The Waterboys

Fisherman's Box: The Complete Fisherman's Blues Sessions 1986-1988

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Mike Scott had been pursuing his grandiose "big music" since he founded the Waterboys, so it came as a shock when he scaled back the group's sound for the Irish and English folk of Fisherman's Blues. Although the arena-rock influences have been toned down, Scott's vision is no less sweeping or romantic, making even the simplest songs on Fisherman's Blues feel like epics. Nevertheless, the album is the Waterboys' warmest and most rewarding record, boasting a handful of fine songs ("And a Bang on the Ear," the ominous "We Will Not Be Lovers," "Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?," and the title track), as well as a surprisingly successful cover of Van Morrison's breathtaking "Sweet Thing." [Fisherman's Blues was reissued in 2006 with a bonus disc containing 14 outtakes, alternate versions, and late-night studio jams. It was reissued again in 2013 as a seven-disc box set featuring 121 tracks from the album sessions, 85 of which had been previously unavailable.]

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