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A Pagan Place [UK Bonus Tracks]

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The Waterboys 31/1/2002

Review

The 2002 reissues of The Waterboys (1983) and A Pagan Place (1984), the Waterboys' first two albums, serve to reveal the extent of bandleader Mike Scott's ruminative musical vision, a vision that was glimpsed but not fully appreciated on the original releases. In his liner notes, Scott makes clear that he was recording prolifically while assembling the band that would become the Waterboys and that the albums were compromised collections culled from a much larger catalog. After putting out the eight-song The Waterboys, he drew upon previous sessions and new ones in putting together its follow-up, the tracks from which were recorded between the summer of 1982 and the spring of 1984. A Pagan Place was another eight-song set "selected from a possible 15 -- the result of deliberations between myself and Ensign [his record label]," Scott writes. With the reissue, he has restored two songs -- "All the Things She Gave Me" and "The Thrill Is Gone" -- to their original lengths, each about a minute longer; added back "Some of My Best Friends Are Trains," a song cut for space; and included an additional five bonus tracks, some of which have turned up in one version or another subsequently. The result is a much better-realized album. Particularly, "Some of My Best Friends Are Trains" is an affecting, literary song that improves the original album, and "Down Through the Dark Streets," a nine-minute song that closes the reissue, is one of Scott's best compositions of the period, a typically soul-searching exploration. A Pagan Place, following from the statement of purpose that was The Waterboys, allows many of the doubts and conflicts, especially romantic and spiritual ones, that the earlier album did not acknowledge. It is a more complex work, and with more than 33 minutes added is now a more complete one. ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Church Not Made With Hands The Waterboys 5:59
  3. 2 All the Things She Gave Me [Unedited] The Waterboys 5:31
  4. 3 The Thrill Is Gone [Unedited] The Waterboys 5:28
  5. 4 Rags The Waterboys 5:18
  6. 5 Some of My Best Friends Are Trains [Never Included on This Album Before] The Waterboys 5:59
  7. 6 Somebody Might Wave Back The Waterboys 2:42
  8. 7 The Big Music The Waterboys 4:43
  9. 8 Red Army Blues The Waterboys 8:1
  10. 9 A Pagan Place The Waterboys 5:8
  11. 10 The Late Train to Heaven [Rockfield Mix] The Waterboys 3:29
  12. 11 Love That Kills [Instrumental] The Waterboys 6:17
  13. 12 The Madness Is Here Again The Waterboys 3:58
  14. 13 Cathy The Waterboys 2:32
  15. 14 Down Through the Dark Streets The Waterboys 8:55

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