“Because sometimes the music just needs to be BIG. And who better to lay it all down than the band that put a name to such stuff, The Waterboys, who yes, as a matter of fact, were more relevant than U2 in the power and passion realm come the mid-1980s. Because in main man Mike Scott, they had a proper a poet on board, and thus more colours, clearer visions, greater incision. At least that was the argument a few months ago. This Is The Sea (album and song) versus The Unforgettable Fire (album and song), both high water marks, no doubt, but Waterboys had more of it, whatever it is, because water beats fire every time. I guess. What I can easily say now, many years after the fact, is that the album (and band) that still speaks to me is the outfit that Mr. Scott put together way back when, because unlike U2, he found a way to haul on the reins at just the right moment, stopped the whole mad and beautiful thing from charging off into the abyss of fame and ridiculousness which, I figure, mainly meant not losing focus, making sure the music and poetry that infused it remained bigger than all other concerns. Or something like that. Because like the song says, this ain’t no brook, no creek, no river even, this is this, as big as it gets. Bigger than words anyway.” (Philip Random)
“Love and Rockets may not seem so important now. Just another sort of post-new-wave outfit rediscovering the beauty and expansive power inherent in taking rock (and not just a little pop) to the psychedelic realm. But in 1985 when their first album hit, it was almost unprecedented (or certainly very long out of style) – a modern music that dared to be colourful, epic, BIG, and not looking back at all, just straight ahead into the haunted now, because that’s what 1985 was like … if you had the right kind of eyes.” (Philip Random)
Old England being the grimmest track found on the Waterboys‘ otherwise mostly uplifting 1985 masterpiece This is the Sea. Because what value empire when it’s children are giving up, choosing instead the kingdom inherent in refined opium? You can see it in their heroin eyes. The sun is most definitely setting. And just to make it clear he wasn’t messing around, main Waterboy Mike Scott would soon be relocating to Ireland with (again) almost entirely uplifting results.
In which the band known as Spear of Destiny deliver some seriously Big Music. U2 started the trend, sort of. The Waterboys put a name to it. Any number of bands played it through the 80s. Not just big in terms of sound, but also intention. Change the world. Overthrow kings. Right what is wrong. Tell the truth. Praise God (or whoever). Much of it ended up being pretty embarrassing, of course, but every now and then you just couldn’t argue with the power, the passion, the enormity. Like Liberator. “Exactly what you needed to hear in 1984, what with Big Brother officially on the move and all.” (Philip Random)