Opening the iTunes Store…If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from The Best of the Waterboys '81-'90 by The Waterboys, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Best of the Waterboys '81-'90

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

What separates The Waterboys' music from other bands of the same Celtic, folk-rock sound is the intricacies that lead singer Mike Scott puts into his work. His lyrics are forever tangled up in metaphors and philosophy, brightened by accompanying mandolins, saxophones, and even trumpets. Rich in its boatyard appeal and seaside caricature, The Best of the Waterboys harbors their most renowned pieces from 1981 straight through to 1990, bringing to light their dockside effervescence with songs like "Fisherman's Blues" and "Strange Boat." Superb at conveying atmosphere with their instruments, the Waterboys added depth and uniqueness to a decade that was being saturated with arena rock, synth pop, and heavy metal. The sweetness of tunes like "A Girl Called Johnny" and "Spirit" are blanketed with the comfort of Anthony Thistlethwaite's sax and upright bass strumming, and "A Bang on the Ear" loses itself in its cozy Englishness. The prettiest of all the songs is by far "The Whole of the Moon" from This Is the Sea, which has Scott singing his most passionate assortment of romantic lyrics to the relaxed pace of Karl Wallinger's synthesizer. The beauty of their music unfolds throughout their vivid collaboration of voice and instrument, heightened in tracks such as "A Man Is in Love" and "All the Things She Gave Me." Here, the small village idioms wrap themselves around the music to produce a certain innocence that forever binds itself to Scott's persona. It is this collaboration of esoteric lyricism and jovial harmonies that cast wonderment throughout each separate piece. This compilation is an excellent discovery point for anyone interested in the gorgeous complexity of the Waterboys' music. [This album was reissued in 2003 as Essential].


Formed: 1981 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Led by the literate singer/songwriter Mike Scott, the group's sole constant member, the mercurial Waterboys formed in London in 1981. Born December 14, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Scott first became involved in music as the creator of the fanzine Jungleland and later played in a series of local punk outfits. After college, where he studied English and philosophy, Scott and his band, Another Pretty Face, moved to London; following the group's breakup, he formed the Waterboys, so named after a line...
Full bio
The Best of the Waterboys '81-'90, The Waterboys
View In iTunes

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this album.