The Blue Nile: C or D?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
The Scottish Talk Talk, or pretty pop for Christians who find Low too weird?

Colin Meeder, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

At least three great singles, albums full of filler, and the most shocking mid-performance weeping I've ever heard.

Colin Meeder, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I bought "A Walk Across the Rooftops" when it came out, and I've played it and enjoyed it many times. I never thought to buy the follow-up, "Hats", until a couple months ago. This must stand as the all-time longest I've waited to buy another record by any artist; what, 18 years? This is no reflection on the quality of "A Walk", however, it's really quite good. "Hats" is similar, but a bit more ingratiating, a bit more pop. I still haven't heard the third one, it's got an awful album cover. Still, I do recommend the first. The Talk Talk comparison isn't entirely out of line, but they write catchier melodies, and didn't get as experimental.

Sean, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'A Walk Across the Rooftops' is one of the most perfectly realised debut records I can think of - twinkling, lush, melancholy and cinematic (some dream collaboration between Bill Forsyth and Leo Carax). The title song in particular suggested a pop that could be 'adult' but effervescent. 'Easter Parade', a sketch of a song that Sinatra might have appreciated, was on every compilation tape I made for ten years. Wonderful.

'Hats' consolidated the debut, practically down to the track listing, but suffered from having Phil Collins' recommendation stickered to the front. 'Saturday night' was an epic transfiguration of the commonplace, a pop Les Parapluis du Cherbourg, and the kind of song Brett Anderson would like to write in his Scott Walker moments if a) he had clue and b) a few thousand years in which to try.

The last lp - Peace at last? - is very disappointing. The cinemascope sheen was replaced with acoustic guitars, the singing had all gone a bit Michael Bolton, and yes the sleeve was terrible. Maybe this is what happens when you go out with Rosanna Arquette. It seemed to bear out all those who'd had them pegged as some MOR monstrosity, a Dire Straits in waiting. A couple of songs - 'Family Life', 'Tomorrow Morning' - might be worth downloading, but the rest of it is a bit bleh.

Edna Welthorpe, Mrs, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I actually like that third album, but then again I don't really rate the first two albums on such a purely evocative/epic level as y'all are doing. They are pretty damn good, though, it's just that my sympathies would still come down with Talk Talk in the end. ;-)

My favorite performance by Mr. Wossname who is the singer is actually his turn on the version of "Let's Go Out Tonight" -- I think that's the song -- on Craig Armstrong's first album.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

As I've said before, my aunt used to date Paul Joseph Moore. But I know little of the band. We used to have all these free Blue Nile cassettes laying around the house, but as I was young I had little interest in listening.

Melissa W, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Talk Talk comparison is interesting. I can sort of see the connection, maybe in the softer moments of The Colour Of Spring, but in most ways they are totally distinct except for their basic mood. I think this comparison must be the result of trying to find one for The Blue Nile and failing to come up with anything that would actually recommend purchase - they really are like an oasis in a desert of MOR-eighties pop.

Recommendations... A Walk Across The Rooftops has "Tinseltown In The Rain" which is one of my favourite love songs ever, but Hats is the better album, with about five perfect songs on it. Amazing how similar they are though, despite the six-year gap (there's your big difference to Talk Talk - these guys stumbled upon a vision of perfection early on and stuck with it).

Tim, Thursday, 17 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

excellent - the talk talk comparison is spot on - i loved 'a walk' more than 'hats'. The Linn drums and that bass were a big influence. They epitomize that '80s pristine quality - the 'clean lines' i'm always banging on about.

, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Clasic. The song's are almost uncoverable as the lyrics are so unaffected that in anyone else they would sound gauche. Do I love you. YES, I love you

Edna's summary is bang OTM. Let's go out tonight is just desperately affecting, you know this relationship is doomed with just the clutter and routine holding it together.

I don't know about stumbling on perfection, I believe they scrapped 3 years of work before starting on Hats properly. Anyway they stumbled out of perfection on the lasr album.

Ned, the Craig Armstrong album is fab also for having one of Liz Frazers few decent performances in the 90's. Liz Frazer working with the Blue Nile now that's an idea...

