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4.5 out of 5 stars
Peace At Last
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2003
"A Walk Across The Rooftops" is a story of teenage infatuation and the discovery of dating. "Hats" tells the tale of heartbreak, growing up and finding the right girl. "Peace At Last" is a document of adulthood, to put it as simply as I can. As with many other people, I feel this is the most moving collection of music I have ever listened to - it has made me more of a man. This is my personal interpretation of this fantastic album.
The glorious first track, "Happiness", speaks of the wishing, hoping and uncertainty you go through when you hope you have found the right girl - you want to treat her right, but will it last? It does last. "Tomorrow Morning" explains that if there is love and that little something extra then you're on the right track, the future is everything. "Sentimental Man" tries to explain what that little extra something is: nobody is perfect, money isn't everything, love can be the key. "Love Come Down" encapsulates the moment when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with the person you have found - you want to be married. After this, "Body And Soul" is almost a song of wedding vows - about being happy together forever, about starting a home and raising a family. "Holy Love" speaks of the joys of wedding night intimacy. "Family Life" is possibly the most emotional song, speaking of the trails and tribulations of being a husband and father. It can be very hard sometimes, even bad in places but you must always look for the good in these difficult times - hope will prevail. "War Is Love" goes further to describe how these difficult times can be overcome also by love. "God Bless You Kid" describes the desire to rekindle youth by having children. "Soon" speaks of becoming one with your children, growing to love them more over time. A happy ending.
That's pretty deep for me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2014
the one album I was missing from this long but not forgotten band, the s*** music that's about now , should take a step back , and take note how to make time lasting music, epic, quick posting by the way and a great cd , many many thanks.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 April 2015
You know the cliche: 'If I could give this more than five stars...' Well, in this case it's never been more true.
If (and this is only my taste and opinion, naturally) their debut was a magnificent 'grower' that now sounds like the start of something unique, Hats was a sublime classic that anyone with a heart and mind must surely love, and the most recent (from 2004) High was a gravely beautiful goodbye - then Peace at Last (from 1996) was and is sheer unadulterated bliss, a set of ten songs so ridiculously and unerringly lovely as to defy belief.
Their first two albums were flecked with keyboards and thwacking eighties drums, while this has far more guitar, and the difference is to its credit. The mostly strummed guitar gives the songs a warm, almost festive sound, while never compromising their trademark spare solemnity - though they sound much happier here than on High.
I can't and won't pick favourites, since I have none. This is one album to sit back and swallow whole, letting its gorgeousness overwhelm you. (Am I exaggerating? Not much, no.)
The Blue Nile were always an 'occasional' band, but the four records they made together contain some of the loveliest, most uncategorisable music by any British band of any era. They took their time and the results were - to quote the old song - too marvellous for words. I think their music reached an ethereal, ecstatic peak in this their third record.
And fancy being able to follow up Hats with anything this good!
I love everything about Peace at Last, from Paul Buchanan - he of the mercurially soulful voice - on a blurry-maned horse, to the choir singing of Happiness on the opening track.

{NB. I have reviewed the original single-disc edition, which is all I need - besides, I get the impression that the Deluxe remaster isn't sonically trustworthy, which can all too often be the case.}

**********
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on 11 July 2015
I've always loved this album, albeit not quite as much as Hats, but slightly more than Walk Across The Rooftops, so I was always going to purchase this remastered deluxe release, given the opportunity of finding some previously unreleased material on CD for the first time! However, I do have one minor gripe - why, oh why was Wish Me Well, a b-side from the Happiness single not included on this re-release?!? I bought the Happiness CD single when it came out, and for me, Wish Me Well is one of the finest, most achingly beautiful and heartbreaking things they have ever released!? I always thought it was a mystery why this track was never included on the original version of Peace At Last, so surely here was a perfect opportunity to rectify this oversight, and make it readily available to all those hardcore Blue Nile fans who never bought Happiness?! I'm just so pleased and relieved that I still have the CD single, so that I can return to this incredible song!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This is "The Blue Nile's" first and last album for "Warner Brothers" would you believe they dropped them!
The third part of "The Blue Nile" story has a collection of ten songs which was seven years in the making and recorded with their part-time member "Nigel Thomas"(who has played drums on all their albums)in studios in Dublin,Paris and Los Angeles this is diferent from the previous albums as they were both recorded at "Castle sound" in "Edinburgh" they did use the same engineer the awesome "Calum Malcolm".
Another departure for the sound of this album is the use of strumming acoustic guitar which opens the album with the sound of a tapping foot to accompany it.
The sound of the album has the same preoccupation with atmospherics as did the previous two, but what is different with this set of songs they didn't use a "Fairlight" this time.
Paul Buchanan singing is always superb,but on this collection you can hear real heartfelt feeling and soul,for example the emotional punch of the song "Family life" is nearly too much to bear.
The opening track was used by the "Scottish tourist Board" for their T.V. adverts for a couple of years,like the Scottish coutryside there is a majesty to the songs on this album.
If there is any justice in the world this album should be in everyone's music collection.Do yourself a great big favour and buy this album today, five stars? it should have six truly ESSENTIAL....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2014
The Blue Nile are an acquired taste, and each of their 4 releases is just a bit different. The remastering here is superb, the songs are not instant hits but slow burners, and the bonus disc has some nice rarities. If you are a fan, buy it. If you are a newcomer to Blue Nile, start with Hats or High - easier albums to get into.
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on 9 August 2014
Not quite as good as the first Blue Nile album A 'Walk Across Roof The Tops' and not surprisingly overshadowed by the towering magnificence that is 'Hats' but by any reasonable standards this is a really good album. So if you're familiar with the work ofThe Blue Nile this is well worth having, and if you're not and most people aren't this is a bad place to start because The Blue Nile never made a bad album. They didn't make many, but they were all good.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Blue Niles third album came as a bit of a shock after the bruise blue opulence and full blooded romantic vistas of the glorious "Hats". It sounded way too cosy at first, a pipe and slippers album. And all those references to god and Jesus were, to an atheist like me, distinctly off putting. But with tremulous ease the album began to grow on me. Love of god is after all still a form of love (though of course it's often used to propagate hate and terror) and there is no band better at doing pure full bloom love than The Blue Nile. Plus of course the title "Peace At last " was alluding to some kind of settling down , a man coming to serene terms with himself and the people around him. After the brief but intense affairs of "Walk Across The Rooftops" and the lush full on romances Of "Hats", this album is the welcoming of the gradual inertia and domesticity and yes adulthood that true love brings to most of us. But rarely is it as beautiful and idyllic as The Blur Nile makes it seem.

