MUSIC fan Ian Rankin is to toast 30 years of his Rebus novels with a celebration of Deacon Blue's classic album Raintown, released in the same year as his first detective story hit bookshelves.

The record collector will mark the 30th anniversary of Deacon Blue’s Raintown album with a special programme for BBC Radio Scotland which celebrates the release and charts the band’s career.

The landmark album, which includes tracks Loaded, Chocolate Girl and Dignity, came out in the same year as Knots and Crosses, the first in Rankin’s 20-strong collection of crime novels featuring Detective Inspector John Rebus.

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The writer, who interviewed original Deacon Blue members Ricky Ross, Lorraine McIntosh, Dougie Vipond and Jim Prime for the programme, said: “Thirty years since I wrote my first Inspector Rebus novel and 30 years since Deacon Blue leapt on to the world stage with Raintown – maybe there was just something in the Scottish water back then.

“Both have proved their resilience, with Raintown sounding as fresh as the day it was released.”

A commercial and critical success, Raintown remained in the UK charts for 18 months and has sold around one million copies.

The radio show also includes insight from Jon Kelly, who produced Raintown, and pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, who performed the solo on Chocolate Girl.

The band’s contemporaries, including members of Hue and Cry, Danny Wilson and The Pearlfishers, also took part.

Meanwhile, TV presenter Aled Jones, record producer Trevor Horn and other famous fans also described what the album means to them.

Rankin said: “It was a joy for me to spend time with the band as they looked back on their achievement. It’s an album that belongs in everyone’s heart and collection.”

The programme will air on Monday May 1, and will also go out on BBC Radio 2 one week later.