|Studio album by|
|Recorded||December 1981 - November 1982|
|The Waterboys chronology|
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".
The album cover is a photograph of lead singer Mike Scott by Panny Charrington and designed by Stephanie Nash. The Waterboys logo appears in the pale blue box in the upper right-hand corner of the original album cover (pale pink on 2002 reissue). The symbol, which symbolizes water, continued to be used throughout the band's history. It was designed by Stephanie Nash of Island Records.
In 1981 Mike Scott was working in the punk rock band Funhouse, who had recently changed their name from Another Pretty Face. Signed to the record label Ensign Records, the group had moved to London to record their music. Scott had been unsatisfied with the group's sound, which he described as "similar to a jumbo jet flying on one engine",and in December 1981 decided to use Redshop Studio to record some of his own songs solo, after prompting from Ensign Records to consider a solo career. With the help of a drum machine, Scott sang, played the piano and guitar on each of five songs. Two recordings from this studio demo session would eventually make their way onto the first Waterboys album, "December" and "The Three Day Man". The quality of the session convinced Scott to leave Funhouse. Scott made further series' of recordings on his own at Redshop in February, April and August 1982, which yielded the following tracks: "Savage Earth Heart", "It Should Have Been You", "Gala" and "Where Are You Now When I Need You?".
In spite of his label's advice, Scott instead began forming a new band to work with. In early 1982 he recruited Anthony Thistlethwaite for the new project, which became The Waterboys. Scott first heard Thistlethwaite on a Nikki Sudden album.Thistlethwaite brought in a friend of his, Kevin Wilkinson, as a drummer. Sudden describes the events as Scott "stealing" the two away, but notes that Scott could afford to pay Thistlethwaite and Wilkinson, whereas Sudden could not. Scott and Thistlethwaite recorded "A Girl Called Johnny" in Spring of 1982, and with Wilkinson and bassist Nick Linden they recorded further new tracks in November 1982 at Redshop Studio, Islington, of which one, "I Will Not Follow", appears on this album.
Ensign flew Scott to New York to record with Patti Smith's guitarist, Lenny Kaye, as the producer. The recording session went poorly, and the material was not released in favour of recordings from the various London sessions.After two single releases of "A Girl Called Johnny" in March 1983, The Waterboys was released that July (see 1983 in music).
A remastered version of the album with a number of extra tracks was released on 23 April 2002 by Capitol Records.
"A Girl Called Johnny" had been released both as a seven-inch and as a 12-inch single in March 1983, preceding the album by four months. The song, a tribute to Patti Smith, "narrowly failed" to become a hit.The B-side on the seven-inch was "The Late Train to Heaven", the "Rockfield mix" of which was eventually released on a re-issue of A Pagan Place , the group's next album. The twelve-inch contained "Ready for the Monkey House", the Another Pretty Face song "Out of Control" and an acoustic version of "Somebody Might Wave Back", the last of which would appear in a full studio version on A Pagan Place.
"December" was also released as a single (for the Christmas season) in both seven-inch and twelve-inch formats, with similar commercial results. The seven-inch's B-side was "Where are You Now When I Need You?", while the twelve-inch included an alternate recording of "The Three Day Man" and "Red Army Blues", a song that would be included on A Pagan Place.
An extended live version of "Savage Earth Heart", a song which had eventually become a "live show stopper"was re-released as a B-side on the single for "Is She Conscious?" from A Rock in the Weary Land .
All songs written by Mike Scott, unless otherwise noted.
The original vinyl LP had eight tracks.
The original vinyl LP had five tracks.
The 2002 re-release contained additional songs, from the original demo recordings, single releases, and other early Waterboys work.
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.
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".
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.
A Rock in the Weary Land is the seventh studio album by The Waterboys, released in 2000 by BMG International. It was their first album after a seven-year break. The album cover photography is by Steve Gullick.
The Secret Life of the Waterboys 81–85 is an album of outtakes, live tracks, and demos, released by The Waterboys in 1994.
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.
Adrian Nicholas Godfrey, known as Nikki Sudden, was a prolific English singer-songwriter and guitarist. He co-founded the post-punk band Swell Maps with his brother, Epic Soundtracks, while attending Solihull School in Solihull.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"December" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, which was released in 1983 as the second and final single from their debut studio album The Waterboys. The song was written and produced by Mike Scott, with additional production by Rupert Hine.