Back in July 1981, in the midst of their Situation Two series MacKenzie and Rankine dropped in on Richard Jobson and Russell Webb at Brittania Row Studios in London. Jobson and Webb were beginning work on "Joy" - the final Skids album. MacKenzie added multi-layered vocal effects and harmonies and Rankine contributed some very Sulky guitars to the song "Fields".
The track also featured the stick work of soon-to-be Simple Minds drummer, Kenny Hyslop and the flute of Virginia Astley. The single "Fields" was released a few weeks later in August 1981 in 7" and 12" mixes. When the "Joy" album finally emerged in November 1981 it featured yet another version of "Fields".
The "Joy" album was a huge departure from the traditional Skids sound and the album bombed as the 1981 Stuart Adamson-less train wreck Skids couldn't tour it and Virgin barely promoted it. Adamson did return for one last time to contribute to the beautiful "Iona" track on "Joy" which was recorded at Highland Studios in Inverness and released as a single in October 1981. "Joy" is probably one of the most unusual albums to have come out in 1981, possibly a very rich cake to swallow at one sitting for the first time... but the album settles down very nicely indeed given time. I recommend it highly and I have a cassette of it in my carcassette rack at all times. So seek out a copy today, dust down your turntables and prepare to be amazed. Twenty eight years after I first heard it "Joy" still cuts the mustard big style.
All the best