The Waterboys are a band formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of Scottish, Irish, English, Welsh and American musicians, with Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Spiddal, New York and Findhorn serving as a base for the group. They have explored a number of different styles, dissolved in 1993 when Scott departed to pursue a solo career and then reformed in 2000. They continue to release albums and tour worldwide. World Party was made up of former Waterboys members.
Over 85 musicians have performed live as a Waterboy.Some have spent only a short time with the band, contributing to a single tour or album, while others have been long-term members with significant contributions. Scott has stated that "We’ve had more members I believe than any other band in rock history" and believes that the nearest challengers are Santana and The Fall.
The Waterboys have gone through different musical phases as well as line-ups. In 2019 Scott wrote "The Waterboys is a timeless, genre-confounding band. We belong in no box."
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."
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".
Dream Harder (1993) is the sixth album by The Waterboys. Led as always by Scottish singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Mike Scott, the album features none of the earlier UK-based band members and instead finds Scott backed by American session musicians. It was the last Waterboys album before Scott spent seven years pursuing a formal solo career, with Bring 'Em All In (1995) and Still Burning (1997). The album reached position 171 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, surpassing the previous Waterboys album Room to Roam, in spite of a less-than-enthusiastic response from critics to the album's sound.
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".
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.
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 Live Adventures of the Waterboys is a concert recording, released by The Waterboys in 1998. Mike Scott refers to this album as an "unofficial release" or bootleg recording, but praises the recording period as a "classic" period for the Waterboys. Most of the live songs on The Live Adventures... indeed already appeared on the bootlegs A Golden Day (1991) and Born To Be Together (1992). It is the only Waterboys album on which member Guy Chambers appears.
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".
Richard Naiff is a pianist and flautist from London, England who has performed with the bands Soulsec, The Catacoustics, The Waterboys and The Icicle Works. Naiff is a classically trained musician, having joined the Guildhall School of Music at age ten. The Irish music website Cluas.com describes Naiff as "phenomenally talented".
"A Girl Called Johnny" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the lead single from their debut studio album The Waterboys. The song was written by Mike Scott and produced by Rupert Hine. It reached No. 80 in the UK Singles Chart and remained in the Top 100 for three weeks.
"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.
"And a Bang on the Ear" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the second single from their fourth studio album Fisherman's Blues. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by John Dunford and Scott. The song reached No. 1 in the Republic of Ireland and No. 51 in the United Kingdom. The single's B-side, "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy", was recorded live at Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow.
"The Return of Pan" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the lead single from their sixth studio album Dream Harder. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by Scott and Bill Price. The song reached No. 24 in the UK and No. 10 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. A music video, directed by Jeff Stein, was filmed to promote the single.
"Glastonbury Song" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the second single from their sixth studio album Dream Harder. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by Scott and Bill Price. The song reached No. 29 in the UK and No. 12 in Ireland.
"Everybody Takes a Tumble" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the only single from their ninth studio album Book of Lightning. It was written by Mike Scott and Anthony Thistlethwaite, and produced by Scott and Phil Tennant.
"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.
Modern Blues is the eleventh studio album by The Waterboys, released on the independent label Harlequin and Clown in 2015. It was produced by Mike Scott, with two tracks being co-produced with Paul Brown. Modern Blues reached No. 14 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 2 on the UK Independent Albums Chart.
"A Life of Sundays" is a song by the Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released in 1990 as a track on their fifth studio album Room to Roam. It was written by Mike Scott and produced by Barry Beckett and Scott. In the United States, the song reached No. 15 on Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and remained on the chart for nine weeks.
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.