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When The Waterboys’ Irish violinist Steve Wickham suggested to Mike Scott that Spiddal was a great place to get away from it all, no-one could have guessed how Scott would take his advice to heart. Within less than a year The Waterboys were transformed from stadium rock incumbents to adopted Irish folk-rockers. Fisherman’s Blues is the entrancing outcome of that transition. If the family snapshot on the cover is to be taken at face value, one might imagine this to be an idyllic time in The Waterboys career. In truth, the sessions were painstaking, with Scott discarding over 50 songs over a two-year process. What remains though, is a classic of its time: from the yearning euphoria of the title track to otherworldly beauty of When Ye Go Away, lent cohesion by the singularity of Scott’s vision. For sheer inspiration and flow, precedents begin and end at Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks – a doubly appropriate comparison, this, given Scott’s superlative reading of Morrison’s Sweet Thing.
LP – 180 Gram Black Vinyl.