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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Blue Is The Colour

The Beautiful South

1996

Blue Is The Colour
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

Blue Is the Colour is the fifth studio album from English band the Beautiful South, released in October 1996 through Go! Discs and in America through Ark 21 Records. The album was released following the two singles "Pretenders to the Throne" and "Dream a Little Dream", which never featured on any album until the release of the second greatest hits Solid Bronze in 2001. The album continued the melancholic tone of its predecessor Miaow, and is generally considered to be the band's darkest effort, reflecting Heaton's life at the time. This comes across in songs such as "Liars’ Bar" (about alcoholism), "The Sound of North America" (a sarcastic look at capitalism), "Mirror" (Prostitution), "Blackbird on the Wire", "Have Fun" (which Heaton has cited as his saddest song), and the self-explanatory "Alone". The album spawned four singles, the first being "Rotterdam", which peaked at No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart in September 1996. The follow-ups were "Don't Marry Her", which reached No. 8 in December, "Blackbird on the Wire", which peaked at No. 23 in March 1997, and "Liar's Bar", which stalled outside the top 40 in June. On "Liars' Bar", Paul Heaton's vocal consciously imitates the style of Tom Waits, while in "Alone" the bass line serves as another allusion to him. The album itself topped the album charts on 2 November 1996.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.89

Votes

55

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop

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Reviews

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Sun Jun 30 2024
5

Knew the singles very well due to radio overplay in the 90s and as such thought of them as a singles band, this kept me rapt all the way through however with several clear stand outs, can easily see this album becoming standard rotation.

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Sat May 04 2024
4

Great album, but does feel maybe a hair bloated. I loved a few tracks of this album enough to elevate it to a firm 4 though!

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Mon May 06 2024
4

I liked this pretty well, interesting lyrics. The music was very competently performed, a little too soft a touch for me though, it needed some more edge and texture.

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Sat Jun 08 2024
4

This was a good alt country style album from a British band. Perhaps calling it country is too strong, but it certainly fits in with bands such as the Drive By Truckers. Lyrically this album was stark, laying bare the destitution and dignity of the forgotten and overlooked. The production is dated, but the album was still very good.

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Sat May 04 2024
3

Blue is a kind of self-conscious indie record before its time; Not surpassing that, it gets points for creativity. The songs refuse to lock in place and the universality is first-order. Bad move: sacrifices almost all of it. I can easily imagine it as one's first Beautiful South record, don't have to imagine in fact.

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Sat May 04 2024
3

It needed to grow on me, but in the end it still didn't. I found it more to be some background music

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Sun May 05 2024
3

This sounded beautiful indeed, but also a bit tidy and nothing out of the ordinary.

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Wed May 22 2024
3

I wanted to like this, really I did, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. The songs were good but sounded awkward or forced in some way, like they were trying too hard to be clever. A good example: Liar’s Bar sounds like it could have been a really good song, but recording it with a bad Tom Waits impersonation? It just made me cringe. Made what should have been a really good song almost unlistenable. 3 stars.

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Sat Jun 15 2024
3

Pleased to see recognition for this excellent British pop band, but disappointed to find the incredibly beautifully sung and often amusing and witty songs are a bit dull. The huge hit singles are great, the Tom Waits pastiche is fun, but the exquisitely sung thoughtful songs just don’t pull you in once you’ve got past the opening delight of the pretty singing. A band whose hits collections are a triumph, but individual albums are just a bit disappointing. The same goes for Heaton’s Housemartins albums. Get the compilations.

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Sat May 04 2024
2

Sometimes you can judge an album by it's cover.

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Sat May 04 2024
2

Wow this was horrible. The quirky lyrics do not make up for the terrible, cheesy 80s lounge act music.

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Sun May 05 2024
2

I actually think there is nothing in this album that I actually like. It sounds hopelessly out-dated and cheesy. The lyrics are distracting and weird in a wrong way. For me, a total miss-hit.

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Sun May 12 2024
2

Some of the odder lyricism and songwriting I've heard from an album here – at first intriguing, but things became much too amorphous and disparate as the LP progressed for there to be much of an artistic statement. Not sure what this band is trying to convey or affect here, and I think I was more confused at the album's end than before I had even begun.

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Wed May 22 2024
2

It was ok. Some of the songs had humorous lyrics. The album was just there and I do not plan on revisiting it.

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Sat May 04 2024
1

Very calm, soft pop, sometimes boring or slow

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Mon May 06 2024
1

Oh god, it's more alternative folky garbage. Is this all the other users actually listen to? Every second user album is this crap ffs. 1/5.

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