Alan Rankine, keyboardist, and guitarist with The Associates in Scotland, died at the age of 64. On Tuesday, January 3, his sons, Callum and Hamish, acknowledged their father’s death on the band’s official Facebook page. They stated:
“It is with deep grief that my brother, Hamish, and I announce the death of our father, Alan Rankine. He died quietly at home, only a few days after celebrating Christmas with his family. He was a kind, kind, and loving guy who would be much missed. Rankine, Callum, and Hamish.”
Callum and Hamish also contributed:
“Because our father valued the Facebook community, we’d want to keep this account active and encourage you to honor his life on this page.”
Alan Rankine was The Associates’ guitarist and keyboardist.
Alan Rankine and vocalist Billy McKenzie co-founded The Associates in the late 1970s. In 1979, the pair gained prominence in Scotland after releasing an unofficial copy of David Bowie’s Boys Keep Swinging. According to reports, the rendition landed them a deal with Fiction Records. According to The Scotsman, the song also got them publicity from Radio One DJ John Peel. The Affectionate Punch, the band’s first album, was released in 1980. The Associates, who became synonymous with the British New Pop style, recorded three albums as a duet. Aside from The Affectionate Punch in 1980, they published a singles collection called Fourth Drawer Down in 1981 and Sulk in 1982.
They gained recognition after releasing their smash single, The Party Fears Two, off their album Sulk. The song charted in the top 20 in the United Kingdom. Club Country and 18 Carat Love Affair were both big singles from the album. Fourth Drawer Down by The Associates peaked at No. 5 on the UK Independent Albums Chart while Sulk peaked at No. 23 on the UK Official Albums Chart, according to Billboard. Mackenzie continued to release tracks under the same moniker and his own name until Alan Rankine quit The Associates in 1982. He died in 1997, however, at the age of 39.
Rankine, on the other hand, became a successful producer, working with a variety of musicians such as Cocteau Twins, Paul Haig, and The Pale Fountains. Rankine debuted as a solo artist in 1986, producing albums such as The World Begins to Look Her Age in 1986, She Loves Me Not in 1987, and The Big Picture Sucks in 1989.
According to the NME, Rankine also lectured at Glasgow’s Stow College. He helped his pupils establish up the Electric Honey record label, which helped start the careers of Biffy Clyro, Belle & Sebastian, and Snow Patrol. Rankine and Mackenzie’s family approved a live re-imagining of The Associates’ first album, which was played at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections event two years ago.