- The Waterboys
Infobox musical artist |
Name = The Waterboys
Img_capt = The Waterboys, performing a concert in
Antwerpin 2003. Members, from left to right, Mike Scott, Geoff Dugmore, Steve Wickham, and Brad Weissman, are shown.
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Edinburgh, Scotland
Years_active = 1983 – 1996, 2000 – present
URL = [http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/ Official site]
Past_members = The Waterboys are a band formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. The band's membership, past and present, has been composed mainly of musicians from Scotland, Ireland and England.
London, Dublin, Spiddal, New Yorkand Findhorn have all served as homes for the group. The band has played in a number of different styles, but their music is a mix of Celtic folk musicwith rock and roll, or folk rock. After ten years of recording and touring, they dissolved in 1993 and Scott pursued a solo career. They reformed in 2000, and continue to release albums and tour worldwide. Scott emphasizes a continuity between The Waterboys and his solo work, saying that "To me there's no difference between Mike Scott and the Waterboys; they both mean the same thing. They mean myself and whoever are my current travelling musical companions."cite web | title=A Rock in the Weary Land review | work=All Music Guide | url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:76msa9ugq23f | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 ]
The early Waterboys sound was dubbed "
The Big Music" after a song on their second album, " A Pagan Place". This musical style was described by Scott as "a metaphor for seeing God's signature in the world."cite web | title=The "Big Music" of the Waterboys: Song, Revelry, and Celebration | url=http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5815 | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 This article appeared as part of the Academy of American Poets' web-based National Poetry Almanac's 2004 "Poetry and Music" series. The author is unidentified. See cite web | title=Poetry and Music | work = National Poetry Almanac | url=http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/198 | accessmonthday=December 1 | accessyear=2005 for more information about the series.] It either influenced or was used to describe a number of other bands, including Simple Minds, The Alarm, In Tua Nua, Big Country, the Hothouse Flowerscite web | title=6 Echoes of The Big Music | url=http://www.furia.com/page.cgi?type=twas&id=twas0006 | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 ] and World Party, the last of which was made up of former Waterboys members. Karl Wallingerformed the band, Guy Chambersand Chris Whitten later left The Waterboys to join World Party.] In the late 1980s the band became significantly more folk influenced. The Waterboys eventually returned to rock and roll, and have released both rock and folk albums since reforming. Their songs, largely written by Scott, often contain literary references and are frequently concerned with spirituality. Both the group and its members' solo careers have received much praise from both rock and folk music critics, but The Waterboys as a band has never received the commercial success that some of its members have had independently. Aside from World Party, The Waterboys have also influenced musicians such as Colin Meloyof The Decemberistscite web | title=The Decembrists Biography | url=http://www.decemberists.com/about.aspx | accessmonthday=January 16 | accessyear=2007 ] Grant Nicholasof Feedercite web | title=Feeder Frequently Asked Questions | url=http://freespace.virgin.net/ali.bunny/feeder/faq.htm | accessmonthday=October 26 | accessyear=2005 ] and Miles Huntof The Wonder Stuff;cite web | title=interviews: Howe Gelb | work=tastyfanzine.org | url=http://www.tastyfanzine.org.uk/ints32%20nov04.htm | accessmonthday=November 21 | accessyear=2005 ] both Bonocite web | title=News:Bono's Top Ten List | work=U2 station | url=http://www.u2station.com/news/archives/1998/03/bonos_top_ten_l.php | accessmonthday=January 11 | accessyear=2007 ] and The Edgecite journal |year=2005 |month=December |title=Four Chancers From North Dublin |journal=Word Magazine] from U2are fans of the band.
The Waterboys have gone through three distinct phases. Their early years, or "Big Music" period, were both productive and defined a new sound in British rock and roll. The following folk music period was characterised by an emphasis on touring over album production and by a remarkably large band membership, leading to the description of the group as a "Raggle Taggle band".cite web | title=FAQ | work=mikescottwaterboys | url=http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/mainframes.asp?file=News/faq.htm | accessmonthday=October 28 | accessyear=2005 ] After a brief return to the "Big Music" for one tourcite web | author=Peter Anderson | title=Mike Scott/Waterboys biography | work=Record Collector magazine | url=http://www.phpwebspace.net/waterboys/biog/pageone.htm | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 ] and the release of a mainstream rock and roll album with "
Dream Harder", the band dissolved until its rebirth in 2000. In the years since, the band has revisited both rock and folk music, and continues to tour and release studio albums.
