Prats Way Up High is a compilation of tracks by The Prats, featuring the three 7″s, demos and songs from their John Peel session recorded in 1979. It was 1978 in Edinburgh and the spirit of punk had hit high school as four friends got together to form The Prats. Paul McLaughlin, Dave Maguire, Greg Maguire and Tom Robinson were then aged between 12 and 14, and while their instruments were basic – including a cardboard drum kit – their enthusiasm carried them through.
The band quickly produced a demo tape and sent it to Edinburgh’s legendary indie label Fast Product (early home of the Human League). This led to the band’s debut on the Fast Product EP Earcom 1. A series of singles then followed, including General Davis – which featured in the opening titles of Hollywood blockbuster The Manchurian Candidate – and Die Todten Reyten Schnell, which was released on German indie label ‘Da Da Records’.
A number of line-up changes then saw Elspeth McLeod joining to provide additional guitar (including on the single General Davis) with Jeff Maguire taking over bass duties from Tom Robinson. The late John Peel was a fan and long time supporter of The Prats. In 1979 the band recorded a Peel session, which the broadcaster played with considerable enthusiasm. The legendary broadcaster also offered his fee from a DJing appearance to finance a single release. 1980 saw the release of The 1990s Pop EP on Rough Trade. The seminal EP contained four tracks – Disco Pope, Nothing, TV Set and Nobody Noticed. Disco Pope received significant airplay, particularly from John Peel and is still a college radio favourite in the US.
The end of school in 1981 meant the end of the Prats.