Monday, 15 March 2010

Monday Moments part 1 - The Waterboys

First week for a new Monday theme. The idea is that over the next 20 weeks I'm going to post tracks that have for me one of those moments when the hairs of your neck stand up. This could be due to a lyric ,a chord change, a key shift anything. By their nature they will be personal to me so most of the time I'm sure you'll wonder what I'm making a fuss about. But maybe one or two of you might share the same moments.

The first moment comes in The Whole of the Moon and isn't any of the things I've mentioned, but it is the bit where having built up a head of steam Mike Scott sings

"You came like a comet Blazing your trail"

At the same time in the background we get the sound of fireworks, it gets me every time. Having re listened to the song I always remember the rockets as being much more powerful, I think every time I hear it I add my own orchestra of fireworks at this point

Released in 1986 it was a staple of every poly bop and student party I went to , in fact every party I've been to since. At the time it was reported that it was about Mike Scott's sense of wonder at what Prince was doing, something he has since denied. By rights I should have felt a bit self conscious about shouting out lyrics that could have featured on a Yes lp -"Flags rags fairy boats, scimitars and scarves" but the music is so uplifting that somehow it is okay.

I feel strangely proud of the fact that I still know all the words off by heart.

On the sleeve notes for the expanded version of "This is the sea" the lp that "Whole of the Moon" came from, Mike Scott says he learnt the following

From The Velvet Underground : inspired content wins over technical proficiency, the glory of sustaining a single dynamic intensity for an entire track

From Astral Weeks: atmosphere , that string arrangements can be luminous and gossamer light

From Steve Reich: sudden short chord bursts , short melodic motifs repeated at strategic points , teeming strings and multiple tambourines playing disciplined rhythms and phrases

Added all together and you have one of the best singles ever and a Monday moment care of a cheesy firework effect



  1. What a great place to start.
    There are very few albums that I can remember putting on and never taking off; some reveal themselves after a few plays, but I can only remember a few that I honestly did this with: Steve McQueen,
    Darkness on the Edge of Town, Walk Across the Rooftops and... This is the Sea. It had such a poetic ambition. It was, indeed, Big Music, with a big heart. And you could dance to it, particularly 'Whole of the Moon'. I am not a dancer, but developed this skippy style that suited only Police tracks, and, somehow, this one. I know what you mean about waiting for the fireworks moments... I can still remember my very first: when Rolf (seriously) Harris's voice pauses and breaks at the end of Two Little Boys ("...when there's room on my horse for two"...

  2. two little boys - an oasis of emotion in Stewpots family favourites. i remember the car always going very quiet when it came on

  3. What about 'Where Do You Go to My Lovely" by Peter Sarsted, "and you do it just just for fun for a laugh, ah ha haaa..."?
    Trev (tis I)

  4. for me it has to be seasons in the sun - listening to that as a small boy it is a surprise a whole generation isnt in therapy

  5. Great start! The Whole of the Moon and The Big Music are both songs that stir something special in me when I hear them. I'm gonna wait a few weeks to see what's next before I give my first similar experience! This should be fun!


Leave a comment and let me know what you are listening to.