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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 7 May 2011
So lovely to hear Mike's voice with the piano (and occasional other instruments). The 'demo's' even sometimes outshine the original take. Heard 'Don't Bang the Drum' at their last concert as it was played on the demo and was astounding. This is a must for any Waterboys fan, and even if not this is a great album in it's own right. The Demos reminisce back to the era of the 'Big Music' prior to the Raggle Taggle era, and makes This is the Sea sound more like the older albums such as Pagan Place, Waterboys. Just want more Big Music, more Raggle Taggle and more Waterboys. Thanks for everything Mike.
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on 29 April 2011
This is an absolute joy to listen to. This Is The Sea is a masterpiece, and this album is a beautiful collection of early recordings and ideas. The songs sound wonderful on the piano, and Mike's voice really soars. A quality record.
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on 7 September 2013
I bought this as a bit of a "Waterboys completist", knowing I had most of it already but interested in different versions of great songs. Well worth getting when the price dropped. Fascinating to hear Scott working on rough drafts of epic music, from the band's peak.
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on 20 June 2011
What is there of new, about this release ? Well, nothing, to be honest. We all knew most of the songs, we know by hearth the lyrics, and this is almost a "one man show" in terms of instruments.
Yet, this piece, worth every penny you spent. Because these songs, that we knew so well, as I said, are still AMAZING, after all these years. And this record, allow us, as no other record (except, perhaps, one or two live gigs that I witnessed), to dive into the hearth of these songs. Because, stripped of any kind of accessory elements, like fancy arrangements, extra vocals or additional instruments, only those songs with superlative quality, in what concerns the lyrics/music, only those survive. And these ones, not only survive, but they shine, in their magnificent simplicity. And, additionally, there is all that involvement and commitment that Mike puts in every song, in every vocal.
If you do not feel a shiver down my spine, when listening "be my enemy", check you music system, consult your ear doctor, or change the medication.
This is a magnificent piece, enjoy it. Thanks Mike, for sharing these gigs with us.
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on 4 July 2011
This is the Sea has always been amongst my favourite albums, from its release to now. The set of piano demos, while not replacing, nor surpassing, the original album definitely add a new poignancy and melancholic surface to the songs featured. To be honest, since I've had this album I've listened to it more often than the "original" This is the Sea LP. Melancholic with Mike Scott's voice strong and emotional I would recommend this to any Waterboys fan, or non-fan even. And the "extra" songs not featured on the original LP are excellent too.

My only criticism is the title-it's very disingenuious as these are not demos but fully-formed songs that stand up by themselves.
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on 28 September 2011
Lovely companion to the original record. Great glimpse at the wizard behind the curtain... if that's what you're after. As a stand-alone record the piano and vocal only can get old but I think this might be a headphones record? Mike Scott's voice sounds massive too. And it never sounded this way again after...
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on 12 October 2015
It a great pity that this is not on Vinyl, I do not buy CD's
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on 31 July 2011
If you love the Waterboys this will come as no suprise, its brilliant, if you have never listened to the band, a statement which can only prove that you are not alive or have been away for a very long time, it would be an intreasting place to start. Great album, Great adition to you Waterboys collection, well worth the purchase
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on 5 August 2011
it is incredible to hear un-produced versions of these songs! I feel like I have been taken into the mind workings of Mike Scott while I listen...
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on 27 September 2011
Hmmmm. Not so sure about this, big Waterboys fan that I am.

Although it could be argued that any material uncovered is a benefit by being released, whilst listening to this I wondered what extra this really adds to the Waterboys listening experience. Yes you can hear tracks in a stripped back version, with occasionally interestingly different lyric choices, however I found that the tracks that sounded best were the ones that actually made it onto the 'This is the sea' album, and those that didn't, in this early form, just didn't really have anything special about them, (presumably why they got no further than demos). The end result was that I felt all I was paying for was this mediocre unknown material.

While I've consistently felt in the past that the extra tracks that have appeared on the re-packaged first 5 albums have been hidden gems, well worth being uncovered and brought to the public's ears, I don't share that sentiment for this collection.
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