Underwater Moonlight is the second studio album by English rock band The Soft Boys, released on 28 June 1980 by record label Armageddon. Initially unsuccessful, the album has gone on to be viewed as a psychedelic classic, influential on the development of the neo-psychedelia music genre and on a number of bands, especially R.E.M. It is included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Whilst commercially unsuccessful originally, Underwater Moonlight has gone on to be viewed as a one-off psychedelic classic. Matt LeMay of Pitchfork, in a 2010 review, felt that the album was commercially unsuccessful because the timing was wrong: at the time of its release, audiences had little interest in "music that incorporated the indelible harmonies of the Byrds and the surrealism of Syd Barrett", but that anyhow the album is "best considered with the benefit of hindsight, and for all the famous music it inspired, there is still nothing quite like Underwater Moonlight". In 2001, Bill Holdship of Rolling Stone wrote that the album's influences could be detected "on bands ranging from R.E.M. and The Replacements to The Stone Roses and the Pixies". According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic, Underwater Moonlight "influenced the jangle pop of R.E.M. and other underground pop of the 1980s."Wikipedia
I've listened to this and their debut at least once. But I mustn't have been paying attention the first time, because this is stellar. As it plays, you can hear the process punk and new wave being transmuted into what would become the lo-fi shambolic style of indie rock later in the 1980s. I love how they sound rough around the edges, without ever lacking in purpose or conviction. The whole thing is weird and fantastic. On another listen, I can also see the 1960s psychedelic influences coming through, which I hadn't really thought about before. If this group are a throwback to 1960s rock, they are actually improving on the original. I wouldn't change anything, so 5/5.
“What if The Byrds were a punk rock band?” is probably not a question you’ve asked yourself. The good news is: the Soft Boys have already answered it for you…and it’s amazing. Underwater Moonlight is a whirling, psychedelic, punk masterpiece. The band here is unbelievably tight, with guitar interplay that outmatches nearly all of their contemporaries (The Feelies ‘Crazy Rhythms’ and Television’s ‘Marquee Moon’ would be similar points of comparison) and a focused, yet off-kilter, sense of urgency to each song. Most importantly, the songwriting and construction here is great from start to finish. You have to “Give it to the Soft Boys” (that’s a deep cut for the Soft Boys fans in the house): Underwater Moonlight hits every mark it takes aim at. It’s one of the best, and possibly most overlooked, “punk” (or post-punk) albums of all time.
Soft boys go hard
I love Robyn Hitchcock and I love this album. Not sure if I like this album or his first solo album more but this is certainly RH in top form. His songwriting is so immediately identifiable. The lyrics are idiosyncratic and bizarre in such an entertaining and even a dazzling way. But the weirdness in no way feels forced. It feels entirely natural and just part of who he is. I love looking at the world through his eyes. Some of his word choices just amaze me. I also think the humor is balanced perfectly as a sort of undercurrent throughout the album. It never quite bubbles over into laugh out loud moments but you just sort of smile the whole time. He does everything with such a straight face you sort of believe he really is one of his own outlandish characters. Would feel like real capital "A" Art to me if it weren't so much damn fun. I really enjoy the updated psychedelic sound. Very lean and catchy. And his guitar playing is almost as iconic as his lyrics!
it was rly good but then i saw it was 40 songs and then i was like man was that necessary
Ayy now we're back to the early 80s English post punk... This was good, if it had been just the regular album and maybe a couple of the bonus tracks that were enjoyable. The melodies were a little lighter and even funky at times, which I enjoyed. Unfortunately many of them were just repetitive hooks, rehearsals, and excerpts. But I'll rate it on the merit of the actual album.
I mean, I have no idea what I've been listening to, but it's not bad? Didn't listen to all of the bonus tracks, as it takes to album to over two hours and I just don't have that kind of patience currently. I probably won't be listening again, but at least it was decent enough.
Underwater Moonlight is a psych-rock with tones of influence from The Beatles, with note of the sitar throughout. Whilst they haven't had much commercial success, they have been credited as early influencers of the likes of REM. Best: I Wanna Destroy You Worst: Old Pervert NOTE: Spotify had ALL of the reissue tracks on the one album. I only listened to the original 10 songs off the album.
seriously, another album where i wonder what makes it so special for it to be on this list. so many albums could have replaced this album. its not even "bad", its just so .... blah
Walked away not remembering anything I’d listened to - all quite average stuff
I listened to it but have forgotten everything. Can't have been that good.
