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Fisherman's Blues

The Waterboys

1988

Fisherman's Blues
Album Summary

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.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.19

Votes

11707

Genres

  • Rock
  • Folk

Reviews

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Mon Jan 18 2021
2

Like attending a celidah at the village hall and watching her dance while I eat a scotch egg. She will never love me.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
1

Think of the Pogues, but not cool.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
3

This is pretty cool, just Irish kinda rock. Only criticism is that it gets a bit old towards the end, like most other stuff in this genre I've heard before. I think the Irish pub rock scene could do with restraint - there's no need to add 60 renditions of folk songs onto the second half of every album. 3/5 all the same.

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Mon Sep 28 2020
4

This is two days in a row I've been served a Scottish band (last one was Orange Juice) but this is a completely different experience. The songwriting is excellent. Lyrical, nuanced, and nostalgic while remaining modern (for 1988) and relevant. Shades of Dylan meets Springsteen but with an undeniable celtic energy. Overall, a really intriguing and engaging album. It came out in '88 but holds up really well overall.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
1

What is this? Who is this? 22 tracks?!?! Why are they just singing “Blackbird” in the middle of one song? Why is every album suggested so far overflowing with folk instruments? How many dudes are in this band?? Etc.

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Tue Feb 08 2022
4

I love this album. Side 1 is by far the best moment of The Waterboys career. From the epic opening track to the dissonant fiddle that dominates We Will Not Be Lovers, to the beautiful accoustic turn of Strange Boat, the start of this album is as good as it gets. The band then rocks out with danceable World Party and closes side one with a gorgeous take on the Van Morrison classic Sweet Thing. Unfortunately side 2 pales in comparison (how could it not?) With the only standout track being And a Bang on the Ear. The underwhelming second half keeps this from being a 5 🌟 classic. 4.5 🌟

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

So loving this album. 4 songs in and I think I've added 3 to playlists. Great sounds: piano, strings, driving base, catchy guitar. Vocals are solid aswell. Driving, ensemble rock with lots of instruments/variety of sounds with folk roots - but more rock than anything else. Piano theme, and horns in 'World Party' are incredible. Strings create a great feel to the song. Every song has so much great feel. this is likely going to be my first 5 star. some nice authentic feeling songs on the second disk. The final song, 12 min long, Soon As I Get Home builds to the most pumping crescendo in the second half of the song. definition of a full on jam session. yes a 5 star album.

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Mon May 23 2022
2

Jesus that's a of of fiddle.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

I’ve never heard of them, but I like the description on Wikipedia of folk-rock. I tend to like that, so I anticipate that I will like this one. I really like this one. I would buy their albums.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

- fucking long - nice balence of trad / modern - strong themes, emotive. - some overly trad songs - odd flow of the album --> meet me at the station into soon as I get home. - good variety of styles and vibes

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Sat Apr 02 2022
2

2.6 - This record reminds me of a pack of bourbon flavored gummy bears I was once gifted. I like bourbon on its own and gummy bears on their own as well. Merging the two, though it might seem like a good idea, proved underwhelming. Similarly, this album is an underwhelming combo of Irish/Scottish folk and adult contemporary rock. Listening to it seems utterly pointless to me. The only place I could ever imagine hearing this would be at an Irish pub or a St. Paddy’s day parade or an Irish pride event or some other Irish-themed venue. “Sweet Thing” is one cool track - the fiddle actually works on this and doesn’t feel like a distraction as it does for much of the rest.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

Emotive, impactful and uplifting

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Fantastic well crafted music! From relaxing and almost soothing to absolute foot stompers.

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Sun Apr 18 2021
4

I really enjoyed this! Like a precursor to Arcade Fire or a lot of other indie rock of the late aughts

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Mon Apr 11 2022
4

Love the folksy feel and Irish sounds. Like a Bob Dylan that can sing.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

If this album was totally crap except for We Will Not Be Lovers, probably the best breakup song I've ever heard and a couple of decades ahead of its time, it would still be a 3 star. The rest of the album isn't totally crap.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

Pretty good, liked We Will not be lovers

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Tue Sep 27 2022
4

Not every song on this album really takes me. But the way Mike Scott is into the music takes me always.