Billy Dods, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What Edna and Billy said. I love Hats. Never bothered with the last album.

Dr. C, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Billy - the 'stumbling' part refers to the beginning of their career. I get the feeling that Hats took so long because it was so hard to exactly replicate A Walk... and at the same time improve on it. (in this case second album syndrome = not "same but different" but "same but better").

Tim, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the blue nile? isnt that a river in egypt? what that got to do with music. i saw michael palin go down it on pole to pole on at chrismas so maybe you should start i love michael palin thread. but i wouldnt be interested because michael palin a ponce.

XStatic Peace, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

first album is all about the first flush of youth/love/innocence/awe/wonder/etc. eg - 'i am in loooove, i am in loooove with you, ...i walk across the rooftops...' etc etc.

the second is all concerned with the death of love/getting older/etc. eg - 'i'm tired of crying on the staiiiirs...'

it's kind of a godfather/godfather part 2 deal. and all they're bestheard back to back

piscesboy, Friday, 18 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Blue Line is just such an underrated band. I find their "Hats" al bum is one of the best pop records of all time - and also a godfather for the sound of pioneer "post-rock" bands like Disco Inferno and, very specially, Bark Psychosis: angst-ridden vocals hanging on a spacious soundscape with electronica drumbeats and ambient samples. Definitely, The Blue Nile are A+.

Juan M., Monday, 21 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't realise Pet Shop Boys were post-rock.

(okay truthfully I can see the connection at least with Bark Psychosis, but it always seemed to me that The Blue Nile represented the "other half" of BP's source material). Hats multiplied by Spirit Of Eden = Hex.

Tim, Monday, 21 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Boring annoying bullshit. "Hats" is absolutely unlistenable. Especially the singer's voice let's me run up the walls. I guess a kick in the ass would do him well. This does not even qualify for wallpaper music. The only band which is as embarrassing is Sigur Ros.

alex in mainhattan, Monday, 21 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

there was a program on tv the other night that had a drum&bass version of Tinseltown in the Rain as the theme. Such a great band, so many bad ideas. Walk Across the Rooftops is fantastic though.

hamish, Wednesday, 23 January 2002 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Simply the most amazing music ever made.

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 00:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The third album really is worth the effort, what puts me off listening to it though is all the Christian stuff. Ultimately it is a back-to-the-roots acoustic album with very conservative lyrics all about home, family and church, but contains some moments of raw ecstacy, ie;Tomorrow Morning, Sentimental Man and Soon. As for Michael Bolton, the very first time I listened to 'Over the Hillside' I thought I'd picked up a Richard Marx album by mistake, but despite their MOR tendencies they have produced some really transcendent music.

Gatinha (rwillmsen), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 01:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic. Particularly their two 80s albums.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 11:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


one) You won’t like them. A Walk Across The Rooftops contains slap bass, trite lyrics on the debris of relationships, pans from (yawn) Coppola’s One From the Heart into (yawn) Paris, Texas, sung by Springsteen impersonating Sinatra. Hats has two white reggae tracks, gated snares, repeated use of the word ‘baby’, yes, is ‘lush’, ‘cinematic’ and MOR. Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart have covered their songs. Phil Collins endorses them.

two) I don’t like American Music Club, John Cale, Talking Heads, Rickie Lee Jones or The Cars either.

three) Men in American books tend to wear hats.

four) Katy (my girlfriend) was in a philosophy class and, as the hush of young students began to stifle and choke, the teacher, by way of gesture, mentioned the best class he ever had occurred when Paul Buchanan, ‘you probably haven’t heard of him’, suggested they talk about love.

five) No-one has registered the scientific unproveability of ‘love’ in song more heart-rendingly than Paul Buchanan: singing “how do I know you feel it?”, just moments from loss, or the frustrated ‘I can only tell you’ of “do I love you? YES I love you!”

six) What do you say when three years into a relationship the only things holding you together is the fear of breaking the ties you’ve built in the outside world as a unit? When an offer of tea is the only lull in the silence? “Let’s go out tonight”, one last time, meet up with the ghost of your happiness, it can be the same again, you will dance, for one night, oh to bed the same different woman every night, and leave the relationship strafed with cigarette burns and headaches in, alone.

