It is tempting, as one gets older, to mythologise albums that were important to you when you were young. However, in the case of Fisherman's Blues it may be justified, as this box set demonstrates. For an album to begin with Mike Scott booking a recording studio in secret and grew into something approaching a lifestyle choice, Fisherman's Blues remains a remarkable achievement and is the high water mark (pardon the pun) of Mike Scott's career so far.
The box set expands on this, offering up a series of songs and surprises from the Fisherman's Blues sessions. At its best, it's incredible, jaw-dropping stuff and you wonder why some of this didn't make the album, or even the "Too Close To Heaven" release some years ago. At its worse, it's pretty grim, but then, there's no way you're going to like everything on a 6 CD box set.
Listing favourites would make this review far too long and boring. Suffice to say that, as I neared the end of the sixth CD and having spent so much time in the company of these fine gentlemen, I felt a genuine sorrow that I wouldn't hear these songs for the first time ever again.
Perhaps the oddest thing is that there's no Big Music version of Higherbound. I could've sworn I heard it once, but now I can't find it. Maybe I heard it in a dream. (A sentence which pretty much sums up how I feel about The Waterboys.)