The Proclaimers are a Scottish band composed of identical twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid. They are best known for the songs "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", "Sunshine on Leith", "I'm On My Way" and "Letter from America", and their distinctive singing style with a Scottish accent. The band tours extensively throughout the world. They have released nine studio albums from 1987 until the present, as well as two compilation albums and a DVD.
Craig Reid and Charlie Reid were born in Leith in 1962, and grew up in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty. When they stayed in Auchtermuchty they attended Bell Baxter High School. After several punk rock bands at school they formed The Proclaimers in 1983.
The pair came to public attention when an Inverness-based fan sent their demo to the English band The Housemartins, who were impressed enough to invite The Proclaimers on their 1986 United Kingdom tour. The exposure of the tour won them a January 1987 appearance on the British pop music television programme The Tube on Channel Four; "Letter from America" peaked at number three in the UK Singles Chart, while the album This Is the Story went gold. The follow-up album Sunshine on Leith featured "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and "I'm On My Way". They had a hit with their EP King of the Road, which reached number nine in the UK in 1990. After seven low-profile years, they released their comeback album Persevere in 2001.
In March 2007 they recorded a new version of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" with television comedy characters Andy Pipkin (played by Matt Lucas) and Brian Potter (Peter Kay) for the Comic Relief charity. A long list of celebrities were featured in the music video for this new version, including David Bellamy, Rod, Jane and Freddy, Paul O'Grady, David Tennant, Frank Sidebottom and many more. This new version of the song reached number one in the UK Singles Chart.
A stage musical featuring their songs, Sunshine on Leith, was created in 2007 for Dundee Rep and adapted as a feature film in 2013.
The band was one of The B-52s' touring partners on their Funplex tour in Australia and New Zealand in November 2009, alongside Mental as Anything.
They featured in VH1's 100 greatest one hit wonders ("I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" having been their only US hit single).
When the Scottish duo of Craig and Charlie Reid emerged in 1987, they were immediately compared to the Everly Brothers. Considering their energetic, melodic folk-rock, the comparison made some sense, even though the Proclaimers didn't really sound like the Everlys. Instead, the band was a post-punk pop band, aggressively displaying their thick accents on sweet, infectiously melodic songs about love, politics, and life in Scotland.
After two albums in the late '80s (This Is the Story (1987), Sunshine on Leith (1988)), the band disappeared for several years, suffering from personal problems and severe writer's block. When their 1988 song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" was used in the 1993 film Benny & Joon, the duo began to receive massive radio airplay in America, sending them into the Top Ten in the U.S., as well as the rest of the world; it was their first taste of real success. Luckily, the band was close to completing their third album at the time, Hit the Highway, leaving them in a position to capitalize on their success. The single "Let's Get Married" received little attention, and the band pretty much disappeared.
They made various contributions to several movie soundtracks -- Dumb & Dumber and Bottle Rocket -- during the latter part of the decade, but family priorities took full scale.
The new millennium exuded a much more fresh sounding Proclaimers. They inked a new U.S. deal with Nettwerk, and Persevere (2001) marked Craig and Charlie Reid's fourth album.
It was a return to form; singing about the grim and glory of their native Scotland, but also a sign of the prime of life. The band's fifth effort, Born Innocent, appeared on their own imprint Persevere in 2003. It was followed by Restless Soul in 2005.