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Album Review

When an act has come fourth on the X Factor TV series, mainly due to originally coming from Scotland and Simon Cowell saying nasty things about their lack of talent, prompting the other judges (Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne) to encourage the nation of Scotland to rise up against Cowell and vote to keep the MacDonald Bros in the show, this had little to do with music and more to do with good television ratings and a battle between the TV judges. When Scotland did rise up and vote week after week for the MacDonald Bros, Cowell became more and more marginalized, and that was exactly what the TV producers wanted, but eventually the bubble burst and they were voted off just before the final stage. So when the time came for them to release their debut album, who better bring in as producer than one of the archetypal Scots, Stuart "Woody" Wood, formerly a member of the Bay City Rollers, and then set about determining a track listing that would reflect the homeland, without being a bagpipes and traditional Scottish album. So trawl through a list of some of the top Scottish groups from the past 35 years and pick their better known numbers, "500 Miles" from the Proclaimers (who had recently come back into vogue again), "Love Is All Around" from Wet Wet Wet, "Young at Heart" from the Bluebells (although Bananarama had actually recorded the original), "Real Gone Kid" from Deacon Blue, "Magic" from Pilot (yes they even remembered them), two songs from the Bay City Rollers, "Shang a Lang" and "Bye Bye Baby" (originally by the Four Seasons), "Perfect" from Fairground Attraction, "When You Say Nothing at All" from Ronan Keating (despite him actually being from Ireland) and Sting — "Fields of Gold" (well, Newcastle is not that far from Scotland). Then to prove their own personal credentials, they added two songs of their own, "Love Is Blind" and "With a Woman Like You," unfortunately the weakest songs on the album. It worked a like a charm: the MacDonald Bros retained their Scottish fans who put the album at number one in the country, although it only charted in the official U.K. charts at number 18, but Cowell was probably right, there was nothing really outstanding about the MacDonald Bros, they probably didn't have the X factor, and culling the cream of Scottish acts recordings would not work a second time.


Formed: Ayr, Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Count folk-pop duo the MacDonald Bros. among the myriad young acts launched to fame via the reality TV phenomenon of the early 21st century. Siblings Brian and Craig MacDonald were born and raised in Ayr, Scotland. They began harmonizing as toddlers, and in high school collaborated in a Queen cover band dubbed Cobra. While older brother Craig later worked as a bank teller, Brian toiled as a bedding salesman. At night, they moonlighted at a local golf club Brunston Castle, singing at weddings and...
Full bio
The MacDonald Bros: Live, The MacDonald Bros
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