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Sat Apr 01 2023
4

Today’s artist is another that I hadn’t heard of before. The album title has me wondering if it might be shanty music which would be interesting. I’m going in with an open mind, and am hopeful to hear a great band! Songs I already knew: This Land Is Your Land (although I don’t think I’d heard this version) Favourites: Sweet Thing, And A Bang On The Ear I was wrong with my genre expectations here. We’ve all heard Mumford & Sons, right? Well this sounds like it could be Mumford & Parents. It has a very folky, Celtic style throughout. I was surprised to reas online that the singer was Scottish, as he sounded very Irish to my ears. I did consider rating this album higher than I did, because there are genuinely no bad songs at all on this album. However, I didn’t find every song to be amazing, so I felt it would be overly kind to go higher. Regardless, it was still a very pleasant album that is easy to recommend.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
2

A weird melange of Simple Minds stadium rock and Celtic folk sensibilities. Unfortunately, there are many better stadium rock acts, and many better folkies, and this falls between the cracks.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
2

Never got around to listening to the Waterboys before, so I was looking forward to hearing what I've missed. Sadly, I found the album very uneven. Some amazing tracks like "Sweet Thing", which turns into a weird Beatles cover (and itself received an odd hardcore punk cover by Comadre, which sadly isn't on the site). Some tracks that are at least memorable, if not my cup of tea, like "We Will Not be Lovers". However, from track 6 on it's mostly generic Irish folk-rock that any pub rockers in Ireland could probably play equally forgettably. I'm not a huge folk-rock fan (or a big listener of Irish music), but I don't think I'm being biased in saying the album falls drastically short of the standards set by its own high points. Edit: also a shit album title, since there's nothing nautical or bluesy here. 2.5

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Sat Apr 23 2022
2

Not anything that I'd likely play again, honestly. I did like some of the songs styled in a traditional Celtic way with their instrumentation, but beyond that, not a fit for me. The songs I did like were Fisherman's Blues, We Will Not Be Lovers, World Party, Sweet Thing, and When Ye Go Away.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
1

God help anyone who rated this 5*

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Fri Nov 06 2020
5

Just a fantastic piece of folk rock history.... it’s a classic!

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Sat Jan 09 2021
5

ши.кар.дос. интересный фолк с элементами народных инструментов из Великобритании и окружающих островов. звучит красиво.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

An absolutely fantastic album. Love the strings

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Wed Feb 10 2021
5

I really enjoyed this album, exactly my type of thing. From what I understand, this album is a departure from the band's usual post-punk stuff so I'll have to check that out too.

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Wed Jul 07 2021
5

Me gustó tanto este álbum que hasta me atreví a escuchar toda la versión extendida. Fue una buena decisión, siento que conocía a los Waterboys de nombre, pero nunca los había escuchado. Joyas. Eso de meter sonidos escoceses (espero que sí lo sean) resulta muy acertado, pensé en una onda medio Nick Cave, pero también Belle and Sebastian y gente más rockera. Hubo una canción que me encantó: "We Will Not Be Lovers". Las otras favs fueron: "Sweet Thing", claro "Fisherman's Blues", "You in the Sky" y "When Will Be Married". <3 10/10

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Canción versionada por Celtas Cortos. Ya la conocía y estaba entre mis favoritos.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
5

Muy folk y con mucha melodía. A mantener en el tiempo.

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Wed Jul 07 2021
5

Una grata sorpresa. Me gustó mucho todo el disco. Las instrumentaciones son variadas, conmovedoras y llenas de textura, uno se imagina que es otro disco folk y ya, pero es como si pidieras unas papas chicas y te dan unas extra grandes. Favs: The stolen child, el interludio celta Dunfords Fancy, We will not be lovers y Carolans welcome. Mood: grito sad de banshee

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Sun Jul 18 2021
5

Leuke muziek met veel vrolijk fiddle-deuntjes! Zeer mooie verrassing!

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Didn't hate it, but I wavered between 'this is great' and 'this is annoying' regularly throughout. Appreciated the blending of genres, but didn't necessarily love any of them. Some pretty catchy tunes in there though. I feel like it's one I'd love after several listens. Edit: I ended up listening three times and by the end I really loved it. Think it took me a while to get into what they were doing, but by the end I even enjoyed the more twee folky ones like Carolan's Welcome (felt like the soundtrack to a really great playstation game). Agree with Stef, Fisherman's Blues and And a Bang on the Ear were highlights.

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Sat Jul 24 2021
5

This is pretty cool. Really interesting instrumentation, bright clear production, good lyrics & vocals.

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Sat Oct 02 2021
5

Great folk-rock with sounds of traditional Irish and Scotish music. Waterboys' best selling album. Must be listened!

