I’m not a fan of The Waterboys which is why they haven’t ever appeared on these pages, nor indeed the pages of the old blog. The anthemic folk/pop combo, fronted by Mike Scott enjoyed massive success at the tail end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s. Their biggest hit was The Whole of The Moon, which had been a moderate hit on initial release in 1985 but went all the way to #2 in 1991 when it was reissued to support a Greatest Hits package. It’s a song I never took to and at this late stage in my life never will.

My better half was a huge fan of the band at the time when we first hooked up, and so I was exposed a fair bit to 1988’s Fishermen’s Blues, but it always felt to me like the sort of record that would be enjoyed by a tourist (most likely from North America) who wanted something a little bit Celtic (with a hard ‘C’) to remind him of a holiday round these parts.

But, thanks to the Big Gold Dreams box set. Mike Scott is getting to feature after all this time:-

mp3 : Another Pretty Face – All The Boys Love Carrie

This 7″ single dates from May 1979. It’s not one that I can recall from the era. It was issued on New Pleasures, one of just 45s by the Edinburgh-based label. In reality, it was set up by the band which consisted of John Caldwell, Grigg (real name Ian Greig) and Jim Geddes, in addition to the afore-mentioned Mike Scott.

The BGD booklet states:-

Before Mike Scott embraced widescreen Celtic twilight, the Edinburgh-born, Ayr-sired wunderkind and cohorts released this masterful homage to unobtainable women. Having had a musical epiphany by way of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich and Hank Williams at an early age, Scott produced a fanzine before forming Another Pretty Face.

All The Boys Love Carrie’s primitive but still epic urgency saw it win NME ‘Single of The Week’. The band released three more singles and a cassette album I’m Sorry That I Beat You I’m Sorry That I Screamed But For A Moment There I Really Lost Control on Scott’s Chicken Jazz label before the stars, the moon and the sea beckoned.

It actually is a decent enough sounding single for its era. Not that polished but far from amateurish….and displays signs of catchiness in the singing and playing. It’s all done and dusted in two-and-a-half minutes and I think you’ll like it.

I’ve tracked down the b-side:-

mp3 : Another Pretty Face – That’s Not Enough

Reminded me a bit of a rough n ready Undertones.



  1. The Waterboys’ A Pagan Place from 1984 has always been their stand out collection of songs – IMO. Scott and Co were making what many were to call Big Music (a term for which the origin can be found on the album itself), or music that was Rockist – terms meant to be derogatory (and I think alluding to sounds coming out of the USA at the time.) But I have always managed to see the positives in these terms. In the case of The Waterboys, the music on Pagan Place is majestic and emotionally charged. It is certainly produces to a level that teeters on the edge of the ridiculous at times, but the final coda of The Big Music, midway through the album, justifies all of it for me. It soars and dives and soars again.
    I would find the follow up, This Is the Sea, less engaging when it was released. By the time of Fisherman Blues, they had fallen into the trap that critics had laid for them, making music that was full of Rock and Roll ordinariness for me.

  2. Love those first 3 lps . Remember hearing December and thinking it didn’t sound like anything else. Getting older and exposed to more music realise it was van Morrison with a bit more bombast . Later lps are a lot patcher but never tire of those 1st three. Agree with Echo Pagan Place is the best ….just

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