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A Walk Across the Rooftops

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Audio CD, January 22, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition of the Scottish trio's debut album including a bonus disc containing seven additional tracks. A Walk Across the Rooftops was originally released in 1984 on Linn Records, a label set up specifically to release the album. Linn Electronics of Glasgow wanted a recording to demonstrate 'the fidelity and versatility' of a recording console they had developed. Having heard a demo of 'Tinseltown In The Rain' while visiting Castlesound Studios, they approached the band to fund the recording of a full album, and formed a record label to release it. The rest as they say is history: a critically acclaimed album which led to high expectations for their second album.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • ASIN: B009IK5UVC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,514 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By PhiloX on February 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Many years ago I received through the mail a Folk Music catalog featuring an interview with Rickie Lee Jones during her "Pop Pop" period. In the article she discussed her influences naming a lot of folk artists including "The Blue Nile". I never heard of the group, but I always respected Rickie Lee Jones creativity, therefore I bought the CD "Walk Across the Rooftops". When I first dropped it into the CD player I heard a strange rock beat with a conning male singer bouncing from one vocal range to another. It was not a trained voice, but very rough around the edges, yet emotional & very human. The next song "Tinseltown in the Rain" was very `POP', danceable with a straighter beat than the pervious song. "This is Folk? What was Rickie Lee Jones talking about?"
After the initial shock & a few more listens, I extremely fell in love with this CD. This is one of those CD's that grows on you with each listen. The inner notes did not have the words of the songs, which maybe a good thing because it forces you to pay attention. The later songs `Seem' to question God: "From Rags to Riches" & "Easter Parade" & mere existence: "Stay" & "Heatwave".
"From Rags to Riches" maybe about the Jewish exodus from Egypt to the promised land with references to `Joseph's colored coat' yet at the same time about modern life with its struggles of poverty & promises of riches. In some ways it's a prayer to God about what seems to be his broken promises yet seeing the glory or hope at the end of the journey.
"Stay" could be the typical song about a person losing a relationship, yet it works at a deeper level, maybe because of the emotional skill of the main singer Paul Buchnan.
"Easter Parade" is about a man who gets trapped on a street due to an Easter parade passing by.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Michael Paulsen on December 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Still my favorite of Blue Nile's three albums, "Walk Across the Rooftops" is a gorgeous debut that nicely bridges acoustic instruments with synthetic instruments -- like the ubiquitous Linn drums -- in an era when synthpop was everywhere. (The album was originally released on Linn Records, by the way.) Paul Buchanan's voice is introspective, aching and sincere, though it may sound a bit peculiar to those unaccustomed to it. "Stay" was the prominent (and excellent) single from the album, but "Tinseltown in the Rain" is by far the stunner on the album -- magnificent despite its unusual blend of sounds with its lush string arrangements, crunchy bass, percussive guitar and Linn drum claps ... absolutely one of my all-time favorite songs from the 80's. This song alone is worth the price of the album (too bad it's out of print in the States). "Heatwave" and "Walk Across the Rooftops" are other standouts. The other, softer tracks are minimalist yet paint vivid, impressionistic scenes. The Blue Nile succeed on this album in truly creating a form of aural poetry, that they were also able to duplicate on subsequent albums, but don't miss this one!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Eagon on February 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't believe I spent $18 on this remaster. This is supposed to be A SPECIAL EDITION CD REMASTER, but the fidelity is so horrible. It sounds like they attempted to make a "modern," "extra-loud" version but they obliterated all the magic and soul of the original recordings. I am frankly disgusted.

"A Walk Across the Rooftops" is one of my favorite albums of all time. As to Wikipedia appropriately puts it, this album "was noted for its use of empty space and detailed separation of each musical instrument, designed to showcase the Linn hi-fi equipment to best effect." Whoever was pulling the strings on this remaster had no concept of this. They crushed it (compressed it) likely in order to make it come through Spotify, iTunes, laptop speakers and earbuds immediately "louder." They also totally hyped Paul's vocals to the point at which they are so abrasive and distracting that I could not even finish listening to the album.

Congratulations mastering engineer (or record label), you followed convention and trend and gave no consideration to the fact that the target audience of this remaster MIGHT ACTUALLY WANT DYNAMICS. If anyone from the label is reading this, my gosh, PLEASE PLEASE remaster this. I am die-hard Blue Nile fan, but I am not even going to pay 18 dollars for a bunch of hyped/crushed bonus tracks. I will stick to the beautiful jazz/classical-esque dynamics of the original masters. I remember the first time I heard this album. It was an dream-like, ethereal listening experience unlike any I'd ever had before. I remember falling asleep to this album on numerous train rides throughout Europe. Everything I fell in love with is gone on this new remaster, and no I am not a purist. It is truly that bad. Anyone with a copy of the old masters and a decent set of headphones or stereo will agree with me.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The Blue Nile - mysterious name for a band from Scotland, but don't let that throw you off the scent. This album is a masterpiece of subtlety, minimalism, and form. Sure, it takes time to appreciate. Sure, some of the sounds are a bit rough and ragged. But this is pure, unadulterated experimentation at its greatest and heartbreakingly melodic in places, angular and sharp in others. One of the greatest albums of the 1980s, and possibly modern times. *****5 STARS.
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