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Wed Feb 02 2022
5

This was surprisingly great, really reminded me of early dropkick murphys

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Mon Mar 28 2022
5

I honestly don't know how I've gone 30 years in this earth without hearing this album. Love the fusion of folk and rock. It's awesome.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

Folk rock. Me ha gustado. Vinilo.

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Wed Jun 08 2022
5

beautiful. 10/10 mystisch, feenhaft, gibt ein feeling für den kommenden sommer. hat mich sehr bewegt.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

Listened to te Collectors Edition a few times today, but will give a vote for the original album from 1988, which I had listened to a lot in the past: one of the best albums of The Waterboys and a clear 5* album. The Waterboys should appear a few more times in the list - again an example of a band whose music was more than the sum of its parts (also illustrated by the extra songs on the Collectors Edition, which are great too).

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

The blend of 80s music with traditional Celtic sounds and instruments is well done. Really fun listen.

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Sat Oct 01 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Fisherman’s blues, We will not be lovers, Strange boat, World party, And a bang on the ear, When will we be married, The stolen child

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

круто, что слышно этнические мотивы - что-то от ирландских баллад (группа ирландская, собственно) любимое: stolen child

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Wed Oct 12 2022
5

I didn't have time to listen much, but from what I heard, this is why this website exists! Awesome music that I would never have heard otherwise!

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

ah, how much do i love this album... let me count the ways. I remember saving up my pocket money and buying the tape in Golden Discs on Grafton Street after seeing them on TOTP.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
5

I can't provide an unbiased review of this album because it was formative to my musical development. I was obsessed with it from at least the early 90s and listened to it regularly for 10+ years. Hearing it again for the first time in 20 years, it holds up well! I had forgotten how long the album is, there is definitely some filler in there, but also some great tracks mixed in right up to the end. I love the diversion into Yeats towards the end. I still have a soft spot for folksy rock. A beautiful, rich, complex album that formed my tastes. 5/5

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Sun Dec 11 2022
5

Never heard of The Waterboys before but I instantly was very interested in the prominence of the squeezebox and the fiddle. I really loved this! The bonus disk is also really great too!

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Sun Jan 08 2023
5

Прекраснейший кантри-альбом, один из лучших в мире. По больше части выделяется он засчёт своего уникального звучания - начиная от чувственного пения и глубоких текстов, заканчивая нетипичным для жанра инструментала, в котором очень часто используется электрогитара и невероятная скрипка, которая определённо придаёт больше эмоциональности каждому треку. На самом деле трудно как-то ещё описать этот альбом, здесь очень много моментов, которые хочется хвалить до бесконечности, но все эти мысли не умещаются у меня в голове, поэтому я просто советую вам послушать и самим прочувствовать этот альбом. (9 - 9.5)

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Thu Feb 09 2023
5

What a jewel. Every song was a joy. The fiddle playing - outstanding

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Wed Mar 01 2023
5

This is an amazing album. It's blend of rock and roots, especially Celtic, was common at the time but also superior to other albums. Only the Pogues were really comparable but their Punk leaning made them very different. The songwriting is superb. I bought this in 1988 and still listen to it with regularity.

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

I'm not against bonus tracks but here's a little hint for those of you who get this album assigned and balk at the length, check Wikipedia and just review the original album, in this case it's just the first 13 tracks, that's the Fisherman's Blues I know and it's amazing. This is one of those albums that I've listened to enough in my life that I would feel comfortable giving it a (five star) rating without first relistening, but I love this album so much that I'm putting it on as I cook dinner. My favorites are the opening/title track (which has been used in 63% of movie trailers that either take place in Ireland or feature Irish people,) a great cover of Sweet Thing (which I actually heard long before Van Morrison's original,) Strange Boat, World Party and one of my favorite songs ever: And A Bang On The Ear.

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Mon Apr 10 2023
5

Excellent Album when in the mood

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Thu May 11 2023
5

I don't know how I missed this band in the 80's !! Awesome LP !!!!

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Wed May 17 2023
5

Canción versionada por Celtas Cortos. Ya la conocía y estaba entre mis favoritos.