Album opener "Happiness" has been used extensively by the Scottish Tourist Board which is not surprising since its memorable acoustic refrain and ear catching refrain endowing it with the air of a rallying call for some from of Shangri La which of course is what the S.T.B. wanted, though of course Paul Buchanan meant it on a more personal level. "Tomorrow Morning" driven by breezily strummed acoustic guitar and tells us that if you have love in your life everything will be just fine and dandy which is a mite simplistic but admirable none the less. "Sentimental Man" is a monumental number with a truly inspired Buchanan vocal, the walls of sound ricocheting of the beating of the singer's emotionally fraught heart. "Love Come Down "is more reflective and sanguine, Buchanan almost sombrely revelling in the moment of true love found.

Love dominates, which is the usual course of events with this special band but they never resort to sentimentality or glutinous platitudes and the celebratory "Body And Soul" encapsulates why. It never appears forced or synthetic; the songs mood of revelling in the pure joy of being with someone else is as natural as breathing and comes across that way. "Holy Love" though is perhaps a step too far, but again it's so unflinchingly sincere it would seem churlish to criticise and the song is undoubtedly lovely. "Family Life" though is something else. The most affecting and moving tribute to the pleasures that enjoying your own progeny brings I have ever heard with lines like "We will raise the children and hold them to the sky", it simply and proficiently makes it sound like the most wonderful thing in the world, which often it is of course.. Fifteen years ago I would have snorted mucus at this song, now I think it is one of the most gloriously honourable paeans to love I have ever heard.

The album cannot top this though "War Is Love" and "God Bless You Kid" is wonderfully arranged, once again sung with heart melting brio by the ever reliable Paul Buchanan. "Soon" is a hushed atmospheric hymn to the ever escalating bond with your children as time passes and aurally harks back to the bands former work more than anything else on this album.

"Peace At Last" isn't up with The Blue Niles previous albums but they are very special albums indeed, indeed "Hats" remains my favourite album ever, but it is by any standards a great album. Most impressively it tackles a subject - domesticity and settling down - that would bring most bands out in cold sweats and it does so without resorting to cliché or miring the listener in oleaginous schmaltz. They are a band, content it would seem to grace the margins of the music industry and though their next album "High" was their first less than perfect release I look forward to their next with salivating anticipation. If it's as good as "Peace At Last" I won't be complaining and I doubt anyone else will either.
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on 22 April 2014
One of my all-time favourite albums. Even better in this format with the additional tracks. I live in hope that one day the boys can resolve their differences and produce some new music. In this day of manufactured bands and bland singers the Blue Nile stand out.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As with the re-issues of the first two Blue Nile LPs, this collectors edition of the group's third album seems to me to be something of a missed opportunity.

Obvious inclusions for the bonus disc - in this case "Wish Me Well", "New York Man" and "O Lolita" (the "Happiness" B-sides) - are again omitted and the original artwork has, as another reviewer has noted, bar the front cover, disappeared. Not that it was that great, but artwork for me is a big part of a record and if you take away from it you also take away from the record. Oddly, the disc has now been given an LKH Linn Records' catalogue prefix, even though it was never released on Linn - a bit of a trainspotter-ish remark I know, but I just thought I'd mention...

Green, the Blue Nile most certainly are not, as the respective 44 and 29 minute run times of both discs would, of course, fit on a single disc.

The original CD remaster by the ever-reliable Calum Malcolm sounds pretty good to me even if it didn't need remastering. As for the record itself, well "Peace at Last" has been something of a slow-burn for me and 18 years after its original release sounds better with every listen (deeper than deep) though "Hats" is still my personal favourite. If you're new to the Blue Nile I would probably say this is one to add to your collection after "Hats" and "A Walk Across the Rooftops". Nevertheless, in terms of "bang for your buck" this BN re-issue is THE one to buy as it actually has a whole three unreleased songs, as opposed to the one a piece of the first two editions. The pick of these bonus tracks for me is "Turn Yourself Around". All in all, the second disc is an interesting insight into the making of this record and seems to indicate that the band were considering a more electronic direction, i.e. similar to "Hats", before deciding to go with, I suppose, the more AOR kind of sound that made the final cut.

"Peace at Last" may seem to some like a less essential purchase to some, compared to the first two remasters, but I see it as an excellent opportunity for Blue Nile fans to visit an overlooked release. Plus it contains one of my favourite Paul Buchanan lyrics:

"I drive all over town to the bars without a name
And it feels like Memphis after Elvis - there's nothin' going on"

Incidentally - I am now "needin' the saviour" to bring me a compilation of all those omitted Blue Nile B-sides...
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