Scott, the founder and only permanent member of The Waterboys, made a number of solo recordings in late 1981 and early 1982 while in a band named Another Pretty Face (later called Funhouse). These sessions at Redshop Studio are the earliest recordings that would be released under The Waterboys name. During the same period, Scott formed the short-lived band The Red and the Black, with
saxophoneplayer Anthony Thistlethwaite, after hearing him play on "Waiting on Egypt", a Nikki Suddenalbum. The Red and the Black performed nine concerts in London.cite web | title=Archive 1978-85 | work=mikescottwaterboys.com | url=http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/mainframes.asp?file=archive/index.htm | accessmonthday=October 28 | accessyear=2005 ] Thistlethwaite introduced Scott to drummer Kevin Wilkinson, who joined The Red and the Black. During 1982, Scott made a number of recordings, both solo and with Thistlethwaite and Wilkinson. These recording sessions, both of Scott's solo work and the group performances, would later be divided between The Waterboys' first and second albums.
In 1983, even though Scott's record label,
Ensign Records, expected his first album to be a solo effort,cite book | first=Mike | last=Scott | year=2002 | title=The Waterboys | chapter=Recording Notes | pages=2 | publisher=EMI ] Scott decided to start a new band. He chose The Waterboys as its name from a line in the Lou Reedsong "The Kids" on the album "Berlin". In March 1983, Ensign released the first recording under the new band name, a single titled "A Girl Called Johnny", the A-side of which was a tribute to Patti Smith. This was followed in May by The Waterboys' first performance as a group, on the BBC's " Old Grey Whistle Test". The BBC performance included a new member, keyboard player Karl Wallinger. The Waterboys released their self-titled debut, "The Waterboys", in July 1983. Their music, influenced by Patti Smith, Bob Dylanand David Bowie, was compared by critics to Van Morrisonand U2in its cinematic sweep.A comparison which continues to be made. See cite web | title=All Music Guide review | url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:67jeeaw04xd7 | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 ]
Early years: the Big Music
After the release of their debut The Waterboys began touring. Their first show was at the Batschkapp Club in
Frankfurtin February 1984. The band then consisted of Mike Scott on vocals and guitar, Anthony Thistlethwaite on saxophone and mandolin, Wallinger on keyboards, Roddy Lorimeron trumpets, Martyn Swain on bass and Kevin Wilkinson on drums. John Caldwell from Another Pretty Face also played guitar, and Scottish singer Eddi Readersang backing vocals for the band's first two concerts. The band made some new recordings and over-dubbed old material in late 1983 and the spring of 1984 which would be released as The Waterboys' second album, " A Pagan Place", in June 1984. The "official" Waterboys line-up at this time, according to the sleeve of "A Pagan Place", was Scott, Thistlethwaite, Wallinger and Wilkinson, with guest contributions from Reader, Lorimer and many others.
"A Pagan Place" was preceded by the single "The Big Music". "The Big Music", the name of the single's A-side track, was adopted by some commentators as a description of The Waterboys' sound, and is still used to refer to the musical style of their first three albums. The release of the album was followed by further touring including support for
The Pretendersand U2 and a show at the Glastonbury Festival.
The band began to record new material in the spring of 1985 for a new album, with Wilkinson leaving the band to join
China Crisis. Late in the sessions future Waterboy Steve Wickhamadded his violinto the track "The Pan Within"; he had been invited after Scott had heard him on a Sinéad O'Connordemo recorded at Karl Wallinger's house.
The Waterboys (officially a trio of Scott, Thistlethwaite and Wallinger with a slew of guests) released their third album "
This Is the Sea" in October 1985. It sold better than either of the two earlier albums, and managed to get into the Top Forty. A single from it, "The Whole of the Moon", reached number 26 in the UK. Promotion efforts were hampered by Scott's refusal to perform on Top of the Pops, which insisted that its performers lip sync. The album release was followed by successful tours of the UK and North America with Wickham becoming a full-time member, Marco Sin replacing Martyn Swain on bass, and Chris Whitten replacing Kevin Wilkinson on drums. Towards the end of the tour Wallinger left to form his own band, World Party, and was replaced by Guy Chambers. At the same time, drummer Dave Ruffy replaced Chris Whitten.