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Sat May 27 2023
5

Canción versionada por Celtas Cortos. Ya la conocía y estaba entre mis favoritos.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

I liked this way more than I thought I would.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
5

Today's album is a Celtic rock/folk album, which is right in my wheelhouse! The Waterboys are from the UK. This is their fourth studio album, and the first of their albums to feature Celtic folk. Prior to this album, they were just a rock band. With this album, they introduced the Celtic influences, which I love! The rock side of this band reminds me of the Canadian band Headstones, while the Celtic side reminds me of Irish Rovers. Just like you would hear guitar solos in traditional rock music, you hear fiddle/mandolin solos on this record, which is awesome! This Land Is Your Land is a snippet of a Woody Guthrie song, Has Anybody Here Seen Hank is a tribute to Hank Williams, The Stolen Child is a William Butler Yeats poem that the band put to music, and Sweet Thing is a cover of a Van Morrison song (the band breaks into a rendition of The Beatles song Blackbird right in the middle). Fisherman's Blues was used in the TV Series Lights Out, as well as movies: Good Will Hunting, and Waking Ned Devine. They get super experimental with the fiddle on this record, pushing it to its absolute limit to extract sounds out of it that were never heard before. The 7-9 minute songs on this record are really special, because that's where the band is just dabbling with their instruments, and some really cool moments occur (they feel like a jam band during these songs). The Spotify link for this album connected me with the Collectors Edition of this record, which is 1 hour, 42 minutes, and I listened to every second! There are some really fantastic songs in this extended version of the album, like: Rattle My Bones and Shiver My Soul, And Meet Me At The Station. Overall, this was an amazing album today, from a band I'd never heard before. I will definately revisit this album, along with the rest of their discography. Albums like this is why I love this generator! Favourite songs: Meet Me At The Station, Fisherman's Blues, Dunford's Fancy, Carolan's Welcome, When Will We Be Married, Rattle My Bones and Shiver My Soul, And A Bang On The Ear, Jimmy Hickey's Waltz, We Will Not Be Lovers, Killing My Heart, World Party, You In The Sky, Sweet Thing, Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?, Strange Boat, Let Me Feel Holy Again, When Ye Go Away, The Stolen Child Least favourite songs: if forced to pick, Soon As I Get Home 5/5

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Fri Jul 07 2023
5

Som virtuoso, mistura de rock alternativo com instrumentos folk, top

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Fri Aug 11 2023
5

Enjoyed the Waterboys! After listening to Sinead O’Connor’s “I Do Not Want…” album, a Waterboys song played next as Spotify often chooses a related artist’s song. Well, they are Irish. And British. And Welsh. And Scots so… This album is a great amalgam of Irish folk tinged rock and roll. Favorite songs with “Fisherman’s Blues” (including the alternative version) "And a Bang on the Ear". Despite being awfully long, it’s a great album.

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Sun Aug 27 2023
5

This album is one of the reasons people drink. It's a fun-filled exploration of hanging with your friends at a bar, living your live to the fullest, and singing at the top of your lungs. I forgot how good this album is.

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Mon Sep 04 2023
5

loved them ever since I saw them at glasto

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Fri Oct 06 2023
5

Well. This is just excellent.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

OK. Didn't know of this album but I was busy falling in love with its wonderful folk/rock when I heard When Ye Go Away. It has a glorious combination of celtic fiddle and voice which contrasts and complements this laidback country-ish guitar. So lovely, so clever. That sold the deal.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

What a record. Extraordinary playing throughout, with near-punk intensity on the early cuts and utter (and uniquely Irish) soulfulness enriching the mood. Title track is a fantastic opener and bleeds straight into "We Will Not Be Lovers" for a major power play, a sustained crescendo. "World Party" is great, too. The Yeats and Van homages are extremely well done. The second side dips a bit in power – how could it not? – but still offers charms aplenty ("Bang On the Ear" and "When Ye Go Away"). Has anyone ever used strings to better effect on a rock album? This is among the top few Irish albums of all time.

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Thu Nov 09 2023
5

Initial thoughts: 1. This album is way too long if it's actually 1:42. 2. The mandolin and violin go ballistic in the first song. If this energy is carried throughout, we are going to have a proper good time. We just missed these guys come to the 9:30 Club on October 22, 2013... damn. I ended up having my last song be "This Land is Your Land" for the purposes of this review as that's the last track according to Wikipedia. I will probably continue to listen to the rest of the songs. There's definitely some really high highs in this album. The mandolin and violin continued to go hard, but I appreciated some of the more mellow parts of the album. I had a proper good time.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

Canción versionada por Celtas Cortos. Ya la conocía y estaba entre mis favoritos.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

Folk rock. Me ha gustado. Vinilo.

