“Dignity” was the Deacon Blue’s first ever official release. It is one of their most popular songs and it is usually played as the final song at their concerts. It received the most public votes for the 1980s songs in the Scotland’s Greatest Album contest run by STV in 2011, and was featured on the 12 track compilation. It was also sung at the closing ceremony at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.
In an interview, songwriter Ricky Ross stated, “I have no idea why I started writing a song like that in Greece, but that’s why there’s a reference to raki in it, the local firewater. I was sitting messing around with lyrics, bored on holiday, in a faraway scene. There were men from the Glasgow cleansing department depot who walked up and down the street with brushes outside my flat in Pollokshields”.
The song has been officially released as a single three times. It was first released in May 1987 as the lead single before the release of the band’s first album, Raintown. The single failed to chart in the UK, although it did reach the lower region of the charts in the Netherlands, and sales on the album were slow to start. The 12” version of the first release featured a different vocal and alternate lyrics. After the release of two subsequent singles, “Dignity” was re-recorded in November 1987 by Bob Clearmountain and re-released in January 1988 as the fourth single (and second release of “Dignity”). The second release charted on the UK Singles Chart and its success helped increase sales of Raintown.
“Dignity” was released for a third time as the second single from Deacon Blue’s first greatest hits compilation Our Town – The Greatest Hits. During the third release, two companion CD singles were released—one with the original version of “Dignity” and one with the Bob Clearmountain re-recording.
Probably my favourite band, if I fancy listening to something to have a sing-a-long to…
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