Days 1988-1991

4CD+DVD £39.99
  • UPC: 5014797897342
  • Release Date: 15 June 2018


Label Review. 

Kite (1989) & Electric Landlady (1991) with 33 bonus tracks. DVD contains 7 promo videos and Electric Landlady EPK. Demon. 

Our Overview. 

The daughter of folk singer Ewan MacColl, she first came to notice when Chiswick Records released an EP by local punk rock band the Drug Addix with MacColl on backing vocals (The Drug Addix Make A Record) under the pseudonym Mandy Doubt (1978). Stiff Records executives were not impressed with the band, but liked her and subsequently signed her to a solo deal. Her first single for the label, “They Don’t Know”, written by Kirsty herself was affected by a strike at the distributors and despite being a hit on radio failed to make the charts. It later became a bit hity in 1983 for Tracy Ullman.

She left Stiff for Polydor and hit the Top 20 for the first time with “There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis”. Unfortunately her debut album ‘Desperate Characters’ and other singles for Polydor failed and she returned to Stiff where her cover of the hot new talent Billy Bragg’s “A New England” found her in the Top 10 in early 1985. Stiff then went bankrupt the following year and left her contract in limbo. In the meantime she joined The Pogues for their Christmas hit “Fairytale In New York” which hit No.2 in 1987 and since downloads and streaming joined the charts in 2005 has made the Top 20 every year, in some cases going Top 10.

In 1989 with her contract issues resolved she signed with Virgin and it’s the two albums she recorded for them which are reissued here.Both albums were produced by her husband Steve Lillywhite, and feature a galaxy of musical collaborators, including Johnny Marr, David Gilmour, Mark Nevin, Pete Glenister, Elliott Randall and the cream of the UK’s session musicians and New York’s top Latin musicians. More bad label luck followed when after EMI’s purchase of Virgin in 1992, she was dropped and her next album ‘Titanic Days’ (1993) was issued by ZTT as a one-off. Whether this had anything to do the fact that it was ZTT who had bought Stiff’s assets is unknown.

Virgin put out a ‘best of’ and some singles in 1995 which did moderately well but again Kirsty was left without a record deal and she considered quitting the music business until 2000 when V2 Records put out ‘Tropical Brainstorm’, her fifth album. Tragically, later that year she was killed in Mexico when she was struck by a powerboat. Although major success eluded her during her career, she continues to pick up new fans as her catalogue has been kept alive by numerous labels. Or you can visit her memorial bench in Soho Square, engraved with a lyric from one of her most poignant songs: “One day I’ll be waiting there / No empty bench in Soho Square”.


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