My introduction to The Blue Nile was actually High, the last album (at this stage) the band has released. I love that album – and as soon as I started telling people how great it was I received many pointers that the band’s earlier work was vital. Well, I still love High but of course I sought out the rest – it’s not hard. There are just four albums, across nearly 30 years. Hats is wonderful too but the band’s debut, A Walk Across The Rooftops, was the first I found on vinyl. And the one I return to most often now. (It’d be nice if High was released on vinyl). What is it about this band that’s just so close to perfect? For me it’s the feeling that the musicians never wanted to be pop stars and never quite saw themselves as artists – in the lofty ideals sense. There’s a seriousness about the work, a dedication to the craft; there are in fact many tenets of art but none of the pretension. In the end this band works because a couple of guys care enough about what they do; they treat their art like work and their work ends up as art. Knowing the band has not released a thing since 2004 yet continues to work (writing, honing, crafting) is inspiring. This is a group that takes quality control to its almost illogical extreme. This debut sounds like it could be released today. It sounds like a band that had been around for 20 years already. I like that there is no filler; not just with a song or two that is less than perfect – not a single note is wasted. Imagine having the confidence and the desire, I’ll get all wrestling-commentator and say the intestinal fortitude. But, seriously, imagine it. These guys are devoted to making music that moves them. And it no doubt moves plenty of people too – I mean, Stay, come on! Fabulous. The title song – gorgeous. Sublime. Listening to this record is a reminder of what it’s like to slip in to a world unique to the record; to have that record playing out as the soundtrack to a new world it introduces the listener to. I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty special.
Sample Track: Tinseltown In The Rain
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown