The Bay City Rollers
The Bay City Rollers

The top ten tartan chart toppers

From Calvin Harris to the Bay City Rollers, Scotland has produced some memorable chart-topping musical acts over the years.

Here’s a Scottish Field top 10 of Scottish pop chart success.

1. Bay City Rollers – Bye Bye Baby

The Bay City Rollers

They were the tartan-wearing teen sensations of the 1970s, with their pictures adorning the bedroom walls of thousands of young girls. But the Bay City Rollers weren’t just pretty faces – they enjoyed chart success too. Bye Bye Baby was the first of their singles to hit No 1, spending six weeks at the top in 1975. Later that same year, Give A Little Love also reached the top spot, while the infamous Shang-A-Lang had been kept at No 2 in 1974 by the Rubettes’ Sugar Baby Love.

2. The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)

They may have only reached No 11 when the single was first released in 1988 but the identical twins reached the top of the hit parade in 2007 when they re-released the song, accompanied by comedians Peter Kay and Matt Lucas. The release of the film Sunshine on Leith has reignited the song’s popularity once more.

3. Slik – Forever and Ever

Before there was Ultravox there was… Slik. You could be forgiven for forgetting the name of Midge Ure’s band, which was formed in 1970 as Salvation and changed its name in 1974. The band reached the height of its fame in January 1976 when Forever And Ever topped the chart. The band’s only other hit was Requiem, which reached number 24 in May 1976. Ultravox’s biggest hit, Vienna, only reached No 2.

4. Simple Minds – Belfast Child

They may be best known for hits like Alive And Kicking and Don’t You Forget About Me – both of which reached No 7 in 1985 – but it was with Belfast Child that Simple Minds enjoyed their first and only No 1. Jim Kerr wrote the song in the aftermath of the Remembrance Day Bombing in Enniskillen in 1987, with the single released two years later. The B-side was Mandela Day, a tribute to the South African political prisoner.

5. Pilot – January

The song may have been called January but ironically it was February 1975 before Pilot’s song topped the charts. The band – which was formed by former Bay City Rollers members Billy Lyall and David Paton – had reached No 11 the previous year with Magic but only managed to reach the 30s with their two subsequent hits, Call Me Round and Just A Smile. The band was formed in Edinburgh.

6. Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around

For 15 weeks in 1994, Wet Wet Wet reigned supreme, with Love Is All Around being played almost every time you switched on the radio. The song had originally been a hit for The Troggs in 1967 but had only reached No 5 in the charts. Clydebank-born Marti Pellow and his band took the tune to the top of the hit parade thanks to its use in the Richard Curtis film Four Weddings And A Funeral, starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell.

7. Eurythmics – There Must Be An Angels (Playing With My Heart)

The Eurythmics

Aberdeen-born Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart split from The Tourists in 1980 and formed The Eurythmics. There Must Be an Angel received international acclaim when it was released in 1985 and so far is the band’s only single to reach the top of the charts, with Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) having only reached No 2 two years earlier and Who’s That Girl climbing as high as No 3 in 1983.

8. Marmalade – Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Originally named The Gaylords, Glaswegian rock band Marmalade enjoyed 11 chart hits between 1968 and 1976, but only reached the top of the tree once. Their reggae cover of The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da spent three weeks at the top of the charts in 1969, with a cover by The Bedrocks reaching only No 20 around the same time. The song featured on The Beatles’ White Album but wasn’t released by the Fab Four as a single in the UK.

9. Lulu – Relight My Fire [with Take That]

Almost 30 years of singing passed before Glaswegian Lulu ever achieved a No 1. She reached the pinnacle with Take That in 1993 after singing on their single Relight My Fire. This catchy anthem held the top place on the chart for two weeks.

10. Calvin Harris – We Found Love

Calvin Harris

With nine No 1s under his belt, Dumfries-born DJ and songwriter Calvin Harris – real name Adam Wiles – is unquestionably one of the most successful Scottish acts of the past decade. His first chart-topper, Dance Wiv Me, came in 2008 with Dizzee Rascal and Chrome and was followed a year later by his first solo No 1, I’m Not Alone. His most successful chart topper to date came in 2018 when One Kiss, a collaboration with singer Dua Lipa spent eight weeks at No 1.