Want List: Blue Nile DLX RMs

The Blue Nile ca. 1984 [L-R] Robert Bell, Paul Moore, Paul Buchanan

It goes without saying that I’ve probably waxed eloquent about Scottish band The Blue Nile on at least one or two other occasions. Well, here’s another time because six days ago I received an email in my in-box from The Blue Nile; a group which can’t be truly said to exist any more. Even though they have a new website. While the band no longer has a future, they have an enviable past, and their first two albums are being remastered in deluxe editions set to reach the loving public on November 19th, 2012. The singular debut album “A Walk Across The Rooftops” as well as the perfect follow up [perhaps the finest sophomore album, ever] “Hats” will get some long-overdue attention in a play for our hard-earned shekels. Let’s see what details the project offers, since that’s where the devil likes to hide.

Virgin | UK | 2xCD | 2012

The Blue Nile: A Walk Across The Rooftops UK 2xCD [2012]

Disc 1

  1. A Walk Across The Rooftops
Tinseltown In The Rain
From Rags To Riches
Easter Parade
Automobile Noise

Disc 2

  1. I Love This Life
Heatwave [Rhythm Mix]
  3. St. Catherine’s Day
Tinseltown In The Rain [Mix]
The Second Act
  6. Stay [Little Mix]

Virgin | UK | 2xCD | 2012

The Blue Nile: Hats UK 2xCD [2012]

Disc 1

  1. Over The Hillside
  2. The Downtown Lights
  3. Let’s Go Out Tonight
  4. Headlights On The Parade
  5. From A Late Night Train
  6. Seven AM
  7. Saturday Night

Disc 2

  1. Seven AM [recorded before the end of the Hats sessions]
  2. Christmas 
  3. Let’s Go Out Tonight [vocal 2 – the 2nd vocal take]
  4. Saturday Night [vocal 2 – early mix]
  5. Headlights On The Parade [Live In Tennessee]
  6. The Wires Are Down

As usual the previously unreleased material is noted in deep red. Of course, the first disc is the unmolested original album. One imagines that these will definitely not be brickwalled monstrosities designed to compete with current chartjunk. Let’s turn out attention to the debut album bonus disc first. It’s right and proper that the band’s insanely difficult to obtain debut single [recorded for RSO – right at the point they went under] will be here, though the tracks were released about a decade ago as B-sides to the band’s final single, “I Would Never.” Likewise, “Regret,” the exquisite B-side to “Tinseltown In The Rain” is present and accounted for.

Then there are mixes of the album’s two singles, but the origins of these are not discussed. There was an edit of “Tinseltown” for 7″ but the 7″ of “Stay” was a remix of the track, that just slays me. Moreover, it was not shortened from it’s nearly five minute length. By the way, the same remix is on all 12″ versions of the single as well. The naming of the “Little Mix” of “Stay” makes me think that it may not be the awe-inspiring “Stay [remix]” that I’ve waited for on CD for 28 years, but in fact, something else.

Finally, the appearance of a new song, “St. Catherine’s Day,” written about in the book “Nileism” is cause for great interest. They’ve got me right there. But what has already reached the ears of the acolytes on vinyl, that is in fact, missing from this release?

  1. Saddle The Horses – “Automobile Noise” inst. B-side to “Stay”
  2. Heatwave [inst.] – B-side to “Tinseltown”
  3. Stay [remix] – 7″/12″ A-side

The lack of number three, really troubles me since after hearing the remix, I was no longer satisfied with the LP mix of that track. What about the other remaster?

Basically, apart from the “Downtown Lights” B-side, “The Wires Are Down,” all of the bonus material is previously unreleased! There are three alternate takes and a live track recorded in Tennessee. Tennessee! No one told me about that. Actually, I remember the furor surround the Blue Nile’s US tour, since I heard about it long after the fact in those pre-internet days. This was during the time in my life when I had money to burn, and could have easily flown anywhere in the US to see them. Without breaking a sweat. Sigh. So with only a single B-side accounted for, what is missing from “Hats” DLX RM?

  1. Halfway to Paradise – B-side “The Downtown Lights” CD3/12″
  2. Headlights On The Parade [Bob Clearmountain remix] – A-side
  3. Easter Parade [with Ricki Lee Jones] – B-side “Headlights On The Parade” CD/12″
  4. Saturday Night [edit] – A-side
  5. Out Lives [Lost/Bolivia/New York] – B-side “Saturday Night” CD#1/12″
  6. Saturday Night [live USA] – B-side “Saturday Night” CD#2

That’s an awful lot of missed opportunity there. While I have all of the CD singles from “Hats” how many fans who aren’t 49 years old can easily make that claim? It looks like a handmade, Blue Nile boxed set of god is still in the works for me, in which I’ll compile the missing material along with the new rarities that these DLX RMs are going to generate. if I only manage to get my hands on those CD singles of “Happiness.” The fact that it was my least favorite Blue Nile song ever*, stayed my hand those long years ago when the disappointing third BN album dropped, and I’ve been cursing my reticence ever since. There are four Blue Nile tracks missing from the Record Cell on those puppies.

– 30 –

* In a world where I just couldn’t come to grips with that harrowing fact.

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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7 Responses to Want List: Blue Nile DLX RMs

  1. zoo says:

    I’m going to have to revisit Hats. I’ve never been able to get into that one and haven’t listened to it in a while. A Walk Across the Rooftops, on the other hand, is a favorite of mine. I know Hats is generally the more venerated of the two, but I give my vote to the debut. It has such an atmosphere that is totally unique. There really is no other album like it (that I’ve heard, anyway), though I sometimes have to be in the right mood to really enjoy the slowness of it.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – I’m with you. AWATR is an incredible achievement to my ears. It creates a new world of sound that didn’t exist prior. It is the desert island album for me. “Hats” builds on this and offers more hope filled lyrical scenarios. But this mood of triumph wouldn’t have resonated without the foundation both emotionally and sonically that AWATR provided. “Hats” is the best possible follow up album to AWATR, but it’s still a secondary achievement to these ears. I am aware that popular sentiment holds it as their crowning achievement. But what else should you expect from popular sentiment?


  2. Echorich says:

    A curious decision to leave out as much as they have, but I am certainly looking forward to St. Catherine’s Day.
    As for The Blue Nile tour, my good friend Patti and I were reminiscing about their show at the Bottom Line in Greenwich Village. It was intimate and full of fans and not just NYC scene makers. I remember it being quite a long show for a band with little over a dozen songs from two albums. Paul also intro’d a number of tracks and there were a few anecdotes as well.


  3. Tim says:

    I made my own deluxe editions years ago with the b-sides. I am seriously disappointed with this release and for my interests there are only new track on each set. Not worth the money that they are asking for and a real disappointment all around.


  4. Tim says:

    Amazon has them queued up as digital downloads releasing the 19th of November. I will pay for the two tracks I want and am hoping this isn’t one of those deals where the d./l options are built in such a way that you have to buy the whole thing to get the one or two new rarities.


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