Great New Wave - post punk psyc rock. Glad this came up!
Such a fun album! Great production and great songs.
Awesome psych stuff
I knew I’d love this one from the first few chords! Perfectly walks the line between being weird and accessible. Way ahead of their time. Favorite tracks are “I Wanna Destroy You” and “Positive Vibrations”.
Hugely influential on the early 90s British indie scene. Underrated at the time of its release but deserving of respect.
Unbelievably good album. I’ll confess, I had no idea Robyn Hitchcock was involved with this band before listening this album. But it’s no surprise when the very first track is a hook-laden pop gem like “I Wanna Destroy You”. From there on out this album is an infectiously good listen brimming equally with the adrenaline rush of punk as with the surreal quirkiness of 60s psychedelia, all anchored by Hitchcock’s peerless pop sensibility. Even as the band quite openly flaunt their influences in every Byrds-like jangle or eccentric witticism, this album manages to sound completely modern. Even more than that, it actually represents the nexus between punk and jangle-pop which would dominate on college radio for the subsequent decade. I always thought that accolade belonged only to Pretenders’ debut, but this album has also stood the test of time. A surprise 5/5 from me… P.D. - Kimberley Rew’s guitar playing on this record is astonishingly good. Amazing record on all fronts.
mediocre alt nice rock catchy punk nice yhyh but minus points cos it’s not good enough to be that long
I listened to it once and was unimpressed. But something made me hold off on reviewing and listen to it another day. It got better, and I can see how it must have been an interesting crossroads between punk and 80s popular music, but I don't think there's really anything to return to after Track 1.
After listening to this album, I don't think I see the similarities between classical and neo-psychedelic. This sounded like a standard UK rock album from the 80s more than any type of psychedelic genre album. Still not bad though. Fav song: kingdom of love
Did not enjoy the first 4 songs. Then the album goes into a different direction. "Insanely Jealous of You" sounds like a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground song, I like it. The rest are just ok to me, I definitely hear some early proto-punk/Iggy pop-like structures on "He's a Reptile" as well. Beyond that, it's ok.
Am I glad I listened to this? I suppose. Did I enjoy it? Maybe. Will I come back to it? Doubtful.
Mixed bag for me, this. Very good guitar work throughout, but the vocals are putting me off. In the more melodic songs the harmonies sound quite dated, and I'm just not digging the loose style of the lead vocal in general. In summary, it just falls short of 4 stars.
Mediocre Brit pop rock
Remember them at the time and not bad, but now sounds like a pretty bad attempt at copying the psychedelic greats.
I didn't listen to it completely because it was way too long, and the songs didn't catch my interest in order to spend 2 hours listening to them.
I recognize a few of these songs from the 80s ie Underwater moonlight and I got the hots but they really didn’t do much for me back then and they certainly don’t excite me now either. Just not my jam, Waaay to long so I couldn’t get thru it all.
Eh nothing special, in fact it's kind of bland. Has some pretty late 60s rock sound to it compared to when it was released. 5/10.
Didnt like insanely jealous of you or old pervert.
Although it does feel like it has this mix of The Byrds and Syd Barrett (that everybody talks about) as a major influence, the album never really pulls through and becomes very repetitive, very fast. It has some cool ideas, but they were already being executed by better post-punk bands.
p455. 1980. 2 stars. The sound of musicians that were born 10 years too late and wish the 60s had never ended. This sounds like an album of 13th Floor Elevators, Byrds and Ziggy Stardust outtakes, only without the talent. Listening to it you'd have thought that punk never happened. Quite good guitar playing, though it frequently strays in 70s wankage. It's OK, but nothing special - no idea why this is on the list.
Very unique and an original style. The sound and lyrics were somewhat psychedelic. Really dug this one.
i'm alive to listen to that kind of stuff. amazing
had me from the first track, just brilliant
Absolutely loved it
Mix Syd Barrett with the Byrds and this is what you get: British psychedelic jangle pop with sixties influences. Great album! Discovered it 25 years or so after its release ..and for me, one of their best songs, "He's A Reptile" is part of the album ..but it is not: it was added in the reissue. The 10 original songs are strong enough to hold their own though and several of them are perfect examples of outstanding songwriting: 5 stars easily.
