If You Have Never Heard Of Danny Wilson, Listen To These Songs

Danny Wilson Songs

Album Covers used for review purposes only under Fair Use section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law

Have you ever heard of the band Danny Wilson? I think it may be safe to say that many people have not. That’s too bad because, in the mid to late 1980s, a band called Danny Wilson released a couple of albums that blew a lot of our minds, or at least the ones that heard them. The band’s debut Meet Danny Wilson album also spawned a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom called “Mary’s Prayer.” The song also proved to be successful in the United States, hitting number twenty three on the Billboard Hot 100. Many people, including myself, thought the band Danny Wilson would become the next big thing in the music business. Their music fell somewhere between Burt Bacharach and Steely Dan. However, the group only released two albums and then broke up, leaving a lot of us behind, wondering what happened.

The band Danny Wilson was formed by friends Gary Clark and Ged Grimes, along with Gary’s brother Kit. The three hailed from Dundee, Scotland. The group’s original name was Spencer Tracy, a nod to the legendary actor. However, the estate of Spencer Tracy was not happily nodding back and threatened to sue the group. So the group settled on the name Danny Wilson, which was a tribute to a Frank Sinatra film called Meet Danny Wilson. The title of that classic 1952 film would also be used as the title of the band’s debut album, Meet Danny Wilson, which was released in 1987.

The group released their follow-up album, Bebop Moptop, in 1989. Despite three fantastic songs issued as singles off the album, radio failed to embrace the record, which caused great frustration among the band members and their music label, Virgin Records. Like any band, internal fighting would give way to the band breaking up.

A third album, Sweet Danny Wilson, was released in 1991. It was a compilation album with an additional live disk called Three-In-A-Bed Romp. The music industry had duly taken notice of the band Danny Wilson. All three members continued in the field, finding success in various ways. Gary Clark formed a couple of new bands while also finding success as a songwriter and producer for many well-known musical artists, from the Spice Girls to Liz Phair and many more. Kit Clark would release a few solo albums, and Ged Grimes played with Deacon Blue and currently bass in the band Simple Minds.

# 10 – Aberdeen (Live)

This one should get your attention right away. We present the song “Aberdeen” as the opening track on our Danny Wilson songs list. This fabulous song opens with a cool piano riff, met by a swinging duplicate horn line. The sounds of bands like Chicago and Steely Dan resonate here. The song was initially released on the album Meet Danny Wilson. The version below was released on the live bonus disc entitled Three-In-A-Bed Romp that accompanied their 1991 compilation Sweet Danny Wilson.

# 9 – I Can’t Wait

Continuing with our “If You Never Heard Of Danny Wilson” article, we have one that will get you on your feet in no time. Over the course of two albums, the band recorded many songs that incorporated various musical genres while always keeping their fresh, and unique sounds driving the music. This one was pretty upbeat and very interesting at the same time.  The song was released on the album entitled Bebop Moptop in 1989.

# 8 – I Was Wrong

While the band’s first album is heralded by those who know the group as the band’s masterpiece (they are not wrong), their second album should get a little more love than it does. We will fix that right here by adding two in a row from album number two with the intoxicating song “I Was Wrong.”

# 7 – We Sail On the Stormy Waters

This mesmerizing soulful track is not an official Danny Wilson song, but in reality, it is. The song appeared on Gary Clark’s solo album, featuring all three band members of Danny Wilson. The songs on the album, including this one, were originally meant to be placed on the third Danny Wilson album, but that never happened. The song was released on the album entitled Ten Short Songs About Love. The album was released in 1993

# 6 – Broken China

We head back to the band’s debut album with one of the record’s strongest tracks in the song “Broken China.” The song opens with a pulsating but mysterious keyboard lick that makes use of the Yamaha DX7 FM synthesizer, which was extremely popular at the time. Everyone loved the marimba patch, which you can hear Danny Wilson using to drive part of the groove of this song.

# 5 – Davy

At the halfway point on our Danny Wilson songs list is the extraordinary song “Davy.” The song was released on the band’s debut album and was the album’s opening track. The band also released a cool video for the song. One can tell that the budget they had for the video was probably pretty low, but these guys just had something special about them that made it work very well.

# 4 – Never Gonna Be The Same

At the number four spot on our Danny Wilson Songs list, we present the charming song “Never Gonna Be The Same.” This one opens with Gary Clark’s sweet vocals before the band jumps in. The song was released on the album Bebop Moptop. “Never Gonna Be The Same.” was the first single released from the album. Sadly, it did not do well, which was pretty much a crime because it’s such a wonderful and captivating song. It peaked at number sixty nine on the UK Music Charts. It failed to break into any of the US Billboard Charts.

# 3 – The Second Summer Of Love

The second single from the Bebop Moptop album did much better than the first single. Radio in the UK jumped on this one. The song “The Second Summer of Love,” would become a top 30 hit in the United Kingdom, peaking at number twenty-three in the UK. The song also charted in Germany and Australia but could not break into any U.S. Charts. There was a bit of a Beach Boys feel on this one. It’s an extraordinary song with a hook that you just can’t get out of your head after hearing it for the first time.

# 2 – A Girl I Used To Know

Just outside the number one spot on our Danny Wilson Songs list is the extraordinary song ” A Girl I Used To Know.” The song’s driving beat sails along so sweetly, surrounded by keyboard lines that add a bit of a haunting feel to the song. In the end, any song about a girl one used to know will always be driven by a sense of sadness and longing in many cases. “A Girl I Used to Know” was the second single released from the band’s debut album Meet Danny Wilson. It did not chart in the United States but did break into the UK top 100, peaking at number eighty three.

# 1 – Mary’s Prayer

We close out our Danny Wilson Songs list with none other but their breathtaking song “Mary’s Prayer.” This is just one of those songs in which the melody cuts through you and stirs up all your emotions. If you don’t feel it, you better check your pulse. Does it matter if it was a hit or not? Of course not! However, this one was a pretty big hit.  This is a song that stops you in your tracks the moment you hear it. The song is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and that is all that really matters with this one.

If You Never Heard Of Danny Wilson, Listen To These Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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