30. Glasgow, Scotland

Creative Commons / Kilnburn

Glasgow has produced a impressive number of bands and solo artists who have made their mark on rock ‘n’ roll.

The largest city in Scotland has a proud musical history, spanning many genres including folk, punk, alternative and indie rock.

The 1960s saw the rise of the man touted as the ‘British Bob Dylan’, the flower-powered folkie Donovan, and fellow Glasgow born folk-singer Bert Jansch would have some success as a solo artist and with his group Pentangle.

A nascent punk scene in the 1970s didn’t give rise to many bands of major standing, but new wave saw the commercial breakthrough of earnest rockers Simple Minds.

The 1980s saw the emergence of the indie favourites Orange Juice, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Primal Scream; the latter two contributing the classic albums Psychocandy and Screamadelica to the rock ‘n’ roll canon between them. The Scream’s Glasgow born frontman Bobby Gillespie even played drums on the Chain’s 1985 magnum opus.

The late 1980s saw the rise of the Kurt Cobain favourites Teenage Fanclub and The Vaselines. The Fannies’ near-perfect pop rock earned them a considerable cult following and critical success, and some credit for anticipating the onslaught of grunge via their earlier releases. The girl/boy punk of the Vaselines also earned journalistic praise but limited success.

In the 1990s, Belle & Sebastian broke through to enjoy considerable success and popularity; Stuart Murdoch’s smart and witty lyrics even earning favourable comparisons to Morrissey. B&S would be voted Scotland’s favourite band in a 2005 public vote. Acclaimed post-rockers Mogwai and the Britpop-lite rock of Travis would also emerge in the ’90s.

Franz Ferdinand generated a buzz when they broke out of the local scene in the early 2000s, and even emulated their fellow Glaswegians Primal Scream by winning the Mercury Music Prize before a decline in popularity.

Associated acts: Donovan, Bert Jansch, Simple Minds, Teenage Fanclub, Orange Juice, The Vaselines, Belle & Sebastian, Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand, Glasvegas, Mogwai, Biffy Clyro, Deacon Blue, Aztec Camera, Camera Obscura