Scullion were an important, successful and highly influential band in Ireland. Their music encompassed contemporary and traditional folk, rock, reggae, jazz, calypso, blues, etc. At it's core it was a collaboration between Sonny Condell, who'd embarked on a solo career following the demise of Tír Na nÓg and released the acclaimed, innovative solo LP 'Camouflage' in 1977, and Philip King, a teacher who'd quit teaching and was trying to interest Mulligan Records in signing him as a solo singer-songwriter. They drew from a pool of musicians to flesh out the Scullion sound, most notably guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Greg Boland (ex Stagalee) who'd played on 'Camouflage'. This band was christened Scullion after an earlier project involving Condell and King which had brought together a number of musicians in 1976 but had never got off the ground due to conflicting commitments. For the record, the 1976 lineup was Condell, King, Freddie White (guitar/vocals), Mick Daly AKA Black Dog Daly (guitar/vocals), Eamon Doyle (bass) and Dan Fitzgerald (drums).
Scullion were well received on the Dublin scene when they began to play out and soon signed to Mulligan Records. They began recording their debut LP in Windmill Lane Studios in late 1979 with producer P.J. Curtis, who suggested the addition of piper Jimmy O'Brien Moran, who became the fourth member of the band. Scullion's self-titled debut LP was released in early 1980 and was acclaimed in Ireland and abroad. Tours in Ireland (including Lisdoonvarna) and the UK, parts of Europe and the USA followed. They supported John Martyn on dates in Holland and invited him to produce their second LP 'Balance and Control' (1981). This was released on WEA and was another critical and commerical success. Jimmy O'Brien Moran left to pursue his musical studies and was not replaced. The band toured extensively in support of the second LP. A third album 'White Side of Night' was recorded in 1983 with ex Clannad manager (and sound engineer) Nicky Ryan producing. This was followed by another tour after which the band went on hold.
Scullion were enticed back onto the stage and into the studio by Michael Diamond's MCD Promotions and the Dara Records label. For this album, the band went electric, adding a rock rhythm section of Eoghan O'Neill (ex Moving Hearts) on bass and Robbie Brennan (ex ....) on drums. The resultant album 'Spin' and single 'Carol' were not to everyone's liking but they were certainly successful, and Scullion were one of the headline acts at Self-Aid in 1986, where the performance of 'Carol' was either the highlight or the nadir of this incarnation of the band, depending on your point of view. The Self Aid lineup included Noel Eccles on percussion and backing singers Mary Black and Flo McSweeney. It's available on youtube if you can stand it.
Greg Boland left the band at this point and was replaced by Robbie Overson. The new lineup released an EP in 1988 titled 'Cooler at the Edge', produced by Donal Lunny, but otherwise Scullion was in semi-retirement as the principles pursued other interests. They reform on occasion, most notably in support of the two best of compilations which appeared in the 90s and 00s. The band remains in semi-retirement to this day.
Recorded at Windmill Lane and Keystone Studios, Dublin. Produced by P.J.Curtis.
Scullion on this album are the core trio plus Tommy Moore (bass), Paul McAteer (drums), Andrew Boland (Polymoog) and
Jimmy O'Brien Moran (uilleann pipes, whistle, recorder).
Other musicians include Garvan Gallagher (double bass, drones), Tommy Hayes (bodhran, bones), Mícheál Ó Domhnaill (harmonium), Rita Connolly (vocals, backing vocals), Peter Browne (uilleann pipes, flute and whistle), Kevin Burke (fiddle on 'I Am Stretched On Your Grave'), John McAvoy (fiddle on 'Living Blind' and 'The Kilkenny Miners').
Notes: Recorded and mixed at Keystone Studios, Dublin. Engineered by Andrew Boland. Produced by John Martyn. Scullion on this album are the core trio plus Tommy Moore (bass), Paul McAteer (drums), Andrew Boland (Polymoog) and Jolyon Jackson (FenderRhodes, Polymoog).
Notes: Recorded at Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin. Produced by Nicky Ryan and Scullion.
Notes: Recorded at Lansdowne Studios, London during September-October 1985. Produced by John Dunford. Warning: syndrums and horrible 80s production. Robbie Brennan (drums, percussion, drum programming) is credited as a full band member, appearing on the front cover photo.
Notes: The four track cassette version may have been promo only. This release showcases new recordings made at Sulan Studios in Cork, produced by Donal Lunny. These are described as being from the forthcoming "Ghosts & Heroes" album. However, when "Ghosts & Heroes" finally emerged in 1992, it was a retrospective compilation rather than a new work, and omitted all four of the tracks on this EP. Presumably the new album being worked on in 1989 was abandoned. All four tracks are present on the "Eyelids Into Snow" set. Greg Boland's place had been taken by Robbie Overson by this point.
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