• Bluebells
  • The Bluebells EP (Sire) 1983 
  • Sisters (Sire) 1984 
  • McCluskey Brothers
  • Aware of All (Thrush) 1987 

In a brief career, Glasgow’s rustic pure-pop Bluebells — whose small output was concentrated on singles made with a procession of producers — never had anywhere near the impact their marvelous music plainly deserved. Guitarist and ex-fanzine publisher Robert Hodgens (aka Bobby Bluebell) wrote instantly memorable classics (some in collaboration with the two brothers who completed the Bluebells’ essential troika) and Kenneth McCluskey sang ’em in a likably unaffected voice, making every track count. The five-song EP and the album have three songs in common (Brendan Behan’s moving folk classic, “The Patriot’s Game,” the beautiful and romantic “Cath” and different versions of “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool”), all of them winners. Sisters also boasts “I’m Falling (Down Again)” and six others, all subtly shaded with country fiddles and mandolins, ringing guitars, a light bouncy beat and choruses that you’ll be humming all the way home. Utterly wonderful.

After the Bluebells ended, brothers Kenneth (vocals) and David (drums) McCluskey picked up different instruments, formed a duo and continued to record airy originals with more of a folky feel and none of Hodgens’ power pop leanings. Bluebells bassist Laurence Donegan, meanwhile, surfaced in Lloyd Cole’s Commotions.

[Ira Robbins]