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The Boy with the Arab Strap [CD]

Belle & Sebastian Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: £10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon's Belle & Sebastian Store


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Belle & Sebastian release The Third Eye Centre - a collection of B-sides, rarities, and non-LP tracks from the last decade. The album is on CD, download, and on vinyl as a gatefold double LP.

The 19 tracks are taken from the Glaswegian band’s last 3 albums – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (2003), The Life Pursuit (2006) and Write About Love (2010). The album can be seen as ... Read more in Amazon's Belle & Sebastian Store

Visit Amazon's Belle & Sebastian Store
for 54 albums, 5 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

The Boy with the Arab Strap + If You're Feeling Sinister + Tigermilk
Price For All Three: £28.35

Buy the selected items together
  • If You're Feeling Sinister £8.65
  • Tigermilk £9.70

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Mar 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Jeepster Recordings
  • ASIN: B0000274T6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career
2. Sleep the Clock Around
3. Is It Wicked Not To Care?
4. Ease Your Feet In The Sea
5. A Summer Wasting
6. Seymour Stein
7. A Space Boy Dream
8. Dirty Dream Number Two
9. The Boy With The Arab Strap
10. Chickfactor
11. Simple Things
12. The Rollercoaster Ride

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.


This highly anticipated album from Belle and Sebastian arrives with every hope satisfied. Each song is a cunning short story that wraps itself around you like a cosy couch throw. The loose theme running through this 12-song reverie is seduction. It plays out in both the drowsy sexual hopes of principal songwriter Stuart Murdoch's idle protagonists and the giddiness of bandmate Stevie Jackson's "Seymour Stein" and "Chickfactor", which document his bewitchment by the city of New York, its beautiful girls and florid pitchmen. The complex arrangements favour a whimsical diversity best experienced in "Sleep the Clock Around", which features synthesiser bloops, trumpets and bagpipes! If you haven't figured out that this Scottish eight-piece deserves every iota of hype it's receiving, it's time to have your ears checked and your record collection gone over by a certified professional. --Lois Maffeo

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 8/10. 'Ease Your Feet In The Sea' 16 July 2007
Format:Audio CD
On first inspection the Amazon's favourable comparison to the Smiths and the Velvet Underground seems a little generous. And while the lyrical concerns bear resemblance to those of Morrissey and Stuart Murdoch's vocals make for a less smokey Nick Drake, Belle & Sebastian don't quite reach that songwriting bracket. Nevertheless, the Boy with the Arab Strap is a real grower, and after a few listens its melodic hooks start to catch. They excel at making music so seemingly light and effortless gradually leave its indelible mark on the heart and mind. Bleak stories of everyday failure and regret add a bitter taste to the unflinching prettiness of the music. Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell aren't quite the odd couple of Lou Reed and Nico (or even Morrissey / Marr) but they make revisionist pop as dreamily saccharin as the Velvets.

'It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career' marries the Velvets' prototype dream-pop with Nick Drake's jazzier sensibilities, the folksy acoustic guitar slowly embellished with piano and alt-country tinges. 'Sleep the Clock Around' builds sweetly shimmering electronics and piano around a delicate melodic refrain. Swelling into a blissful synth and trumpet driven finale, this is where my Belle and Sebastian preconceptions went out of the window. 'Is It Wicked Not To Care' features Isobel Campbell on vocals and summery, breezy orchestrations. Despite the relative lushness of the musicianship on songs like this, it always feels loose and spontaneous, never top-heavy or over-produced. 'Seymour Stein' is like the Velvets' 'Pale Blue Eyes', with some lovely summery organs, piano and horns. 'Space Boy Dream' begins with a cryptic spoken-word sample and turns into a jazzy instrumental David Axelrod would be proud of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Absolute Gems Here 8 Nov 2012
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This 1998 album (their third) from these Glaswegian tunesmiths is another invigorating slice of poetic pop, containing a collection of songs once again peppered with witty and idiosyncratic lyrics and infectious melodies. For me, whilst Arab Strap does not quite exhibit the level of consistent brilliance of the band's debut album Tigermilk, it still warrants a five star rating since it contains some of my favourite ever songs by the band.

