The Proclaimers – 500 Miles
The Proclaimers are a Scottish duo composed of identical twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. They are best known for the songs “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, “I’m On My Way” and “Letter from America”. The band tours extensively throughout Europe and other continents. They have released nine studio albums from 1987 until the present, as well as two compilation albums and a DVD.
When the Scottish duo of Craig and Charlie Reid emerged in 1987, they were immediately compared to the Everly Brothers. Considering their energetic, melodic folk-rock, the comparison made some sense, even though the Proclaimers didn’t really sound like the Everlys. Instead, the band was a post-punk pop band, aggressively displaying their thick accents on sweet, infectiously melodic songs about love, politics, and life in Scotland.
After two albums in the late ’80s (This Is the Story (1987), Sunshine on Leith (1988)), the band disappeared for several years, suffering from personal problems and severe writer’s block. When their 1988 song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” was used in the 1993 film Benny & Joon, the duo began to receive massive radio airplay in America, sending them into the Top Ten in the U.S., as well as the rest of the world; it was their first taste of real success. Luckily, the band was close to completing their third album at the time, Hit the Highway, leaving them in a position to capitalize on their success. The single “Let’s Get Married” received little attention, and the band pretty much disappeared.
They made various contributions to several movie soundtracks — Dumb & Dumber and Bottle Rocket — during the latter part of the decade, but family priorities took full scale. The new millennium exuded a much more fresh sounding Proclaimers. They inked a new U.S. deal with Nettwerk, and Persevere (2001) marked Craig and Charlie Reid’s fourth album. It was a return to form; singing about the grim and glory of their native Scotland, but also a sign of the prime of life. The band’s fifth effort, Born Innocent, appeared on their own imprint Persevere in 2003. It was followed by Restless Soul in 2005. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide