This is the Sea

This is the Sea is the third Waterboys album and most probably my favourite album of all time. It’s certainly the album in my collection that has been listened to the most. I’ve bought it probably four or five times. I’ve had two cassette tapes bite the dust, bought the CD then lost it, bought it again and, this Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised to find the remastered edition in my Christmas stocking (from my loving wife).

The remastered version also includes a second CD of extended versions of the songs and songs which never made it onto the original 1985 version. It’s nice to hear the extended versions of Medicine Bow and Spirit, my two favourite tracks from the CD. It also has some liner notes written by Mike Scott which are illuminating.

It’s interesting to note that the tunes do not seem to date. Since I went into Alcoholics Anonymous back in September 2004, I’ve increasingly tried to live a more spiritual life and this has given a whole new meaning to Mike Scott’s lyrics. I know from having pretty much everything Mike Scott has written that he himself is a spiritual person, so it’s nice to have that perspective on songs with which I am so familiar. Spirit and Be My Enemy are two polar opposites of the spiritual side of Mike Scott’s writing (at least in my interpretation).

This was pretty much the culmination of the “Big Music” concept of Mike Scott’s writing – they “went folk” after this one with the fantastic Fisherman’s Blues album in 1990.

As a musician, it’s interesting to note that This is the Sea shows the power of the three-chord song. I have recently come to the conclusion in my own guitar playing that, at least in this genre, the music serves the song. Old England is a case in point. I’ve recently started performing Medicine Bow and may start playing The Pan Within a bit more too!

So, for now, enjoy Spirit (the original version).

The Waterboys