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Much more melodic than what I was expecting, really ended up liking this one! I was worried when I saw 9-minute songs but nothing felt overlong.

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Fri Dec 15 2023
5

4.9 - I love this album, listened to it loads already

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Wed Dec 20 2023
5

4.5, really surprised me, only issue is some songs carry on a bit too long

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Fri Jan 12 2024
5

From the exclamations of “hoooo!” at the start of the opening title track, it was immediately clear that this album was going to be a pleasant surprise. It only got better with “We Will Not Be Lovers,” which never made me regret a bit of its seven minutes. There were a couple of missteps, as “And a Bang on the Ear” did drag on too long, and the country-western tinge of “Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?” didn’t fit with the traditional Irish and Scottish flavor and high energy of the rest of the album. Thankfully, an actual traditional song, “When Will We Be Married?” quickly brings back the violin. I’ve seen members of our group and on r/1001AlbumsGenerator on Reddit appreciate finding new favorites through the list, but ¾ of the way through I had been feeling that far too infrequently. Things I had no prior knowledge of too often seemed like duds. But The Waterboys broke through the mire. I checked out some of their songs from their previous album, reputed to be more rock-oriented, and found several great tracks. Pretty interesting to see them come up in the same setting as U2 only to diverge in a different direction. The missteps in the middle of the album might make this a 4-star album, but I’ve got to give it a 5-star review.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

The Waterboys - wow, rock and roll, country, quality, lyrics, arrangements, production quality, album layout - just enjoy the wholeness, sound and meaning.

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

vi kallar detta för indiefolk.. Brittisk indiefolk så att säga heh.. lite för många låtar nästan fumblattinn fumlade bag så att säga heh... men ändå så många bangers att man inte kan göra någonting. kan inte klaga för mycket när den här brickan spelas med fifflande och skitsång, matas med en silversked i halsen Jag tar gärna emot Jag accepterar det här är läckert fisherman blues

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

[[ I've been wondering what I was gonna do when a double album came up. Hope I can find the time to listen to the whole thing - 22 songs, 1 hour 42 minutes. ]] I have enjoyed some of these songs for years, especially FISHERMAN'S BLUES, which most people have likely heard. I'm embarrassed that I was unaware of the relationship between the Waterboys and World Party (Karl Wallinger), but listening and thinking about it, it makes perfect sense. A lot of the music feels like it was recorded live, as a full band, with spontaneous surprises allowed and kept on the final product - see SWEET THING, a Van Morrison tune "interrupted" by The Beatles ' BLACKBIRD. A BANG ON THE EAR is a terrific song. I was concerned about exactly what a “bang on the ear” meant - apparently, it's slang for “say hello to her for me”. This reminds me of The Pogues, but, while it's loosey-goosey and traditional-based, it's not as wild or drunken. THE STOLEN CHILD is wonderful. Includes spoken word and great instrumentation in a minor key. More violin than fiddle, if you know what I mean. Heartfelt. Best song on an excellent album. 'Come away, O human child To the waters and the wild With a faery hand in hand For the world's more full of weeping Than you can understand' Disc 2 including alternate versions of FISHERMAN'S BLUES and WHEN WILL WE BE MARRIED, both of which are very, very good. Final tune, SOON AS I GET HOME, is a 12-minute banger - where a typical R&R band would include a screaming lead guitar we find sax and fiddle battling it out. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ __________________________________ 🎧 LPs reviewed: 24 🎧 LPs left to review: 977 🎧 LPs I found great/relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 6 🎧 LPs I *might* include in my own list: 8 🎧 LPs I will certainly *not* include in mine: 7

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

What a pleasant surprise. I'll be listening to this a ton.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

I've never heard of The Waterboys, but I will check them out! I love the Celtic sound.

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Sun Feb 11 2024
5

Fantastic album. Classic Irish-Folk-alternative from the 80’s

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Mon Feb 12 2024
5

I fell in love with the mandolin with this album. Wish the mandolin was in more things. VOTE YES to have mandolins in EVERY song! 10/10

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Fri Feb 16 2024
5

Loved this! Not sure I'd listen to disc 2 tracks much but the first half is fun.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
5

a journey. blues to irish to trippy

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Thu Feb 29 2024
5

Funky folky rocky. Class album

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Sun Apr 21 2024
5

Wow! Fantastic soul, blues, rockabilly, and Irish music. This is a gem.

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