THE WATERBOYS announce ‘The Magnificent Seven: The Fisherman’s Blues/Room To Roam band, 1989-1990’ Deluxe box set and hardback book

THE WATERBOYS announce 'The Magnificent Seven: The Fisherman's Blues/Room To Roam band, 1989-1990' Deluxe box set and hardback book 1

Shortly after the release of their classic 1988 album Fisherman’s Blues, during a break in the sell-out world tour that followed, The Waterboys core line-up of Mike Scott (vocals, guitars, piano), Steve Wickham (fiddle/mandolin/organ), Anto Thistlethwaite (saxophone/mandolin) Colin Blakey (organ/piano/whistle) and Trevor Hutchinson (bass) was augmented by three uniquely gifted musicians: Sharon Shannon (accordion), Colin Blakey (uilleann pipes/flute) and Noel Bridgeman (drums/percussion), becoming – in the words of Noel – The Magnificent Seven.

From spring 1989 to summer 1990, the combination of these seven musicians’ personalities and backgrounds created an alchemy, with musical boundaries blurring and all styles melted into one wild river of sound. Unrestrained by genres, these musicians played everywhere and all the time, not just on stage or at rehearsal, but on buses, boats and planes, in waiting rooms and hotel lobbies, in bars, bedrooms, kitchens and backyards.

The music made in just those fifteen months spanned numberless informal sessions, sixty-five concerts, and a motherlode of studio recordings of which a small part was the album Room To Roam.

The Magnificent Seven: Fisherman’s Blues/Room To Roam Band, 1989-1990 captures this extraordinary period in The Waterboys’ story, over 5 CDs and a DVD, chronologically running through the four seasons, one per disc, culminating in the final disc featuring the Room To Roam album.

Disc one, Celtic Summer, is a mixture of live recordings, demos, radio sessions and the band joyously recasting traditional Scottish and Irish music, as well as covers including John Prine’s ‘That’s The Way The World Goes Round’.

Disc two, The Rambles Of Autumn, is made up of live recordings from concerts in Paris and various cities throughout the USA and Canada and informal recordings made along the way. Songs include The Waterboys’ ‘This Is The Sea’ (segueing into Bob Dylan’s New Morning), ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ and ‘Strange Boat’, as well as inspired covers of ‘Rainy Day Woman Numbers 12 and 35’ and ‘Girl Of The North Country’.

Continuing with the live theme, disc three, Winter’s Work, includes a celebratory rave-up with The Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles. Further recordings come from concerts in San Diego, Oslo, Croom in County Cork and Derry, Northern Ireland. This disc also features backstage sessions and early demos of six songs that would appear on Room To Roam.

Disc four, Atlantic Spring, captures the evolution and recording sessions, jams and rough mixes of what would become Room To Roam, mostly recorded at Spiddal House in the spring of 1990.

Disc five is the Room To Roam album.

The sixth and final disc in the Super Deluxe Edition is a DVD: A Band For All Seasons (Home Movies). This includes bootleg films of the band’s 1989 performances at Glastonbury Festival and in Milan, Mike Scott’s home movies of the 1990 Spiddal House recordings, a short 2010 documentary extract telling the history of Spiddal House and a 2012 Spiddal Reunion documentary of a concert where Mike, Steve and Anto performed for a local charity.

Taking its title from a poem in Scottish author George MacDonald’s book Phantastes, Room To Roam was a UK Top 5 album. The album’s ‘How Long Will I Love You?’ was a 2013 no.3 hit for British singer Ellie Goulding.

Also on 3rd December Chrysalis Records will publish the 240-page, 10.5” x 12” hardback colour book of the same name, distributed by Omnibus. The book features a 50,000-word narrative by Mike Scott telling the story of The Waterboys’ great seven-piece band, track notes and memories by all the band members, an incredible collection of photos, as well as maps, lyrics, manuscripts, studio labels, boxes and track sheets, concert tickets, sleeve mock-ups, contact sheets and other archive material.

The Waterboys

It will be available to purchase as a standalone book or as part of the Super Deluxe Edition.
Format details:

Super Deluxe Edition
• 5x CD and 1x DVD in Hard Back Folder
• 1x 240pp Hardback Book (approx. A4 sized)
• 1x Rigid Slipcase to hold above two books.

Clamshell Box
• 5x CD and 1x DVD in card sleeves
• 1x 54-page booklet with band commentary on the tracks

• 2LP 45rpm Half-Speed Master at Abbey Rd
• 5mm Side Spine, with insert of the original inner

• 5CD set

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: Fisherman’s Blues/Room To Roam band, 1989-90 tracklists:

1. And A Bang On The Ear [Live]
2. Morag [Songwriting Demo]
3. The Winkles Overture
4. Bonnie Kate
5. The Woodland Strut
6. On My Way To Heaven [Live]
7. Maggie (It’s Time For You To Go) [Live]
8. Old England [Live]
9. Natural Bridge Blues
10. The Wayward Wind
11. Morag
12. That’s The Way The World Goes Round
13. Roche’s Favourite
14. Defying Gravity / Colin’s Tune
15. Rocking Rose
16. Song Of The River
17. Three Ships
18. The 3 Minutes Before Dinner
19. When Will We Be Married [Radio Session]
20. The Streets Of Galway [Live]