The album is also notable as lead vocal duties are shared between the band more widely than before, with Stevie Jackson singing on Seymour Stein, a nicely ironic parody of the jet-setting head of Sire Records ('Has he ever seen Dundee?') and on the similarly witty (although musically less inspired) Chickfactor, a send-up of New York highlife ('She's five hours behind'). Each of Is It Wicked Not To Care? (on which Isobell Campbell takes on lead vocal duties), Ease Your Feet Into The Sea, A Summer Wasting and Simple Things are trademark Belle & Sebastian, primarily acoustic-based, strong melodies and intimate lyrics (although the brevity of Simple Things belies what could have been an absolute stonker of a song). On the other hand, A Space Boy Dream is something of a bizarre (but undoubtedly original, and increasingly appealing) interlude, being essentially a jazzily futuristic instrumental, over which Stuart David relates his (spoken) dream of a journey to Mars.

However, my favourite songs on Arab Strap are a quartet which (for me) rank with the very best music this band has produced.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dappled Sunlight 31 Aug 2007
Format:Audio CD
Offering a gentle alternative to the rampant Oasis and Blur dominated lad culture of mid-90s Britpop, B&S's rather lovely The Boy with the Arab Strap contains a dozen catchy pop songs of nostalgia, adolescence, inadequacy, innocence, longing, desire, endless childhood summers, and odes to the joys of generally lazing around, sung with fragile voices mostly to a low-fi backing of acoustic guitar, piano and soft snare one-twos.

But this is no ordinary disposable pop; It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career starts the album with the line "He had a stroke at the age of 24", and we realise these are not songs you're likely to be singing around the campfire despite the accessibility of the simple nursery rhyme like melodies. The wistful and sometimes surreal lyrics will appeal to fans of Morrissey or Nick Drake, and conjure up romantic images of colourfully dressed bohemians reading French poetry outside coffee houses on a sunny day.

Best of all is the infectious hand clapping title tune where singer Stuart Murdoch mischievously changes the lyrics to "You were laid on your back, with the Boy FROM the Arab Strap", a nod to fellow Scotch indie-band named after said item of bedroom-wear!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster ride for your soul... 5 Nov 2002
Format:Audio CD
First of all, it's quite difficult for me to review Belle & Sebastian, they're my favorite band, by far.
This album amongst everything they've ever produced is a gem. If you're into gentle and harmonious pop music... I find it quite difficult to find words but Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell are wonderful singers... it's simple, honest, deep, considerate beauty altogether. It's very human; the sort of band which changes your life or at least how you look at it anyway - it did for me and for a few of my friends who are found of B&S. It's both refreshing, despairing, have some of the most beautiful and witty lyrics in pop music...
I would consider Boy with the Arab Strap as my favorite B&S album as a lot of my favorite tracks are there, Ease your feet is pure melancholy, Rollercoaster ride is amazing, fantastic lyrics. It just makes the difference in this shallow world we live in, very reassuring to hear that... well... it's not. It's prescription for your heart and soul, to meditate.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 3rd
Just superb
Published 1 month ago by Graham bridge
3.0 out of 5 stars Cd works fine though.
Swift arrival but case broken. Cd works fine though.
Published 1 month ago by Daniel Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All good. Thanks
Published 2 months ago by patmp
5.0 out of 5 stars bril
wish I'd found out about this group/album sooner. very enjoyable albuum to listen to. try it. good to chill to!
Published 8 months ago by N. Brooker
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
This was the first Belle and Sebastian album I bought and it remains an absolute treat for the ears and the soul
Published 9 months ago by Huskyaddict
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it to bits
You will love it or hate it, I love it, great album, great title track, classic stuff and you will I am sure soon start to hear bits of this album having been lifted into TV... Read more
Published 18 months ago by DRX
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
One of my favorite albums. The second half especially has some very lovely songs. It also has a nice green cover which is pretty cool.
Published 21 months ago by benedict
4.0 out of 5 stars great album
surprisingly good if you can sit and listen to this - it is a very good album not as well known as it should be
Published on 25 Nov 2011 by malmac
5.0 out of 5 stars the best summer music
No one should be without this album. It will lift you out of the deepest slough of despond. It's excellent and will put a skip in your step.
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by M. Putnam
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic and by far their best
Full of poignant, hummable tunes. They have never bettered this.
If you like catchy music buy it.
I am listening to Sleep the Clock Around now. Absolutely glorious. Read more
Published on 6 April 2008 by Mr. J. P. Shields
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