|A Pagan Place|
|Studio album by|
|Recorded||November 1982 at Redshop Studio |
September 1983 at Rockfield Studio
|Label||Ensign, Island, Chrysalis|
|The Waterboys chronology|
A Pagan Place was an album released in June 1984 by The Waterboys. It was the first Waterboys record with Karl Wallinger as part of the band and also includes Roddy Lorimer's first trumpet solo for the band on the track "A Pagan Place".
The album shares a title with the book A Pagan Place , written by Irish novelist Edna O'Brien. According to a post at the official Waterboys forum, Mike Scott, who chose the album name, has never read the book,and neither the album nor the title track share any other similarities with the novel.
Recording for A Pagan Place was begun before either the band's first single, "A Girl Called Johnny", or album, The Waterboys , were released. The album comprises two recording sessions. The first, in November 1982 at Redshop Studio in London, involved Mike Scott, Anthony Thistlethwaite and Kevin Wilkinson. The second session, held September 1983 at Rockfield Studio in Wales, included contributions from Wallinger, who had joined the band that year.The four, the early band's core membership, were joined by Lorimer, Tim Blanthorn, and Eddi Reader, among others, for later overdubbing of the sessions to add full instrumentation to the recordings.
|Record Mirror||(original release)|
The album was released in June 1984 (see 1984 in music). Peter Anderson, writing in Record Collector, asserts that there was "unanimous critical acclaim".
A Pagan Place was reissued in 2002 by Chrysalis Records, having been remastered. The reissue included both new tracks from the recording sessions for both A Pagan Place and from The Waterboys, along with extended versions of tracks from the original release.
A Pagan Place expanded The Waterboys' treatment of spiritual themes beyond the Christian beliefs of "December" from The Waterboys. "A Church Not Made With Hands" is an ode to a woman who "is everywhere and no place / Her church not made with hands".
Both "All the Things She Gave Me" and "The Thrill is Gone" discuss the end of a romantic relationship. "Rags" and "Somebody Might Wave Back" discuss despair and optimism in loneliness. Scott's songwriting has been criticized as being overly introspective, and all four tracks contain some element of self-reflection.
"The Big Music" was released as a single, and became a descriptor of the sound of the album, the preceding debut The Waterboys and the following album This Is the Sea . Waterboys chronicler Ian Abrahams described the song as the album's defining track, with New Music Express' Andrew Collins stating, "What a concept and what an albatross. A lilting anthem with grand cymbal slashes, soulful backing... a lazy, meandering essay."For The Waterboys' gig at London's Town & Country Club in 1985, backing vocals to the song were provided by Sinead O'Connor, marking her first UK live appearance. Usage of the term "The Big Music" spread to include other bands with a similar sound. The single included "Bury My Heart" and "The Earth Only Endures". "Bury My Heart", a reference to "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", is described by Anderson as "a lament to the decimated American Red Indians". "The Earth Only Endures" is a traditional Sioux song arranged by Scott.
"Red Army Blues" first appeared on the twelve-inch single for "December" from The Waterboys. The song is a first-person narrative of the life of a young Soviet soldier in World War II who participates in the Battle of Berlin. The soldier, along with many others, is sent to the Gulag by Joseph Stalin. The songs are based upon the book The Diary of Vikenty Angorov .
The final track of the original release, "A Pagan Place", featuring a trumpet solo from Lorimer, is an ambiguous questioning of the process of Christianising a Pagan culture.
The song "Cathy", included on the album's re-issue, was originally a Nikki Sudden song. Sudden writes about an evening in 1982 when he was staying in Scott's apartment: "Late that night – around midnight – Mike recorded a lead vocal to the backing track for my song, Cathy. We did a quick mix and that was that until twenty years ago [sic] when he includes the number on the reissue of his A Pagan Place album". This 2002 reissue credits Sudden as the song's author.
All tracks written by Mike Scott, except "Cathy" on the reissued version of the album.
Karl Edmond De Vere Wallinger is a Welsh musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for leading the band World Party and for his mid-1980s stint in the Waterboys. He also wrote and originally released the song "She's the One", which was later covered by Robbie Williams and became a hit single.
The Waterboys are a British-Irish folk rock band formed in Edinburgh in 1983 by Scottish musician Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. Mike Scott has remained as the only constant member throughout the band's career. They have explored a number of different styles, but their music is mainly a mix of folk music with rock and roll. They dissolved in 1993 when Scott departed to pursue a solo career. The group reformed in 2000, and continue to release albums and to tour worldwide. Scott emphasises a continuity between The Waterboys and his solo work, saying that "To me there's no difference between Mike Scott and the Waterboys; they both mean the same thing. They mean myself and whoever are my current travelling musical companions."
The Best of The Waterboys 81–90 is a compilation album by The Waterboys, released 29 April 1991.
This eponymously named debut album from The Waterboys was recorded in several studio sessions between December 1981 and November 1982. Allmusic describes the sound of the album as "part Van Morrison, part U2".
