80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Big Dish

the-big-dish1If you want to hear what an angel’s voice sounds like, I urge you to get your hands on any of the music Scottish group The Big Dish created during the 80’s. Lead singer Steven Lindsay’s voice is about as close to heaven-on-earth that this era produced. Another band from Ireland, Dubh Chapter, had a lead singer (Brendan Staunton) in the same league, but that’s another “Criminally Underrated” for another time.


The Big Dish formed in Airdrie, Scotland in 1983. The original studio lineup was the trio of Steven Lindsay (vocals, guitar), Mark Ryce (guitar), and John Harper (keyboards). Later on for stage performances, Raymond Docherty (bass) and Keith Burns (drums) were added. The Big Dish toured with Lloyd Cole and Big Country (another notable band from Scotland) in an effort to widen their exposure.


Their debut album The Swimmer was released in 1986. Critically acclaimed, the album features the addition of Brian McFie (replacing Ryce on guitar) and Ian Ritchie on keyboards/saxophone. It is a collection of one beautifully crafted and delivered song after another; truly a dream-weave of music and vocals so effective and close to perfection that it will take your breath away.


Their sophomore production Creeping Up On Jesus saw a reconfiguration of musicians and a larger instrumental sound. This time, the album was unjustly panned and the group was dropped from their label Virgin Records.


Lindsay and McFie gave releasing another album as The Big Dish one more shot, again with a variety of backing musicians and for a Warner Bros. Records subsidiary label. This critically acclaimed 1991 collection was entitled Satellites and produced a hit single “Miss America.” Unfortunately, it was not enough to keep the band going and they ended up calling it quits.


In 1994, Virgin released a “best of The Big Dish” collection called Rich Man’s Wardrobe.” If you would like an introduction to The Big Dish’s incredibly crafted music, this album would be a good start. One title alone makes this “best of” outstanding: a rare and unreleased track called “Voodoo Baby.” Easily one of my favorite The Big Dish songs, Rich Man’s Wardrobe is the only place where you can hear it.


“Miss America” via YouTube user AUCHTERMUCHTYZZ:


“Prospect Street” via YouTube user IndieAnnieJones:


“Christina’s World” via YouTube user garyco345:


Purchase The Big Dish

12 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Big Dish

  1. Hi Joey,

    So glad to hear you’ve discovered music you like – that’s my intention. I wish I could have found “Voodoo Baby” on YouTube so I could put that one up as well, because it’s just a great song.

    Thank you for your comment and keep up the great work on your music blog.



  2. Hi MissP,

    I’ve heard of Big Dish but I’m one of those guilty for not having paid much attention to their great works. It’s good that there’s still time to discover them. Thanks for featuring another worthwhile criminally underrated band.


  3. Hi MissP,

    That’s quality! His vocals remind me a bit of Lloyd Cole – at least the lower register stuff. If you haven’t discovered them already, I’d also recommend anything by The Adventures. Talking of having an angel’s voice – Terry Sharpe’s vocals are definetely born of heaven.
    Feel free to check out my blurb about The Adventures –
    Thanks for another great post 🙂



  4. Hey McDoc – don’t feel guilty. If it wasn’t for the efforts of other bloggers like you, and DJs like David Marsden and Ed-FM, I wouldn’t have known about many of the groups that I now enjoy. Life is all about learning – hope you are able to give some of The Big Dish’s songs a listen.

    All the best,


  5. Hello again AFOS,

    Thank you for the tip about the Adventures. I don’t think I’ve heard them, but when I get home from work later today, I will definitely check out your blog. Thank you for the kind words.

    All the best,


  6. Hi MissP,

    Yup, I’ve sampled some tracks of Big Dish. Thanks. BTW, about what AFOS wrote about The Adventures, I agree with him 110%. You can also check out Saltyka’s post on their discography. Except for their CD “Sea of Love” which is still commercially available, the rest of their albums are out of print and fetch big bucks when auctioned at ebay. Their first album, “Theodore and Friends” is my favorite. It includes “Send My Heart”, “Two Rivers”, “Feel the Raindrops”… oh, I like all the songs in that album. It’s one of those that I hope will have a re-issue on CD. 🙂




  7. Heya ((((McDoc))))

    Thank you for the feedback on The Adventures. Isn’t it amazing how people are getting rich from rare vinyl LPs when the artists themselves couldn’t make it? I find that really ironic. Haven’t been to visit Saltyka in a while. Thanks for reminding me that I have to drop in for a visit! All the best to you.



  8. One of the greatest bands never to make it.
    I was fortunately introduced to The Big Dish at Uni in the late 80’s. Swimmer is one of my top 5 albums out of the 1,000s i have.

    Give this group another go !!!!!


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