seven) Such compassionate pop. During Hats, the band’s lives were fragmenting and none of them felt they had any support around them, it would have been so easy to become insular and dismissive of others in such a situation.

eight) Below a peat sky, her hair is scraped through with coral orange and tickles of grey, and a smell of moist pollen sewn into the webs of her fingers. Scotland’s inability to say Carl strains a last laugh out from her, smoke knuckles through our hair, as the aftertaste of other men places her lips and her eyes’ slow moulder.

nine) You will like them. A Walk Across the Rooftops is a deeply emotional water, Buchanan a child lost in the weave of a Frank O’Hara poem. Hats refuses Don Paterson’s cycnicism of romance and insists on the transcendental of the ordinary and of the journey, the pressure difference.

!) I think romanticism suggests this sense of wilfully not having it all, leaving that one bit back, the whole, the mysterious ‘last’ that can never be reached, romanticism is the journey to try and attain that that you’re purposefully denying yourself. I have never listened to their third record, I most probably never will.

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 15:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Nice one, Coz!

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 15:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

By the way: one of the things that justifies file-sharing for all time is that I was finally able to get hold of a copy of their first (?) ever song 'I love this life'. And it's turned out to be my favourite song of theirs.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 15:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Cozen! Yes!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 15:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Cozen that was just lovely, thank you.

Sean (Sean), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 15:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

nice one. it reminds me of pinefox's post on the joyce thread.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 16:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Haha, Julio, that's where I nicked my structure, but I guess it was alright cos I think he nicked the turn from the X Y Zedd post on the 'What if Punk Never Happened?' thread).

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 18:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think Daniel Bedingfield is as close as modern pop gets to The Blue Nile. I get the feeling that he's a stubborn perfectionist too, answering only to his standards, steeped in integrity and honesty. Imagine if he took 5 years to write and record his follow up. It'd be amazing.

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 18:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

''Imagine if he took 5 years to write and record his follow up. It'd be amazing.''

or it could be a disaster too i suppose.

''(Haha, Julio, that's where I nicked my structure, but I guess it was alright cos I think he nicked the turn from the X Y Zedd post on the 'What if Punk Never Happened?' thread).''

I just thought i had seen something like that. but yr post is triffic in its own way.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 18:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(Aw shucks, thanks you guys! Actually, I realised today that every thing I've ever written has, in some way, been to make someone fall in love with me or notice me and that post was specifically written to make Dr C notice me (and to make him happy, too) after I'd written my little heart into All of My Heart last week without him popping up; it was also written as an accompinament (god, spelling) to a Blue Nile 'best of...' I'm making up for a friend.)

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 18:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"I think Daniel Bedingfield is as close as modern pop gets to The Blue Nile."

Yes! "If You're Not The One" works in exactly the same way as the peerless "Tinseltown In The Rain" ie. a "generic" love song rendered strange and fascinating by the force and peculiarity of its emotional over-investment.

Although Cozen you should really check out that there new Coloma album which is almost self-consciously an update of The Blue Nile for the post-glitch generation. As with The Blue Nile it's svelte literary studio-pop that feels like all the sound-politics have been surgically removed (eg. this is click-pop only because, well, why not if it sounds good? cf. Schneider TM's "The Light 3000") so I imagine that in a decade or so it'll have that same lovely timeless-datedness as TBN's first two albums have. It's very much like A Walk Across The Rooftops in particular. Much better than their first album.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Wednesday, 26 March 2003 03:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

did you realise that daniel bedingfield is a born again christian?

RJG (RJG), Thursday, 27 March 2003 00:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

He was born somewhere really (relatively) 'weird', like Hawaii or something. I can't remember, I'll look it out.

Cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 27 March 2003 00:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

he has a high speaking voice.

I saw him on 'today with des & mel'.