Right in my sweet spot, post punky power poppy with catchy choruses not trying to be anything it isn’t. Saved to the ol Spotify albums which is criteria for 5 stars
Really enjoyed this one. It doesn't do anything revolutionary, but the tracks are all so catchy and memorable. Good bops
Never heard of the soft boys before. This album is brilliant can see the VU influence on some of the songs. I love finding these albums Iv never heard and were never commercial success but influenced so much of the music I listen too.
If you're not the kind of person who gets a kick out of the lyrics in Kingdom of Love, then it's going to be more difficult for us to become friends. I wanna destroy you, insanely jealous, queen of eyes, underwater moonlight, these are all total bangers. Hook it up and feed it directly into my veins. On a sidenote, I love all these innocent wet behind the ears types who somehow think this album is genuinely 44 songs long.
favourite song: i got the hots least favourite song: you'll have to go sideways absolute fantastic album. robyn hitchcocks lyricism is engaging and funny throughout. lovely instrumentation. an album i already loved before this.
månsken!!?🤨 under vattnet??!??!? så bra
Meilleure découverte via ce site depuis Head Hunters de Herbie Hancock Prefs: I Wanna Destroy You, Positive Vibrations, Insanely Jealous, Tonight, You'll Have To Go Sideways, Queen of Eyes, Underwater Moonlight Moins pref: Kingdom of Love
Great, well ahead of its time. Felt the influence on REM, as well as another band that completely escapes me. Another 1001 gem.
A mix of Lou Reed, Mark E Smith, Gang Of Four and Beach Boys!
First ever listen to this. Knew this band were highly influential, and you can hear why. In my opinion, lacks a truly knockout track, but it sounds great.
I Wanna Destroy You and Insanely Jealous are pretty good songs.
lots of really cool colorful stuff on here (opener is really good, queen of eyes feels like a beatles song but with jangly guitars) but unfortunately i cannot in good conscious give anything with "i got the hots" above an 8.
Great album. Cheap Trick-ish, proto-REM by Robyn Hitchcock. The deluxe version more than doubles the original release, but they made a good choice with the songs they did. I Wanna Destroy You, the title track and the bonus track Wey Wey Hep Uh Hole are my favorites, but all here are quality tracks. Maybe with a little more time listening this could be a 5 star, but for now, it is a solid 4 star album.
Surprisingly good album, liked the sound a lot plus the songs were very catchy
Another really neat album that just kind of came out of nowhere for me. Almost all of the songs are really catchy, and all of them are good 4/5
Schöne Brücke der späten 60er zu 80s underground
Got a bit of a backlog to get through here since the weekend. Liked this, expected typical 80s synth pop but got rubber soul/revolver era Beatles instead
A 60s rock album in the 80s.... who knew?
Weird but I kinda love it? Some Beatlesy moments. 3.5 rounded up.
Production: 7/20 Songwriting: 16/20 Innovation: 11/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 15/20 =79 Very impressed by this - full of absolute bangers. And now I know who Robin Hitchcock it so I know who Michael Legg keeps offending!
A very good album. Several great songs.
I like the sound, simple and catchy rock, kinda reminds me of The Beatles in a modern way
Fun and wonderfully weird. Makes you want to move. Would be fun to run to.
A pleasant surprise. Some ballsy tunes
Liked this. Took a couple of listens and the 'extended' version isn't worth the hassle.
Enjoyed this a lot - listen again
never heard of them / this. Really enjoted it and reminded me why i'm doing this! 4.
Brand new band for me! Great psyc/power/indie pop. Dark lyrics underneath jangly tracks. Great find. Best tracks: I Wanna Destroy You, Kingdom of Love, Queen of Eyes
4/5 actually this was a solid album. And huge one too
Never heard of them before but really enjoyed this album
Definitely coming back
Fantastic album, psychedelic new wave, was not familiar with this band at all.
(Only listened to half) It was great :D
this shit is fire as fuck , simple as
A surprise 4 for me. I wasn't familiar with them but I definitely like. And that cover art is wonderful.
I was late to this album - but then so was nearly everyone else. Now seen as highly influential and regarded, rightly, as a classic.
This is great. Extremely difficult to pigeon hole but quintessentially British in delivery. Would listen again!
