An entity unto themselves, by way of becoming the first Gaelic-speaking Celtic-rock act to make it huge, Runrig have probably surpassed all expectations throughout their 40+ years in the music business. Formed in 1973 as The Run-Rig Dance Band, in North Uist and the neighbouring isle of Skye by brothers Rory (bass) and Calum Macdonald (percussion and drums), and Blair Douglas (keyboards).
Up until 1978 the band had been a part time occupation, and it was in that format that the debut album Play Gaelic was released on the Scottish based Lismor Recordings. Following this the potential of the band was strengthened with the addition of a young guitarist, Malcolm Jones.
In 1979 they went into the studio and recorded The Highland Connection. This transitional record featured a mix of Gaelic and English language tracks, including ‘Loch Lomond’, a sourced staple that would become a firm favourite within their growing fan base. Adding fifth member Iain Bayne on drums, it was to be a couple of years before they released Recovery. This 1981 album offered a more accessible brand of Celtic-rock, a sound that crystallised on interim singles, ‘Dance Called America’and ‘Skye’.
The next 10 years saw major events and the release of several albums. The Big Wheel went straight into the National Charts at No.4. A new video, ‘Wheel in Motion’, was released, featuring live footage from the memorable Loch Lomond concert with an audience of 50,000 people. The album Amazing Things achieved the band’s highest ever chart position, entering the Gallup Chart at No.2 and eventually winning the award for being the British Environment and Media album of the year.