RJG (RJG), Thursday, 27 March 2003 00:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yesterday I bought Rooftops for a dollar! :-)

Keith McD (Keith McD), Thursday, 27 March 2003 04:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've jotted down some more thoughts on The Blue Nile and Coloma at Skykicking.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 04:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Think you meant Skykicking.

hamish (hamish), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 04:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Just listened to A Walk Across the Rooftops today for the first time in a long while. Really sounds distinctly uneighties in the end, doesn't it. The Talk Talk comparisons now finally do make sense.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 04:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Record Review of the Year, Tim. Just beautiful. Better than my Morgenstern one (did you my last e-mail?) by a good country mile, and there was me really happy with it and you show everyone how it's really done. Rat bastard. ;)

I figured out why I like Daniel Bedingfield earlier. Or one aspect. I remembered something Frank Kogan said to me about how he really liked the way that I wasn't scared to be overwrought when the usual rock-crit approach is to come across all Ed Casual (hehe, what's Frank's e-mail address again?). I suppose I see a lot of myself in Daniel. All thing considered, a juxtaposition of poets might be in order:

Everywhere he saw his own image, -
his perfect face...

When he rode out of the city, the people
gathered to admire him: a ribbon
of faces, fixed on this one face
and haunted by its indifference. They said:
'as beautiful as a painting', and we
feel a chill cast across these years
for we know there is another painting
that does not hang in any gallery

- John Ash

I like you so much I'm acting stupid
I can't play the game I'm all intense and alive
I'm losing control of my heart
I'm not supposed to be this nervous
I should play my hand all cool and calm
I can't breathe
I'm losing control of my heart

- Daniel Bedingfield

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 16:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Finney I mean Finery is indeed EXCELLENT.

Andy K (Andy K), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 17:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Sadly, I probably won't be able to get it here in Glasgow. And I'm internet-shopping averse. If I get it, I'll make a copy and give it to Paul Buchanan, I see him quite often, coming out of the local Safeways.

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 17:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

("I can't breathe"!!!)

Cozen (Cozen), Tuesday, 8 April 2003 17:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was thinking about why "Peace at Last" never appealed to me, and I reckon it's because it cuts the (admittedly tenuous) connection with disco. I love every single moment of "Tinseltown In The Rain", but the point where it really blows me away is the final string-riff loops where the disco beat suddenly gets more pronounced, and the whole song takes on this aura of bittersweet triumph. I could well imagine the song being the inspiration for Luomo's "The Present Lover". Actually Luomo could do a lot with a remix of The Blue Nile.

I was trying to think of more music from the eighties that fits into this area of explicitly emotional quasi-dance pop, but I couldn't get far beyond The Hounds of Love. Any ideas?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 10 April 2003 00:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I have Hats, and that's definitely a Classic.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 10 April 2003 01:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

was trying to think of more music from the eighties that fits into this area of explicitly emotional quasi-dance pop, but I couldn't get far beyond The Hounds of Love. Any ideas?

Associates surely fit this description.

But Tim is OTM regarding Tinseltown being a lost dance classic, I certainly remember hearing it in clubs in Dundee in the mid-80's. Apparently they had some of their work from Hats remixed by Oakenfold (or some other name remixer), but they nixed it on hearing it. Now that I'd like to hear.

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Thursday, 10 April 2003 07:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My other half was Paul's telephone answering service[flatmate]all through the writing and release of the first record.He says there was definately a whole bunch of up and happy songs right after rooftops.I met Paul once and he can do charm.Happy Easter everybody.

jean bowman, Sunday, 20 April 2003 09:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Happy Easter Jean.

Where did the up and happy songs go, then? Left to rot as demos?

Cozen (Cozen), Sunday, 20 April 2003 10:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ta for the greetings. Re demos there must be millyens of them . If you see Paul ask him. I hear that Heatwave had five minutes of birds and boats before the music and even that was cut down from a long session outdoors. Regards to the West End, it must be great this time of year.

jean bowman, Sunday, 20 April 2003 19:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It is, it's lovely.

I don't think I'd have the bare-faced gall to actually talk to the man though.

It feels a bit criminal to actually listen to the Blue Nile at this time of year though, like I'm going to shatter the mood.

Cozen (Cozen), Sunday, 20 April 2003 19:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Interesting thread.

1. The only track I know is 'I Love This Life', which the Nipper gave me. The Nipper is right about it.

2. Cozen's big post above is indeed good, and indeed structurally resembles one of mine. But no, I didn't take my own structure from anyone else.

3. Whether or not the Bedingfield link is apt, I don't think 'emotional overinvolvement' etc is necessarily the key to 'If You're Not The One': what woke me up to that track was simply the rare quality of its tune.

the pinefox, Monday, 21 April 2003 09:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

it's peerless.

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:58 (one month ago) Permalink

It's one of those albums that paints a full-color mental picture with every song.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 18:04 (one month ago) Permalink

why is it rolling down on the young and foolish

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 19 April 2017 18:10 (one month ago) Permalink

Also subtly inventive: "Rags to Riches" sounds like pop produced by Steve Reich; "Automobile Noise" makes me think of David Sylvian or Kate Bush circa Hounds of Love.

Tim F, Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh yeah it's quite experimental when you get over how fucking beautiful it is.

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 19 April 2017 22:46 (one month ago) Permalink

With latter Talk Talk, they were doing truly amazing stuff on another level from 99.9% of even the other best popular music, like the Blue Nile's first two records (and singles). But I always imagine Talk Talk might've been. . . a little self-serious, even if they totally earned it like few others. So it's amazing to hear the Blue Nile guys, who, while they're not falsely modest, don't give the impression that making this higher-plane music was anything but what basically came naturally. I mean, they suffered in some way for their music, I guess; but they just seem like regular people more or less--in that audio documentary, he speaks like areal pop artist in that he felt he was (and he was) expressing the universal, only belatedly recognizing the specificity of his individual experience, too. Just wonderful.

Soundslike, Thursday, 20 April 2017 01:12 (one month ago) Permalink

I do kinda have to flog this mix here, because it was very much inspired by the feeling the Blue Nile give, and I think people who like them would almost surely dig the mix:

Various – ‘The Dawning’

Part I

01 [00:00] The Blue Nile – “Over the Hillside” (Hats, 1989)
02 [05:00] Heaven 17 – “Let Me Go” (The Luxury Gap, 1983)
03 [09:16] Hot Gossip – “Morale” (Geisha Boys and Temple Girls, 1981)
04 [12:18] Dif Juz – “The Last Day” (Extractions, 1985)
05 [16:13] Tears for Fears – “Start of the Breakdown” (The Hurting, 1983)
06 [21:03] Mick Karn – “Tribal Dawn” (Titles, 1982)
07 [25:12] Thomas Dolby – “The Flat Earth” (The Flat Earth, 1984)
08 [31:34] Peter Gabriel – “Zaar” (Passions, 1989)
09 [35:56] Nona Hendryx – “Off the Coast of Love” (Skin Diver, 1989)
10 [40:23] Cocteau Twins – “Lazy Calm” (Victorialand, 1986)
11 [44:34] Talk Talk – “I Believe In You” (Spirit of Eden, 1988)

Part II

12 [50:40] Comsat Angels – “After the Rain” (Fiction, 1982)
13 [54:31] King Crimson – “Two Hands” (Beat, 1982)
14 [57:48] Bel Canto – “Without You” (White Out Conditions, 1987)
15 [61:43] Scott Walker – “Dealer” (Climate of Hunter, 1984)
16 [66:33] Scritti Politti – “Absolute” (Cupid & Psyche ’85, 1985)
17 [70:53] Arthur Russell – “This Is How We Walk On the Moon” (Another Thought, 1984)
18 [75:34] David Sylvian – “Orpheus” (Secrets of the Beehive, 1987)
19 [80:20] Durutti Column – “Love No More” (Vini Reilly, 1989)
20 [83:06] Kate Bush – “Never Be Mine” (The Sensual World, 1989)
21 [86:42] David Byrne – “Ghosts” (The Knee Plays, 1985)
22 [89:54] Colin Newman – “I Can Hear You” (Commercial Suicide, 1986)
23 [94:16] This Mortal Coil – “Ivy and Neet” (Filigree & Shadow, 1986)
24 [99:04] Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Of All The Things We’ve Made” (Dazzle Ships, 1983)

[Total Time: 1:42:27]


Soundslike, Thursday, 20 April 2017 01:20 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh I never noticed that one! That looks great and I'll totally DL it.

