Alan Rankin, co-founder of Scottish pop band The Associates, died on Monday aged 64. The news was first reported by the BBC and The Guardian when the multi-instrumentalist’s two sons started broadcasting on the social network.
“Callum and Hamish’s message says it all,” Rankin’s ex-wife Belinda Henderson (née Pearce) wrote to share the sad news. “‘It is with great sadness that my brother Hamish and I announce the passing of our father, Alan Rankin.
He died at home shortly after spending Christmas with his family. He was a beautiful, kind and loving person who will be greatly missed. Callum & Hamish Rankin.’” Formed in 1979 by Rankin and singer Billy McKenzie, the Associates initially gained popularity throughout their native Scotland thanks to an unofficial cover of David Bowie’s “Boys Keep Swinging.”
After Rendition signed them to Fiction Records, the duo released their debut studio set, The Affectionate Punch, in 1980 and became integral to Britain’s New Pop movement. A follow-up compilation titled Fourth Drawer Down followed the next year, and eventually, the band released three more albums.
1982’s Sulk, 1985’s Maybe, and 1990’s Wild and Lonely — though Rankine left the band on tour around the final album. Although none of The Associates’ music topped the Billboard charts during their career, it reached No. 5 on the Fourth Drawer Down Independent Albums Chart in the U.K. Salk peaked at number 23 on the Official Albums Chart. The popularity of its singles “Party Fears Too” and “Club Country”.
Later in his life, Rankin worked as a producer for artists such as the Cocteau Twins, Paul Hague, and The Pale Fountains. He also released a trio of solo albums, including The World, Begins to Look Her Age in 1986, She Loves Me Not in 1987 and The Big Picture Sucks in 1989.