The Scottish art-punk unit the Skids formed in Dunfermline in 1977. Comprised of the dramatic vocalist Richard Jobson, guitarist Stuart Adamson, bassist William Simpson and drummer Tom Kellichan, the group issued the single "Reasons" on their own No Bad label before signing to Virgin. After two more singles, "Sweet Suburbia" and "The Saints Are Coming," they entered the U.K. Top Ten with "Into the Valley," included on their 1979 debut LP Scared to Dance, a fine document of the anthemic guitar riffs and chant-like vocals which typified the first phase of the group's music.
With their second effort, 1979's arty, overreaching Days in Europa (produced by Be-Bop Deluxe's Bill Nelson), the Skids scored a pair of Top 20 hits with "Masquerade" and "Working for the Yankee Dollar." Trouble loomed, however, as Jobson's increasingly grandiose plans for the group's music alienated not only their fans but also their own rhythm section, and both Simpson and Kellichan were long gone by the time of 1980's The Absolute Game, recorded with bassist Russell Webb and drummer Mike Baillie. By 1981's Joy, only Jobson remained from the Skids' original lineup; prior to recording the album, Adamson quit to form his own group, the internationally successful Big Country. After Joy failed commercially and critically, the Skids officially disbanded; Jobson soon returned as a solo artist before forming the Armoury Show and beginning a career as a broadcaster. ~ Jason Ankeny