Late 1980s: The Raggle Taggle band
At the invitation of new member Steve Wickham, Mike Scott moved to Dublin and quickly became influenced by the traditional Irish music there as well as by country and gospel.cite web | author=Gerry Galipault | title=Mike Scott is The Waterboys and The Waterboys Are Mike Scott | work=Pause and Play | url=http://www.pauseandplay.com/waterboys.htm | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 ] The band's lineup changed once again with Scott, Wickham and Thistlethwaite now joined by
Trevor Hutchinsonon bass and Peter McKinney on drums. The new band, which the official Waterboys' website refers to as the "Raggle Taggle band" lineup, spent 1986 and 1987 recording in Dublin and touring the UK, Ireland, Europe and Israel. Some of these performances were released in 1998 on " The Live Adventures of the Waterboys", including a famous Glastonbury performance in 1986.
In 1988 Scott took the band to
Spiddalin the west of Ireland where they set up a recording studio in Spiddal House to finish recording their new album. " Fisherman's Blues" was released in October 1988 and showcased many guest musicians that had played with the band in Dublin and Spiddal. Critics and fans were split between those embracing the new influence of Scottish and Irish folk music and others disappointed after hoping for a continuation of the style of "This Is the Sea". The album helped to increase the growing popularity of Irish music. "World Music: The Rough Guide" notes that "some cynics claim that Scotsman Mike Scott gave Irish music back to the Irish... his impact can't be underestimated",cite book | author=Broughton, Simon; & Ellingham, Mark | year=1999 | title=World Music: the Rough Guide Volume 1 | pages=188 | publisher=Rough Guides, Ltd. | url=http://print.google.com/print?id=gyiTOcnb2yYC&pg=PA188&lpg=PA188&dq=%22The+Waterboys%22+%22Mike+Scott%22&prev=http://print.google.com/print%3Fq%3D%2522The%2BWaterboys%2522%2B%2522Mike%2BScott%2522&sig=O-_M4a7cb99D0lmJdLREj2bt4kw&auth=DQAAAG8AAADk2VL-koPPNNbNrFjUJgkCU0gokpLWQzRdG8Le3HmUniJSpMo3HQ7sFJQeeJABAwSBcsR0NDsiCGK3AWHqVh8-P4qc7biLAyyKIT5EMddlc9WnFs6G9qAYwhD-xvcCcOeOK4QtAUV3t2Oi-ktyexYj | id=ISBN 1-85828-635-2] but Scott himself explains that it was the Irish tradition that influenced him; "I was in love with Ireland. Every day was a new adventure, it was mythical... Being part of a brotherhood of musicians was a great thing in those days, with all the many musicians of all stripes we befriended in Ireland. I still have that connection to the Irish musicians and tap into it..."cite web | title=Mike Talks | work=mikescottwaterboys | url=http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/heaven/mike.html | accessmonthday=December 1 | accessyear=2005 ] Owing to the large number of tracks that were recorded in the three years between "This Is the Sea" and "Fisherman's Blues", The Waterboys released a second album of songs from this period in 2001, titled " Too Close to Heaven" (or "Fisherman's Blues, Part 2" in North America), and more material was released as bonus tracks for the 2006 reissue of the remastered "Fisherman's Blues" album.
After further touring the band returned to Spiddal in order to record a new album. The Waterboys now consisted of Mike Scott, Steve Wickham, Anthony Thistlethwaite, Colin Blakey on
whistle, fluteand piano, Sharon Shannonon accordion, Trevor Hutchinson on bass and Noel Bridgeman on drums. Their fifth album, " Room to Roam" was released in September, 1990. It is from "Room to Roam" that the "Raggle Taggle band" reference comes from. One of the album's tracks was a recording of the traditional folk ballad " The Raggle Taggle Gypsy".
Just before "Room to Roam" was released Wickham left over a disagreement with Scott and Thistlethwaite regarding the future direction of the band's sound. Scott and Thistlethwaite wanted to move the band back to a more rock and roll style, and Wickham disagreed. His departure started the band's dissolution, and in his wake Shannon and Blakey both left. Scott, Thistlethwaite and Hutchinson recruited Ken Blevins on drums to fulfil the group's tour dates.
