with "Always the Last to Know" from the Change Everything album, but it wasn't until the release of 1995's Twisted and its infectious hit "Roll to Me" that Del Amitri could declare global victory.
Their follow-up, Some Other Sucker's Parade, relied heavily on the adult alternative jangle pop that made Twisted such a success, but failed to generate any lasting hits. Hatful of Rain: The Best of Del Amitri, a much-needed career-spanning anthology that collected the prolific yet spotty group's best tunes, was released in 1998 along with a companion CD, B-Sides Lousy With Love. Del Amitri released the soulful and melodic Can You Do Me Good? in 2002.
James Christopher Monger