This Is the Sea is the third The Waterboys album, and the last of their "Big Music" albums. Considered by critics to be the finest album of their early rock-oriented sound, described as "epic" and "a defining moment", it was the first Waterboys album to enter the United Kingdom charts, peaking at number 37. Steve Wickham makes his Waterboys recording debut playing violin on 'The Pan Within' and subsequently joined the band, appearing on the video of "The Whole of the Moon". This Is the Sea is the last album with contributions from Karl Wallinger, who left the group to form his own band, World Party.
Fisherman's Blues is a 1988 album by The Waterboys. The album marked a change in the band's sound, with them abandoning their earlier grandiose rock sound for a mixture of traditional Irish music, traditional Scottish music, country music, and rock and roll. Critics were divided on its release with some disappointed at the change of direction and others ranking it among The Waterboys' best work. The album was the Waterboys' best selling album, reaching a number 13 placing on the U.K. charts on release, and 76 on the Billboard 200.
Michael Scott is a Scottish singer, songwriter and musician. He is the founding member, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of rock band The Waterboys. He has also produced two solo albums, Bring 'em All In and Still Burning. Scott is a vocalist, guitarist and pianist, and has played a large range of other instruments, including the bouzouki, drums, and Hammond organ on his albums. Scott is also a published writer, having released his autobiography, Adventures of a Waterboy, in 2012.
Anthony "Anto" Thistlethwaite is a British multi-instrumentalist best known as a founding member of the folk rock group, The Waterboys and later as a long-standing member of Irish rock band The Saw Doctors.
Room to Roam is an album by The Waterboys; it continued the folk rock sound of 1988's Fisherman's Blues, but was less of a commercial success, reaching #180 on the Billboard Top 200 after its release in September 1990. Critical response continues to be mixed. Allmusic describes it both as "not quite as [musically] successful" as Fisherman's Blues, but also as a "Celtic rock classic". The front and back covers were designed by Simon Fowler based upon photography by Stefano Giovannini and Sean Jackson.
The Secret Life of the Waterboys 81–85 is an album of outtakes, live tracks, and demos, released by The Waterboys in 1994.
Steve Wickham is an Irish musician. Originally from Marino, Dublin, but calling Sligo home, Wickham was a founding member of In Tua Nua and played violin on the classic U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", as well as recordings by Elvis Costello, the Hothouse Flowers, Sinéad O'Connor, and World Party. He is a long-standing member of The Waterboys. Wickham plays both rock and roll and traditional Irish music, and has developed a rock music technique for violin he calls the "fuzz fiddle".
"The Big Music" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, which was released in 1984 as the lead single from their second studio album A Pagan Place. The song was written and produced by Mike Scott.
"Fisherman's Blues" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the lead single from their fourth studio album of the same name. It was written by Mike Scott and Steve Wickham, and produced by Scott. The song reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, No. 13 in Ireland and No. 32 in the UK. A re-issue of the single in 1991 saw the song return to the Top 20 in Ireland, reaching No. 17.
Book of Lightning is the ninth studio album by The Waterboys, released on 2 April 2007 through W14/Universal Records. The album contains ten tracks, produced by Mike Scott and Philip Tennant, with musical contributions from Steve Wickham (fiddle), Richard Naiff (keyboards), Brady Blade (drums), Mark Smith (bass), Leo Abrahams, Jeremy Stacey (drums) plus long-time Waterboys alumni Roddy Lorimer (trumpet), Chris Bruce and Thighpaulsandra (keyboards). Book of Lightning was recorded in London with the exceptions of one song recorded in Vancouver with members of Canadian art-pop band Great Aunt Ida, and another in Scott's home studio.
"The Whole of the Moon" is a song by the Waterboys which was released as a single from their album This Is the Sea in 1985. It is a classic of the band's repertoire and has been consistently played at live shows ever since its release. Written and produced by Mike Scott, the subject of the song has inspired some speculation.
"World Party" is a song by the Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released in 1988 as a track on their fourth studio album Fisherman's Blues. It was written by Mike Scott, Trevor Hutchinson and Karl Wallinger, and produced by Scott. In the United States, the song reached No. 19 on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and remained on the chart for six weeks. It also peaked at No. 48 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart.
In a Special Place – The Piano Demos for This Is the Sea is a compilation album by British-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys. It was released in 2011 by Chrysalis and Capitol (US). The album reached No. 196 in the UK Top 200 Albums Chart.
"Don't Bang the Drum" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the opening track on their third studio album This Is the Sea. It was written by Mike Scott and Karl Wallinger, and produced by Scott. The song was released as a single in Germany and was also issued as a 12" promotional vinyl in the United States.
"Rare, Precious and Gone" is a song by Scottish singer-songwriter Mike Scott, released as the second single from his second solo album Still Burning. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by Scott and Niko Bolas. "Rare, Precious and Gone" reached No. 74 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1998.