End and return of the Waterboys
Trevor Hutchinson left the band in 1991, a momentous year for the group that also saw a re-release of the single "The Whole of the Moon" from "This Is the Sea". The single reached number three on the United Kingdom charts. Scott spent the rest of the year writing new material and moved to New York. Thistlethwaite left the band in December, leaving Mike Scott as The Waterboys' only member. The next album was completed with session musicians and was released in 1993 as "Dream Harder" with a new
hard rock-influenced sound. Frustrated by not being able to get a new touring Waterboys band together, Scott left New York, abandoning the "Waterboys" name and embarking upon a solo career.
However, Scott later resurrected the Waterboys name, citing its recognition amongst fans, for the 2000 album "
A Rock in the Weary Land". The album had a new, experimental rock sound, inspired by contemporary bands Radioheadand Beckthat "shocked" some listeners. Scott described the new sound as "Sonic Rock". A number of old Waterboys guested on the album including Thistlethwaite and Wilkinson. By 2001 the core of the new Waterboys included Mike Scott on vocals and guitar, Richard Naiffon keyboards and organs and Wickham, who had returned to the band, on violin. The group changed direction once again in 2003 and released " Universal Hall" a mostly acoustic album with a return of some Celtic influences from the "Fisherman's Blues" era. The album was followed by a tour of the UK and then Europe. Their first official live album, "Karma to Burn", was released in 2005. A new studio album, " Book of Lightning", was released 2 April 2007.
The Waterboys' lyrics and arrangements reflect Scott's current interests and influences,Scott, Mike (2004) Recording Notes in "This is the Sea" (p. 5) [CD liner notes] London: EMI] the latter including the musical sensibilities of other members. Wickham in particular had a tremendous impact on the band's sound after joining the group.cite web | title=Findhorn | work=mikescottwaterboys | url=http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/Findhorn/findhorn_index.htm | accessmonthday=November 18 | accessyear=2005 ] In terms of arrangement and instrumentation, rock and roll and Celtic folk musicScott, Mike (2006) " [http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/fishermansblues/sleevenotes.asp Fisherman's Blues, Roots and the Celtic Soul] " [CD liner notes] London: EMI] have played the largest roles in the band's sound. Literature and spirituality have played an important role in Scott's lyricsScott, Mike. " [http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2040025,00.html The day I downloaded myself] ". "
The Guardian". 23 March 2007.] Other contributing factors include punk music's DIYethic, the British poetic tradition, and Scott's experiences at Findhorn,cite web | title=Too Close to Heaven history | work=mikescottwaterboys | url=http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/heaven/history.html | accessmonthday=November 18 | accessyear=2005 ] where he has lived for some years.
The Waterboys' music can be divided into three distinct styles. The first is represented by the first three albums, released between 1983 and 1985. The band's arrangements during this period, described by All Music Guide as a "rich, dramatic sound... majestic",cite web | title=All Music Guide biography | url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE5721EDF4FA97620CE993A48C5AD23A1598B63E38F162F451BDFBA3C548E197BF159D9A584FDFB74AB7AB0FD2EA45F43DAC0ED50F6D8612D5DF0&sql=11:lmfnzffheh8k~T1 | accessmonthday=November 3 | accessyear=2005 ] and typically referred to as "The Big Music", combined the rock and roll sound of early U2 with elements of classical trumpet (Lorimer), jazz saxophone (Thistlethwaite) and contemporary keyboards (Wallinger). Scott emphasized the arrangement's fullness by using production techniques similar to
Phil Spector's " Wall of Sound". The archetypal example, the song "The Big Music", gave the style its name, but the best-selling example was "The Whole of the Moon", the song that the early-1980s Waterboys are best known for and that demonstrates both Wallinger's synthpopkeyboard effects and the effectiveness of the brass section of the band.
After Wickham's joining and the move to Ireland, the band went three years before releasing another album. "Fisherman's Blues", and more particularly "Room to Roam", traded "The Big Music"'s keyboards and brass for traditional instruments such as tin whistle, flute, fiddle, accordion,
harmonica, and bouzouki. Celtic folk music replaced rock as the main inspiration for song arrangements on both albums. " Rolling Stone" describes the sound as "an impressive mixture of rock music and Celtic ruralism..., Beatles and Donovanechoes and, of course, lots of grand guitar, fiddle, mandolin, whistle, flute and accordion playing".cite web | title=Room to Roam review | work=Rolling Stone.com | url=http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/_/id/231442/thewaterboys?pageid=rs.ArtistDiscography&pageregion=triple1&rnd=1131074756801&has-player=false | accessmonthday=November 3 | accessyear=2005 ] Traditional folk songs were recorded along with those written by Scott. "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy", a British folk ballad at least two hundred years old, was recorded on "Room to Roam". It became closely associated with the band, much as the song "The Big Music" did, and also gave its name to describe the band's character. The recording emphasizes how distinctly different the band's music had become in the five years since the last of "The Big Music" albums.
After the break-up of the "Raggle Taggle band", Scott used The Waterboys' name for "Dream Harder" and "A Rock in the Weary Land". These two albums, separated by seven years and bookending Scott's solo album releases, were both rock albums but with distinctive approaches to that genre. "Dream Harder" was described as "disappointingly mainstream",cite web | title=Mike Scott | work=Chicago Other Voices Poetry | url=http://othervoicespoetry.org/vol8/scott/bio.html | accessmonthday=November 2 | accessyear=2005 ] whereas the sound of the "A Rock in the Weary Land" was inspired by
alternative musicand was praised by critics. For 2003's "Universal Hall", however, Wickham had once again rejoined the band, and that album saw a return of the acoustic folk instrumentation of the late 1980s Waterboys, with the exception of the song "Seek the Light", which is instead an idiosyncratic EBM track.
Scott, who briefly studied literature and philosophy at the
University of Edinburgh, has made heavy use of English literature in his music. "The Whole of the Moon", one of The Waterboys' signature songs, is partially a tribute to writer C. S. Lewis. Lewis' work is also referenced in other Waterboys' songs, such as "Church Not Made With Hands" and "Further Up, Further In".
The Waterboys have recorded poems set to music by writers including
William Butler Yeats(" The Stolen Child" and "Love and Death"), George MacDonald("Room to Roam"), and Robert Burns("Ever To Be Near Ye"). A member of the Academy of American Poetswrites that "The Waterboys' gift lies in locating Burns and Yeats within a poetic tradition of song, revelry, and celebration, re-invigorating their verses with the energy of contemporary music". So close is the identification of The Waterboys with their literary influences that the writer also remarks that "W.B.", the initials to which Yeats' first and middle names are often shortened, could also stand for "Waterboys".
Scott has also used a number of poetic tropes in lyrics, including
anthropomorphism(eg. "Islandman"), metaphor(eg. "A Church Not Made with Hands", "The Whole of the Moon"), and metonymy(eg. "Old England"). The latter song quotes from both Yeats and James Joyce. While the lyrics of the band have explored a large number of themes, symbolic references to water are especially prominent. Water is often referenced in their songs (eg. "This Is the Sea", "Strange Boat", "Fisherman's Blues"). The Waterboys' logo, first seen on the album cover of "The Waterboys", symbolizes waves.
The Waterboys' lyrics show influences from different spiritual traditions. The first is the romantic
Neopaganismand esotericismof authors such as Yeats and Dion Fortune, which can be observed in the repeated references to the ancient Greek deity Pan in both "The Pan Within" and "The Return of Pan". Pan was also featured on the album art for "Room to Roam". "Medicine Bow", a song from the recording sessions for "This Is the Sea", refers to Native American spirituality in its use of the word "medicine" to mean spiritual power. Scott's interest in Native American issues is also demonstrated in his preliminary recordings for the group's debut album, which included the songs "Death Song of the Sioux Parts One & Two" and "Bury My Heart". "Bury My Heart" is a reference to Dee Brown's " Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee".The phrase "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" is originally from Stephen Vincent Benet's poem "American Names".] a history of Native Americans in the western United States. Scott took the traditional Sioux song "The Earth Only Endures" from "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee", and set it to new music; the arrangement appears on "The Secret Life of the Waterboys". Christian imagery can be seen in the songs "December" from "The Waterboys", "The Christ in You" on "Universal Hall", and indirectly in the influence of Lewis in a number of other songs, but Scott writes that his lyrics are not influenced by Christianity.Scott, Mike (2007). "Mike's world: Wikipedia" "myspace.com Waterboys blog". URL accessed 6 January 2007.]
