Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Chimney Tops And Trumpets: Visions Of The Blue Nile

I listened to remaster of The Blue Nile's 'A Walk Across the Rooftops' last night. My excitement at its unveiling was diminished somewhat by the luxuriant packaging's mauling, done by the postman's undaunted enthusiasm in (eventually) cramming a double pack of double CDs (I got 'Hats' also) through our tiny letter box.
I'd hate to be his wife...
Slight gripes aside, what of the much anticipated re-imagining?
It's great, much improved; there's a new richness to the icy beauty; the bells are brighter; the bass is fuller. The fullness does make Buchanan's voice recede a little, but it's still a lovely thing. My current high points are the clipped guitars that have emerged from 'Heatwave' and the chocolaty sound that coats the bass intrusions in the title track.
The extra CD gives us some bright re-mixes and a couple of well known lost gems, the pick of which is 'Regret'; it's worth the price of the album for the heavenly reverb on the song's vocal; amazing to think that it's nearly 30 years old...
It's 'Hats' tomorrow.
I'll give you a shout when I've digested it all.
Meanwhile, here's a piece in 'The Quietus' by Wyndham Wallace; well worth reading:
Chimney Tops and Trumpets

And if you're overwhelmed by the love fest' why not slide down the happy ladder to read this hateful 'Quietus' review of the new 'Mumford and Sons' album from a certain 'Mr Agreeable'....
Babel or babble?
Will you buy him a beer or bottle him?
Mr Agr**able reviews 'Babel'


  1. I've no great love for Mumford and Sons but thought that review was teh worst and most pointless thing I've read on the normally excellent Quietus. It did remind me of that quote "those that can do and those that cant write about it" Nothing not matter how outside your taste deserves a review like that. The writer doesnt come across as clever or funny just a bit of a dick. I've no idea what The Quietus was doing publishing it as it is a million miles away from the rest of their stuff
    I've got to admit whilst feeling a bit grumpy feeling disappointed with the 2 BN re releases. Both 2nd discs seem light on "extras" apart from Regret on TT and Wires are Down on Hats and the Christmas song which as all great but i had them all anyway and the remixes are all a bit pointless. Especially as there are some great tracks floating around on the internet

  2. Agree about the Mumfords review; I felt like taking a shower after I read it; maybe I misjudged by bringing attention to it; the Quietus is usually eclectic and well written; seemed so off kilter that it caught my eye.
    Agree too that the BN extras were a bit thin and unimaginative... 'Regret' is a beauty; 'Meanwhile' would've been nice.
    Meanwhile, the albums themselves are fabulous...

  3. C'mon guys, you have to admire Quietus' fair and balanced journalism. Mr. Agreeable (David Stubbs) is a real hoot! I guess I've really gone over to the dark side...
    Admitted, he is a wee bit judgmental and has a slight tendency to overuse asterisks; but he's also a master of of the metaphor and very sincere in his commentary.
    Also read some of his other scholarly reviews:

    PS: Agreed Wallace's Blue Nile feature is crackerjack!

  4. Mmm, I just know how I'd feel to be on the end of such vitriol, we're a sensitive bunch of t*ssers!

  5. Maybe it caught me on a bad day ... no I still thinnk he is the tosser

  6. God, that review is rough. He obviously decided he hated it before he listened to it, but this is hate with a capital 'H'. Your right, no artist deserves a review like that but after saying that it had me wincing and laughing in equal amounts.

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