1. This Is The Sea-New Morning [Live]
2. When Ye Go Away [Live]
3. Fisherman’s Blues [Live]
4. Strange Boat [Live]
5. Rainy Day Women Numbers 12 & 35 [Live]
6. Dingle Regatta
7. A Pagan Place / Reels [Live]
8. The Munster Hop [Songwriting Demo]
9. Custer’s Blues [Live]
10. Girl Of The North Country [Live]
11. The Trip To Broadford / Sweet Thing / Blackbird / You Can’t Always Get What You Want [Live]
12. Your Darling Ain’t Your Darling Anymore [Demo]
13. Higherbound / The Kings Of Kerry [Live]
14. Saints And Angels [Live]
15. Something That Is Gone [Songwriting Demo]

1. Carolan’s Welcome [Live]
2. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy [Live]
3. Disease Of Conceit [Live]
4. Spirit [Live]
5. With The Scottish Fiddlers Of Los Angeles [Live]
6. Morag [Live]
7. Danny Murphy [Songwriting Demo]
8. Jimmy Hickey’s Waltz [Live]
9. How Many Songs Till I Get Home [Live]
10. The Hut On Staffin Island [Dressing Room]
11. The Pan Within [Live]
12. Learning The Polka [Tour Bus]
13. The New-Mown Meadow [Live]
14. Somebody Might Wave Back [Live]
15. A Man Is In Love [Demo]
16. Something That Is Gone [Demo]
17. Islandman [Backing Track]
18. Song From The End Of The World [Demo]
19. Bigger Picture [Songwriting Demo]
20. Maybe The Sandman [Rehearsal Jam]
21. A Life Of Sundays [Songwriting Demo]

1. A Man Is In Love [Rough Mix]
2. A Life Of Sundays [Rough Mix]
3. Bigger Picture [Rough Mix]
4. Lost Highway
5. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy [Backing Track]
6. The Trip To Broadford [Rough Mix]
7. The Wyndy Wyndy Road
8. Spring Comes To Spiddal [Rough Mix]
9. Loopers Return [Band Room]
10. Further Up, Further In [Overdub Session]
11. Blues With Barry [Band Room]
12. And I Dreamed I Wandered
13. Room To Roam [Instrumental]
14. The Happy One-Step-Blackbird [Band Room]
15. Upon The Wind And Waves [Rough Mix]
16. Islandman [Rough Mix]
17. Yellow Submarine [Aran Islands]
18. The Star And The Sea [Alternative Version]
19. Higher In Time
20. Tripping Up The Stairs
21. Bed On The Floor
22. A Song For The Life [Warm Up]
23. A Song For The Life
24. Nanny Water
25. Natural Bridge Blues [Box Version]
26. The Kings Of Kerry [Outdoor Version]
27. Spring Comes To Spiddal [Outdoor Version]
28. The Inchicore Reel-Alright Folks Now, Time Please
29. How Long Will I Love You 2021
30. The Music Lasts Forever [Band Room]

CD5: ROOM TO ROAM (Album, 2008 Remaster) –
1. In Search Of A Rose
2. Song From The End Of The World
3. A Man Is In Love
4. Bigger Picture
5. Natural Bridge Blues
6. Something That Is Gone
7. The Star And The Sea
8. A Life Of Sundays
9. Islandman
10. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy
11. How Long Will I Love You
12. Upon The Wind And Waves
13. Spring Comes To Spiddal
14. The Trip To Broadford
15. Further Up, Further On
16. Room To Roam
17. The Kings Of Kerry

The Waterboys


Glastonbury 18/6/1989 [approx. 75mins]
1. On My Way To Heaven
2. Strange Boat
3. Girl From The North Country
4. Bed on The Floor
5. Maggie It’s Time For You To Go
6. When Ye Go Away
7. Billy The Kid
8. And A Bang On The Ear
9. Big Blue Ball
10. The Whole of The Moon
11. Jimmy Hickey’s Waltz
12. When Will We Be Married
13. Good Morning Mr Customs Man
14. Fisherman’s Blues
15. This Land Is Your Land
16. Further Up Further In
17. Lost Highway

TEATRO ORFEO, MILAN 29/11/1989 [approx. 1hr 57mins]
1. Fisherman’s Blues
2. Strange Boat
3. Girl From The North Country
4. A Man Is In Love
5. When Ye Go Away
6. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy
7. In Search of A Rose
8. Old England
9. Natural Bridge Blues
10. Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?
11. A Song For Life
12. And A Bang On The Ear
13. Good Morning Mr Customs Man
14. Jimmy Hickey’s Walk
15. When Will We Be Married
16. Be My Enemy
17. The Trip To Broadford / Sweet Thing / Blackbird / You Can’t Always Get What You Want
18. How Many Songs Till I Get Home
19. Spirit
20. The Whole of The Moon
21. Higherbound
22. Medicine Bow
23. This Is The Sea
24. Room To Roam

Spiddal House Recording Sessions (1990, approx. 20mins)
Home movie footage of the band recording during the summer of 1990 at Spiddal House, Galway, Ireland.

An extract from a Gaelic television channel TG4 documentary about the life of Spiddal House. Mike and Steve return to the house many years later, recalling memories recording at the house.

Return To Spiddal (2012, Short Film, approx. 12mins)
A short documentary of a benefit concert Mike, Steve and Anto performed in 2012 at the Park Hotel, Spiddal, Ireland.

Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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