Scott has also said, "I've always been interested in spirituality, and I've never joined any religion. And it really turns me off when people from one religion say theirs is the only way. And I believe all religions are just different ways to spirituality. And if you call that universality, well, then I'm all for it."cite web | title=Waterboys Express Spirituality | work=Chicago Innerview | url=http://www.chicagoinnerview.com/archives/dec03_waterboys.htm | accessmonthday=October 29 | accessyear=2005 ] Despite Scott's pluralist perspective, The Waterboys have been labelled as "
Christian rock" by some reviewers.cite web | title=The Waterboys concert review | work=Pop Matters | url=http://www.popmatters.com/music/concerts/w/waterboys.shtml | accessmonthday=October 29 | accessyear=2005 ]
Meiert Avis directed the video for
The Whole of the Moonusing visionary lighting based on Helprin's Winter's Tale, and his memories of a 1962 theatrical production of Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies. Avis addressed Scott's aversion to lip syncing by shooting the visuals for "The Whole of the Moon" while recording live vocals and guitar. The video is a unique and authentic performance of the song. Avis later used this technique on several videos with Bruce Springsteen, who shares Scott's aversion to lipsync.
More than thirty musicians have performed live as a Waterboy.cite web | title=FAQ Who's Who | work=mikescottwaterboys | url=http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/mikescottwaterboys/mainframes.asp?file=News/faq.htm | accessmonthday=October 28 | accessyear=2005 ] Some have spent only a short time with the band, contributing to a single tour or album, while others have been long-term members with significant contributions. Scott has been the band's lead vocalist, motivating force, and principal songwriter throughout the group's history, but a number of other musicians are closely identified with the band.
Anthony Thistlethwaitewas an original member of the band, and remained a member until 1991 when the band broke up, although he also joined a few recording sessions for "A Rock in the Weary Land". After Scott and Wickham, Thistlethwaite has more songwriting credits than any other Waterboy. His saxophone, regularly featured in solos, was one half of the early group's distinctive brass section, but he has also played guitar, keyboards and a number of other instruments for the band. He pressed to return The Waterboys to a rock music sound after "Room to Roam", but did not appear on "Dream Harder", the result of that decision. He is now a member of The Saw Doctors, and has also released three solo albums. Kevin Wilkinson, another original member, was The Waterboys' drummer from 1983–1984, and continued to play in some studio sessions afterwards. His most recent appearance was on "A Rock in the Weary Land". He led the rhythm section of the group during its "Big Music" phase, sometimes without the assistance of any bass guitar. Scott describes Wilkinson's drumming as "bright and angular, an unusual sound". Karl Wallingerjoined the group in 1983, shortly after its formation. He left the group two years later, but in that relatively short period made important contributions to both "A Pagan Place" and "This is the Sea". He co-wrote "Don't Bang the Drum", the environmentalismanthem on "This is the Sea". His keyboards and synthesizer work expanded the group's sound, and he also did some studio work for demo sessions. Wallinger's World Partyproject was heavily influenced by his work with The Waterboys. Roddy Lorimer's participation in the group began in 1983, contributing his trumpet playing "on and off" through 1990. He and Thistlethwaite took turns leading the brass section of the band, and Lorimer was also a featured soloist, most famously on "The Whole of the Moon" and "Don't Bang the Drum". He further contributed backing vocals to the song. His trumpet style is a combination of his classical training with an experimental approach encouraged by Scott.cite web | title=Roddy Lorimer| work=Kick Horns Line Up | url=http://www.kickhorns.com/biog-roddylorimer.html | accessmonthday=October 31 | accessyear=2005 ] Lorimer returned for some studio work in 2006. Steve Wickhamtransformed the group with his joining in 1985. His strong interest in folk music directly resulted in the band's change of direction. His initial involvement with The Waterboys ended in 1990 when Scott and Thistlethwaite wanted to return to rock and roll, but Wickham rejoined the group again in 2000, and, as of 2007, continues to perform with the band. Described by Scott as "the world's greatest rock fiddle player",Wickham agrees. cite web | title=An interview with Steve Wickham | url=http://www.mikescott.com/mikescottwaterboys/Tours/steve_int.htm | accessmonthday=October 22 | accessyear=2005 ] he has written more songs for the band than anyone other than Scott, including the group's handful of instrumental recordings. Richard Naifffirst recorded with the band in 1999, and joined permanently in 2000. As of 2007, he is a core member, along with Scott and Wickham. He is a classically-trained pianistand flautist, and plays keyboards for The Waterboys. Ian McNabbdescribed him as Scott's "find of the century"cite web | title=Karma to Burn reports | work=mikescottwaterboys | url=http://www.mikescott.com/mikescottwaterboys/karmatoburn/karmareports.htm | accessmonthday=November 3 | accessyear=2005 ] and reviewers have described him as "phenomenally talented".cite web | title=Universal Hall, Findhorn, Scotland, January 2002 | work=Cluas.com Irish music | url=http://www.cluas.com/music/gigs/waterboys.htm | accessmonthday=October 30 | accessyear=2005 ]
Other notable members of the band include bassist McNabb, leader of
Icicle Works; Sharon Shannon, who became Ireland's all-time best-selling traditional musician;cite web | title=Sharon Shannon biography 2005 | work=The Daisy Label | url=http://www.daisydiscs.com/ss/public_html/Sharon%20Shannon%20Biography%202005.pdf | accessmonthday=October 30 | accessyear=2005 ] the experimental musician Thighpaulsandra, producer Guy Chambers, and Patti SmithGroup drummer Jay Dee Daugherty.
