80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ The Waterboys

waterboys_mike-scottThe first song that would pop into my head when I heard the name The Waterboys was “Whole of the Moon.” It’s an incredible song, full of emotion, and first-rate instrumentation; but that was the extent of my knowledge of this band.

When I started listening to David Marsden’s show, I was treated to my first time hearing “Independence Day” by this wonderful band. Then soccerfan, one of the Marsden Theatre regulars, mentioned a Waterboys song named “The Pan Within.” After finding and listening to this outstanding masterpiece of a song, I began to wake up to the fact that The Waterboys had created some phenomenal music over the past 20 years.

Mike Scott formed the band in 1983, made up of musicianswaterboys_this-is-the-sea from Scotland, England and Ireland. Their style is more commonly described as a curious blend of “Celtic folk music and rock.” According to Wikipedia, the group’s “big music” sound influenced such groups as Simple Minds, The Alarm, Big Country and World Party. If that’s the case, The Waterboys should have been huge.

If you’re not familiar with this first-rate and wholly brilliant band, take the time to listen to the following samples gathered from YouTube. Then, go out and find the 1985 album This Is The Sea that contains both “The Whole of the Moon” and “The Pan Within,” in addition to a gem called “Medicine Bow.” You won’t regret it. This is not merely 80’s music — this is absolutely timeless.

From the user StuffByMe on Youtube:

From the user connacht2009 on YouTube:


From the user arcmorality on YouTube:

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12 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ The Waterboys

  1. Hi MissP,

    Mike Scott & the Waterboys are among my favorite bands. I never get tired of “The Pan Within” up to now. In their live album “Karma to Burn”, the song was stretched to almost 13 minutes and I still set it on Repeat mode. Mike Scott is definitely one of the best songwriters of our time. There’s still more hidden gems in The Waterboys catalogue, including Mike’s solo works (like “Love Anyway”).

    McDoC

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  2. Hey McDoc,

    You are a man after my own heart. We seem to have a lot in common musically. “The Pan Within,” since my first time hearing it, has become a song that I know I won’t get tired of, no matter how often I play it. I’ll have to look for that 13-minute version. I’ve watched/listened to some of their live music on YouTube and they are fantastic live performers.

    All the best to you! Thank you for dropping by, 🙂

    *Hugs*
    MissP
    x

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  3. I have a spot in my heart for the earlier two Waterboys releases. “A Pagan Place” from 1984 and the eponymous debut in 1983.

    Also, I don’t think the Waterboys influenced the Simple Minds too much. The Simple Minds debuted with an album in 1979 and had issued six albums before the Waterboys debuted. There are elements of similarities, but the Simple Minds before 1983 were a starkly different band than the one after this point in time. I’d say the success of U2 was a bigger influence on the Simple Minds sound after 1983 – for better or worse.

    Hmmm…sounds like this may make for an interesting blog post.

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  4. Hi Robert,

    *I’m* somebody! 🙂 So, now that makes two of us that have heard of them 😉

    All the best,
    MissP
    x

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  5. Heya E-Mann,

    I was going by what Wiki said…but if you read what you wrote, the mere fact that Simple Minds’ sound changed after 1983 just might have been Waterboys-inspired. Who knows….and, I agree — perhaps you should do an analysis/opinion report. It’d make great a subject for a music-blog post. 🙂

    Cheers!
    MissP
    x

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  6. ((((Jason))))

    Looking into a band that you hear something you like from is half the fun. I have learned so much just from the songs David Marsden and Ed-FM play…as well as gems I’ve discovered on great music blogs like yours. Enjoy!

    MissP
    xo

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  7. It’s unfortunate you are just discovering the Waterboys. Over the past few years they have appeared in Toronto for some memorable shows the last being at the Danforth Music hall in the fall of 07. Great on record, far better as a live act.

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  8. Hi Mike,
    Better late than never, I suppose. I have heard some of their live recordings and what you say is very true. If not for hearing “Independence Day” on David Marsden’s show, I would have only known the Waterboys for “Whole Of The Moon” and written them off. I’m glad I did more digging to discover that there is much more depth and artistry to their work. And you are very fortunate to be near a venue that they play.

    All the best,
    MissP

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  9. The Waterboys have been my favorite band since the day I discovered them in the early eighties thanks to CFNY which led me to countless other criminally underrated bands like The Chameleons UK, for instance. One regret I’ll always have is missing the opening act of a Massey Hall U2 concert for the “War” tour. The opening act was a band called the Waterboys. I discovered them soonafter and kicked myself for showing up after their set that night. Anyway, some twenty-odd years later I finally caught Mike Scott and his reconfigured Waterboys at The Warehouse in Toronto. It was a show I’ll never forget and took some of the sting out of missing them years earlier. If he ever comes around these parts again, I will not miss it for anything!

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  10. We all have done silly things we regret – not many of us get to have a do-over twenty years later – how lucky for you! Add to that, the Waterboys’ talent has remained strong and you were very fortunate indeed.

    Some artisits/bands actually grow better with time. The Waterboys have proven this to be true.

    Thanks for your comment and all the best!

    MissP
    x

    Like

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