22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This album is one of the great debut pieces of the early 80s. It signified the early beginnings of what was to become the 'Big Music' that the Waterboys would develop and build on over A Pagan Place and This is The Sea.
The first two tracks are brilliant. Firstly December which sets the theme for the whole record. Very emotional, but uplifiting and inspiring. Next the classic A Girl Called Johnny', which deserved to be a massive hit. It made the Waterboys well known in America.
This remastered edition now includes a fantastic lost song, which appeared as a b-side. Where Are You Now, When I Need You is a real heart string puller and how it never made the original listing is a mystery.
My personal fave is It Should Have Been You; a barn stormer when performed live. I would love to know who it was written about.
The additional tracks are interesting enough but not outstanding. They probably don't match up to the rest of the album, but then how do you compete with tracks like Gala and Savage Earth Heart, the closing song of the Waterboys set for many years.
Buy this and you wont regret it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This impressive debut album has been substantially enhanced with the addition of the extra tracks. The music is a most appealing mix of rousing guitars, piano, sax, drums and bass, and displays an appealing variety of styles.
There is a spiritual yearning in songs like the opening track December which is about death and rebirth. A Girl Called Johnny, the tribute to Patti Smith, has a prominent sax-driven sound, whilst the piano comes to the fore on The Three Day Man.
The slow ballad Gala with its lengthy instrumental introduction is built around a great piano arrangement. Other highlights include the powerful rock number It Should Have Been You and the evocative Savage Earth Heart.
The lyrics are intensely poetic and often infused with stirring transcendental imagery. Those who love the music of artists like Van Morrison, U2, Tim and Jeff Buckley will love this album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2013
Loved this album years ago and still love it to this day. The bonus tracks are pretty good (excellent by other bands' standards), but the original album tracks are brilliant and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who loves the Big Music!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
In my opinion, like most Waterboys albums, there are some great tracks on here (esp. the stirring December, Girl In The Swing, Savage Earth Heart, and maybe Gala, although I feel this longer version is too long) but also others that don't particularly grab me at all - maybe they've just dated. The extra bonus tracks are ok enough to give value for money.
In my opinion their 'Fishermans Blues' album is their most consistent, with no weak tracks and hasn't dated at all.