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 01:40 (one month ago) Permalink

good stuff

niels, Thursday, 20 April 2017 17:33 (one month ago) Permalink

That radio piece was really nice. Forgot that for a short while they were booked a show to play here, back in ... 2007? What was that all about?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 20 April 2017 18:36 (one month ago) Permalink

The Dawning mix is now on my player, gonna listen to it the rest of my workday. psyched.

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:05 (one month ago) Permalink

that mix looks amazing

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:07 (one month ago) Permalink

great mix

who called this stuff "silk bathrobe music"?

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:08 (one month ago) Permalink

Well but this is like silk bathrobe music where when you look at the embroidery on the silk it's actually pretty uncanny and disturbing

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:12 (one month ago) Permalink

i love how "AWATR" opens the album so abruptly, like a slap in the face telling you to pay attention to the masterpiece you're about to hear

k3vin k., Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Well but this is like silk bathrobe music where when you look at the embroidery on the silk it's actually pretty uncanny and disturbing

― iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, April 20, 2017 2:12 PM (sixteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah i think it was more like yuppie ennui, staring out of your luxury condo in your bathrobe, wondering why you're still sad etc

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:29 (one month ago) Permalink

this kind of music is somewhat like Gaucho era Steely Dan, expect more romanticism and less cynicism. more staring across the river at the city by yourself in your condo, less staring across the bay next to a pair of passed out, drugged up escorts. also the bathrobe in the Dan song would be soft white cotton, imo.

so actually nothing like steely dan maybe.

nomar, Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:34 (one month ago) Permalink

no the blue nile are definitely steely dan-ish! musically they're like a new wave dan

there's certainly a lot of romanticism in their lyrics but hats has always struck me as quite bleak. or at the very least wistful and nostalgic

k3vin k., Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:58 (one month ago) Permalink

ugh this mix is so good. this is basically my favorite vein of music at this point in my life. this and horror film scores.

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 20:29 (one month ago) Permalink

Crossfade karn-->dolby = a+

Flat earth was my favorite album in 8th grade and still blows me away

What is it about masterful 7-song albums that year? AWATR, Flat Earth...

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 20:44 (one month ago) Permalink

this music has something to do with a conception of what being an adult who lived in a big city was like when i was a small child

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 April 2017 20:45 (one month ago) Permalink

otm and i am still that child, not knowing what the fuck to do in nyc

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 20:50 (one month ago) Permalink

you're just in the wrong new york you need the old one where you could work in the mailroom and get your big break

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:17 (one month ago) Permalink

It's the balcony and blue half light in the final scene of Local Hero.

doug watson, Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:26 (one month ago) Permalink

Also that Dawning mix is terrific. Cheers, soundslike

doug watson, Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:48 (one month ago) Permalink

nice to see the comsat angels on that mix - 'cutting edge' from a few albums later would work too.

some sad rain-smudged mysticism from gigi would also fit the whole 80s adult contemplary vibe:

del esdichado (NickB), Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:53 (one month ago) Permalink

I've never listened to comsat angels before this. Total bark psych precursor at least on the track included on this mix. Really like it.

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:02 (one month ago) Permalink

the album 'sleep no more' is their real masterpiece and an early highpoint of brooding atmospheric 80s rock

del esdichado (NickB), Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:09 (one month ago) Permalink

just discovering the musicophilia mixes this week with 1981 being up for download, this is a wonderful one along with all the others I've nabbed. I have most of these songs and have been deeply in love with this sound since the late 80's, but the sequence for Dawning is really something else. also this: "this music has something to do with a conception of what being an adult who lived in a big city was like when i was a small child" OTM.

akm, Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:25 (one month ago) Permalink

Listening to 'Sleep No More' and The Blue Nile was basically my life as a fifteen year old.

Tim F, Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:33 (one month ago) Permalink

that was my life as a 19 year old so you had a good four years on me there

akm, Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:36 (one month ago) Permalink

this mix is so great

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 21 April 2017 15:43 (one month ago) Permalink

it bears restating!

