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on 1 June 2007
I would have to say that the bonus material enhances this set. the original album was stunning, but the whole package becomes so very much better with the second CD of material. Beverly Penn to me is in fact as good as anything on the original CD and in my opinion is one of the best songs Mike has ever done. If you don't have this edition and are a big fan, I can't see how you cannot add this to your collection. I put off doing so for years and just loved it when it finally arrived on my doorstep!
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on 2 July 2012
I came to The Waterboys via "Fishermans Blues" and "Room to Roam" and so naturally assumed they were a folk group. Seeing them live was a rude but enlightening experience. In digitally remastered format this is a truly huge sound. The violin playing is truly fearsome and the the awesome sound of the sax is reminiscent of the late but truly great Clarence Clemans of the E Street Band. Virtually every track is a killer and the sheer quality of the additional 14 tracks are effectively a stand alone cd in their own right. As for "Be My Enemy" this could have come straight from Bob Dylan at his most lyrically frantic. I am probably speaking to the converted who already own this but for anyone coming to The Waterboys for the first time this is a must and at this price a complete steal.
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VINE VOICEon 10 March 2004
I would imagine a lot of people have the original album as it contains one of the great songs of all time, The Whole Of The Moon. This new remastered and expanded edition gives it all to you. The album on its own is genius.
U2 wanted to make music this big but never quite did it with such Celtic leanings. Mike Scotts vision was at its zenith
The album starts with the Spaghetti Western style Dont Bang The Drum before launching into an epic assault on the ears. Maybe this was a dig at Bonos flag waving. I'm not sure. Then there's THE single. We all know it and it still climbs and soars.

Just when you thought you couln't get any higher the next tack is the lovely Spirit. Lucky for us the bonus disc has the full length version on it which is over double the time. I always thought the original was short - over too quickly. Maybe Mike should have put the long version on the original album on this release much as he did with All The Things on the remastered Pagan Place a couple of years ago.
Then its back to the big music with The Pan Within. Very dark but epic. A great song. Mike would always return to folklore throughout his songwriting.
The second half of the album starts with the barn storming Medicine Bow. What a race this. Again a longer version is on the bonus disc. Next up is my favourite, Old England, which with its vision of a crumbling empire is more relevant to today than it ever was. This was a great live favourite and I thought the original band never sounded better than on this track.
Be My Enemy, I know is a good song but I never got into it. This always felt like the weakest track for me. Fair enough, it rocks hard, but it doesn't do it like Medicine Bow does.
Trumpets is the quiet song on this half. You'll listen to it, miss it, but you'll come back to it because it grows and grows. A beautiful song.
Finally Mike Scotts last piece of big music for the 80s, the title track, is stunning. It is a giant of a song harking back to A Pagan Place. Its uplifting and strong in its vision. That was the river, this is the sea indeed. Mike Scott had fufilled his genius.
The bonus disc as well as having longer versions of songs on the original album also has the hard to find b-side, Medicine Jack which is good and the lost classic High Far Soon. A superb song. There is also a version of Van Morrsions Sweet Thing which is different to the great version which appeared on the next album, Fishermans Blues.
The rest are unreleased songs that have never been made available before. As has been the case with a lot of Mike Scotts unrealeased tracks, other song writers would kill to have quality songs like that.
Mike then turned away from the big music for a while with Fishermans Blues and Room To Roam. Both good albums but are they as good as this?
You must buy this. It is beyond good.
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on 31 March 2013
If you only get one Waterboys album, this should be the one. I fell in love with it from the first few notes of the brilliant opening to Don't Bang the Drum and the whole album is absolutely superb. There's not a duff track on it and I love it as much now as when I first heard it all those years ago in my friend David's car on the way to a gig at the Comedy Club - thanks for the introduction, mate! The second disk has a lot of tracks that I've never heard, so this was a bonus, as the majority of them could have made it onto the released albums. All in all, one of my favourite ever albums from one of my favourite ever bands, the big music that The Waterboys gave us should have been far more successful commercially, but I'm sure that all of us who picked up on it still bang the drum on behalf of Mike Scott and the boys. Awesome.
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on 13 August 2008
Fantastic re-mastered version with bonus tracks. The original album contains wonderful classics; "The Whole of the Moon" is quite possibly the greatest single of our generation. "The Pan Within", "Old England" & "Spirit" have to be heard if you like Scott's other material. Lovely bonus disc included here, the 1st bonus track on the 2nd disc, "Beverly Penn" is Scott at his greatest, tears every time, sorry, but it is my favourite Waterboys track of all time; stunningly beautiful.
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on 7 January 2008
This album blew me away when it first came out.The sweeping intro,the very mysterious and beautiful Pan Within,is just waiting for someone to sample that piano riff.The two rockers Be My Enemy & Medicine Bow are both electrifyingly bold and took the Waterboys into a brand new league.While the piano led Old England is as true now as it was then.And i havn't even mentioned the title track.The previous albums were blue prints for this Beautiful album full of mystery,fantasy,and hope.
They don't make albums like this anymore..... sadly.
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on 28 July 2009
Mike Scott (Scotland's Bob Dylan) and the Waterboys are a great band. This album particularly what constituted the original album is a fantastic compilation. For Waterboys converts the extra material, particularly "sweet thing" is so welcome. Indulge yourself in Mike Scott and the Waterboys.
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on 3 February 2013
i forgot what a fantastic album this is, took me back to my youth,this is without doubt one of the most underrated and under played albums of all time,a work of genius. musicaly this has got to rate with the best,a classic.
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on 7 February 2013
If you want to escape from the harsh reality of everyday living then this is the album to listen to. It is inspirational, thought provoking and speaks to the soul. Turn up the volume and lose yourself....... :)
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on 27 September 2008
I have been collecting CD,s and records for over 20 years now and have amassed nearly all the classics ever made and I have played none of them more than This Is The Sea. It is still the most glorious piece of music I have ever heard after 20 years. To be a classic record means that every song has to be great, No Filler(tick 1), you never get bored of hearing it(tick 2) and the album flows perfectly <tick 3>. It's such a shame that Mike Scott hit his peak in the greedy mid 1980's when the excess of Duran Duran & Spandau Ballet were the fashion. If this album were released now it would be hailed a classic and would rightly be ranked with LZ4, Revolver, OK computer etc in the future, I jest you not. This is great big chest beating music with heart and soul, feelgood music at a time when the Smiths (as great as they were) were capturing the era with music reflecting the dark times Mike Scott was searching for the stars hoping for a better future. The album also contains some of the best ever life affirming lyrics as on "Spirit" (High on the wine of life, untethered and free, what spirit is man can be) and contains the best ever double whammy of opening and closing songs with the majestic "Dont bang the drum" and the title track which when you hear it you wont forget, all this and "the Whole of the Moon" as well. Mike produced tons of other great stuff around this time so it would have been tempting to make this a longer album but its short length is one of its good points as it leaves you wanting more. For anyone who enjoys big, loud, soulful music with great lyrics i urge you to buy this album especially people who werent around at the time and you will discover something really really special.
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