"For the sake of convenience, singles by Another Pretty Face, The Waterboys and by Mike Scott are included in this chart. All tracks were released as singles in the UK, except:
* Tracks marked ♦ were released commercially as singles, but not in the UK.
* Tracks marked ♦♦ were released as promo-only singles, and only in the US."
"For the sake of convenience, albums by The Waterboys and by Mike Scott are included here. Scott has stated on numerous occasions that he sees no qualitative or creative difference between the music produced under the two brand names."
* 1983: "The Waterboys"
* 1984: "
A Pagan Place"
* 1985: "
This Is the Sea"
* 1988: "
* 1990: "
Room to Roam"
* 1993: "
* 1995: "
Bring 'em All In
* 1997: "
* 2000: "
A Rock in the Weary Land" UK #47cite web |title= Chart Log UK |accessdate=2008-08-20 |date=2007-06-16 |publisher=Zobbel |author=Zobbel |url=http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_W.HTM]
* 2003: "
Universal Hall" UK #74cite web |title= Chart Log UK |accessdate=2008-08-20 |date=2007-06-16 |publisher=Zobbel |author=Zobbel |url=http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_W.HTM]
* 2007: "
Book of Lightning"Scott, Mike (2007). "New Waterboys Album Book of Lightning April 2" "Myspace blog". URL accessed 16 January 2007.] UK #51>cite web |title= Chart Log UK |accessdate=2008-08-20 |date=2008-01-25 |publisher=Zobbel |author=Zobbel |url=http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_2007.HTM]
Live albums and compilations
* 1991: "
The Best of the Waterboys 81–90"
* 1994: "
The Secret Life of the Waterboys 81–85"
* 1998: "
The Live Adventures of the Waterboys" UK #91cite web |title= Chart Log UK |accessdate=2008-08-20 |date=2007-06-16 |publisher=Zobbel |author=Zobbel |url=http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_W.HTM]
* 1998: "The Whole of the Moon: the Music of Mike Scott and the Waterboys"
* 2001: "
Too Close to Heaven" (issued as "Fisherman's Blues, Part 2" in the United States) UK #111cite web |title= Chart Log UK |accessdate=2008-08-20 |date=2007-06-16 |publisher=Zobbel |author=Zobbel |url=http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_W.HTM]
* 2005: "Karma to Burn"
* 2006: "
Fisherman's Blues(Collectors Edition)" UK #119cite web |title= Chart Log UK |accessdate=2008-08-20 |date=2007-06-16 |publisher=Zobbel |author=Zobbel |url=http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/CLUK_W.HTM]
* 2008: "
Room to Roam(Collectors Edition)" UK #179 [cite journal
title = The Official UK Albums Chart for the week ending 23 August 2008
issue = 365
accessdate = 2008-08-19
publisher = IQ Ware Ltd
location = Milton Keynes]
* 2008: "Kiss the wind" (outtakes collection)
A biography of Mike Scott & The Waterboys has been published:
* Abrahams, Ian. "Strange Boat" (SAF publishing) ISBN 0-946719-92-6
Notes and references
* [http://www.mikescottwaterboys.com/ Official web pages for Mike Scott and The Waterboys] Official website
* [http://www.myspace.com/strangeboat Myspace page for 'Strange Boat - Mike Scott & The Waterboys', an unofficial biography by Ian Abrahams]
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