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Friday, 21 April 2017 15:54 (one month ago) Permalink

sequel please mr soundslike

iris marduk (Jon not Jon), Friday, 21 April 2017 15:55 (one month ago) Permalink

getting stuck downloading "Dawning" (permission denied) - anyone else?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 22 April 2017 14:24 (one month ago) Permalink

Really glad you guys are digging 'The Dawning' mix--that one has really stuck with me. I only get the time to make a couple mixes a year now, generally; but the upside has been that I spend even more time culling tracks, letting the sound I want marinate in my mind, sequencing, etc. so that I feel like the end result is as coherent and "finished" as I can get them.

Don't know if a direct sequel to 'The Dawning' is possible soon--but there are several mixes that would probably appeal. The 'Heart' mix from the '1981' box-set is the most direct post-punk/new-wave precursor to this sound (the box set features just about every artist in their earlier incarnations). I feel like the second disc of the recent 'Le Monde du Funk '85' gets into a very compatible vibe, coming from more R&B/post-disco/boogie/hip-hop-oriented spheres. Skewing more explicitly electronic and spanning the 80s to the 2010s, 'Circuits' is definitely related. I'd say that the sophistication, precision, care, emotional clarity combined with forward-leaning art is a common strand to a lot of what I mix, including the stuff that's more 70s-oriented like the 'Their Heart had Six Strings' singer-songwriter mixes, or the Musique du Monde (especially the 'Le Mystere de la Musique' and 'Le Nouveau Son') mixes of artful, international 70s music.

I've generally found that if you get the "permission denied" thing, just try again a minute later and it usually works--'The Dawning' at least isn't down right now.

Soundslike, Saturday, 22 April 2017 14:43 (one month ago) Permalink

Re: Steely Dan, this from their pre-Blue Nile days as Mcintyre is quite revealing

Stevie T, Saturday, 22 April 2017 15:20 (one month ago) Permalink

wow, that IS steely dan

k3vin k., Saturday, 22 April 2017 15:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Soundslike - I never really investigated the band but were there any mournful Level 42 songs? They might fit

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 23 April 2017 11:42 (one month ago) Permalink

love this thomas dolby song -- it's like the blue nile doing my life in the bush of ghosts

k3vin k., Tuesday, 25 April 2017 21:40 (four weeks ago) Permalink

thanks again for this mix, soundslike

k3vin k., Tuesday, 25 April 2017 22:08 (four weeks ago) Permalink

kevin you need that dolby album, it is perfect

gimmesomehawnz (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 25 April 2017 22:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

listening now!

k3vin k., Wednesday, 26 April 2017 00:05 (four weeks ago) Permalink

btw, did we know this?? (from AMG review)

The Blue Nile's debut album has a rather fascinating genesis. Scotland's Linn Electronics wanted a demo track to demonstrate the fidelity and versatility of their new recording console and tapped a struggling local trio, the Blue Nile, to provide it. Their effort was a deliberately disjunctive song called "A Walk Across the Rooftops." To demonstrate the recording equipment's dynamic range and clarity, the song was arranged most peculiarly, with vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and full string and horn sections all appearing, but never at the same time. Linn liked the song so much that they formed a record label and bankrolled the recording of this full album

k3vin k., Wednesday, 26 April 2017 01:18 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I knew that but I probably learned it from AMG

akm, Wednesday, 26 April 2017 01:38 (four weeks ago) Permalink

thats awesome

Spottie, Wednesday, 26 April 2017 02:39 (four weeks ago) Permalink


niels, Wednesday, 26 April 2017 06:18 (four weeks ago) Permalink

The Blue Nile are far too rare a thing--but that mix was my best shot at gathering the closest things I know. Glad you guys are digging it!

Soundslike, Thursday, 27 April 2017 02:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

can someone (brad?) give me a list of some blue nile rarities i'm missing out on? all i've got is pretty much what's on spotify

k3vin k., Wednesday, 3 May 2017 22:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Look for the download comp 'birthday cards and silent music'

gimmesomehawnz (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 3 May 2017 23:46 (three weeks ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.