Really like the vocals and guitar sounds. 1st song is great.
Great album by a great band.
Really interesting album. Treads a line between pop, punk, and classic rock. Ending up somewhere around modern indie. I imagine at the time it was pretty unique. Enjoyed, will definitely listen again in the future.
This is a great album. Love it. Robyn Hitchcock criminally under-rated (by me). I only had Can of Bees previously but this album way better. 4.5
God, this record rocks.
Yeah this was quite good actually. Not what I was expecting really, thought it would be more experimental for some reason. I think I knew one already... probs from Luke.
I never heard of these guys although we probably all know Rew's post Soft Boys' composition Walking on Sunshine. His one hit wonder band sold more records but his no hit wonder band makes the 1001 list. On the first track, Wanna Destroy You, the band is on fire. What a song! On Positive Vibrations I really like how both guitarists play lead. They don't take turns doing a solo but during some segments continually come in and with a new riff and have very different sounding guitars. This is really well done. I Got the Hots wasn't doing it for me but the Earl Slick-like guitar in the last minute is quite good although for some reason the last 20 seconds are mixed down to almost zero volume. I don't get it. The Psychedelic stuff like Queen of Eyes is kinda neat since it fuses in some riffs of the day but I'm still sick of Psychedelic (Blame the App for sending too much in a short time). The album never recovers to the level of I Wanna Destroy although Old Pervert comes close and the title track is a strong finish to the album. There's also lots of excellent off the beaten path guitar on the less strong songs and this gets the LP over the 3 hump. The cover is so cool it might even be better than the song.
A pretty cool marriage of new wave and psych rock. I bopped hard to a lot of these tracks, but there are definitely a couple fumbling ones tht significantly decreased my enjoyment.
Wist niet wat ik moest verwachten. De beschrijving zijn psychedelische rock, maar ik vond het al bij al wel goed
Insanely jealous va megabanger Ja va först sådär att dang dehär låter old skewl å d e e från 2010 men sen kolla ja wikipedia lol
What a gem. Awesome punk rock
Was surprisingly good. Reminded me of a few other artists, though now that I'm rating this a few days late I can't recall who they were. I think Bowie was one that came to mind?
When I was in my twenties many, many years ago I knew a girl who was obsessed with Robyn Hitchcock. The few songs I heard by him I didn’t love. They were too cutesy and clever. But this album I really liked. Great tunes. I’ll definitely listen to this again. 4 stars.
Odd one for 1980. Could have been released in 68 or 92, but this is right down the middle. Better than average though, so I’ll sneak it a cheeky 4.
Big Robyn Hitchcock fan from way back. This a straightforward but super English psychedelic rock album
Note, if you're listening to this on spotify, one of the versions of this album is listed as 2+ hours long. Only the first 10 tracks are actually from this original album. It also says 2010 but the original album was released in 1980. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and could hear its influences in Lou Weed, err Reed, REM, and even a Minutemen track.
Really fun post punk new wave thing - completely new to me - loved it - only fault is slightly awkward lyrics - but otherwise really fun
nunca tinha nem ouvido falar e gostei bastante Gente, como assim um album com 40 musicas? Que loucura
This album feels both like the past and the future, with plenty of hints of psychedelic rock from the 60s along with some of the foundations of what was to be 90s indie rock. There are plenty of catchy tunes and good vibes.
Surprisingly good, but not quite great. Much better than I expected, and much rockier and louder too. Bonus tracks on the Spotify version are actually longer than the original album, for some reason.
Weak 4, catchy and fun
I can tell how this band came to be, and I can hear the influence they had on alt-rock bands of the 80s and 90s. "I Want to Destroy You" is timeless. Kingdom of Love musically sounds like a lost Talking Heads song, but lyrically - kind of gross. Positive Vibrations is the most retro of the songs structurally with elements of The Who, The Byrds, and The Beatles. I Got the Hots is a throw-away track to me, but it sounds a little like Oasis did in their throw-away tracks. Insanely Jealous is like alt-rock Bob Dylan. I love the way it builds. I can't fault this album much. I will throw it in my rotation.
Surprised to enjoy this so much! Can see the influence on Pixies/Stone Roses in some of the jangle pop numbers. I Got The Hots / Insanely Jealous the stand outs