There are many famous faces who hailed from Edinburgh – from everyone’s favourite 007 actor Sean Connery to great writers like Muriel Spark and Sir Walter Scott.
And when it comes to music, Edinburgh has produced some brilliant bands and artists known the world over. We asked our readers to tell us the best song by an Edinburgh band or artist, and there were hundreds of suggestions.
From football anthems and thumping floor fillers to songs that reflect a sombre depiction of the Capital – here are 11 songs by Edinburgh artists that our readers said were the very best.
1. 11 songs our readers said were some of the best to come out of Edinburgh
Despite our lack of live music venues, Edinburgh has a rich history of producing quality music. Here are 11 songs our readers thought were some of the best. Photo: alterna2, Wikimedia Commons Photo: alterna2, Wikimedia Commons
2. Ain’t no surf in Portobello
In this 1977 feel good track by Edinburgh punk rock trio, The Valves, we hear the story of man ‘cruising down Bath Street’ with a surfboard in his hand only to find there ‘ain’t no surf in Portobello.’ Producing a similar sound to Plastic Bertrand’s Ca Plan Pour that was released in the same year. If released today, a contemporary ear might say it blends a libertines feel with the harmonies of the beach boys. The song was re-recorded in 2019 at the Wee Red Bar at the Edinburgh College of Art. Photo: Supplied
3. Salamander street
Comfortably ahead on our poll was Callum Beatie’s Salamander Street. Telling the story of an Edinburgh sex worker, the song’s combination of haunting strings and heartfelt vocals make for a powerful track. The Edinburgh singer told Hits Radio: “It's a song about growing up in Edinburgh, and you know, I went to school with someone who I later saw in Salamander Street, and I just thought, it's a story that's real, and I wanted to write about it.” Photo: Contributed
The 1970s hit rock song by Pilot was apparently inspired after watching the sunrise on Blackford Hill – hence the lyrics ‘never been awake, never seen a day break.’ Along with “January’ and ‘Call me Round’ the 1974 release ‘Magic’ sold more than a million copies in its first year. Photo: Sean Bell Photo: Sean Bell