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4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 31, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Scottish band The Blue Nile, named after Alan Moorehead's classic 1962 novel, began their journey at Glasgow University at the turn of the 70s/80s where Paul Buchanan, Robert Bell and PJ Moore were studying. The group released a debut album A Walk Across The Rooftops in 1984 that became a major cult hit album through word of mouth. Their folk-ambient sound, with its tasteful combination of electronics and romantics, sounded like nothing else at the time and built a loyal fan base that still exists today. In 1989 their album Hats went Top 20 in the UK and spawned 2 hit singles - "Saturday Night" and "Downtown Lights." After a lengthy gap the band signed to Warner and in 1996 released Peace At Last. Celebrity Blue Nile fans include Annie Lennox and Peter Gabriel and the band's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Isaac Hayes and Tom Jones, Melanie C and the Harlem Gospel Singers. Now signed to Sanctuary and managed by Ed Bicknell (Dire Straits) The Blue Nile are releasing their fourth album High. Rumours of a long-awaited new Blue Nile album have been circulating in the music press and amongst certain radio DJs for some months now; there is tremendous anticipation amongst fanatics for this new collection of songs. As the strongest Blue Nile album to date, it is sure to satisfy hardcore fans as well as enveloping a new set of devotees. "The Blue Nile makes incredibly simple-sounding, emotional records about the stuff that fascinates them. And they're very good at it." NME "Inexpressibly lovely music that owes practically nothing to the vagaries of fashion." - Q.

Some eight barren years have elapsed since Glasgow's nocturnal melancholics the Blue Nile last tendered a studio album. However, patience is a virtue and "High"--which features material conceived and recorded over a ten year period, including a song once gifted to a former Spice Girl--yields a generous dividend for prostrate audiophiles and sleepwalking nighthawks alike. Like a far-away comet circling the universe in sublime and yet static perpetuity, the Blue Nile maneuver impressively into view every few years having changed very little, a compliment which can scarcely be applied to many other artists in their profession. In the manner of Talk Talk's Mark Hollis or Jackie Leven, Paul Buchanan's distressed utterances exude a downcast but romantic spirituality, mining a rich blue seam of fatigued detachment from the diaphragm upwards while somewhere in the background pianos, electronic drums, and subtle acoustic guitars pulse inconspicuously and yet with all the assurances of a heart steadily beating inside the chest. Eavesdropping on restaurant conversations, gazing at passing cars, looking at "the morning people going to work and fading away" is the stuff of cold, terminal exclusion but "High" is beautifully warm, offering the uncluttered quiescent orderliness of sonic Feng Shui for the soul. --Kevin Maidment

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Days Of Our Lives
  2. I Would Never
  3. Broken Loves
  4. Because Of Toledo
  5. He Saw The World
  6. High
  7. Soul Boy
  8. Everybody Else
  9. Stay Close

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B0002L57U0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Blue Nile Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Thomas on October 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My God, I never thought they'd record again. Then one day hunting on Amazon I come across "High". I personally was disappointed with "Peace at Last" ( even so I played it a lot ). I still kept going back to "A Walk Across the Rooftops" & "Hats" for my real fill of the Nile. Because of this I was extremely worried about what form the new album would take.

Well before I received my copy in the mail I got to listen to an archive interview and session on California's KCRW ( Morning's Become Eclectic ) internet radio. Oh and is Paul's voice soothing and moody ? Oh it is. He sounds like a cool foggy midnight with a little light rain. One where the moist streets reflect every light and there's no-one around but you. Do you know what I mean ?. That was an excellent acoustic performance ( check it out at ) and I started to become more anxious.

The album arrived, and the first time I listened I thought.. hhhhmm okay. Then I listened again... and again. And the 80's synth chords and voices came up through the velvety vocals and mixed up in my head to recreate a distant time. The layers are subtle and you'll never get them unless you listen in a quiet room or in bed. It isn't a modern sound... but it's addicting just the same. Paul's vocal tapestry of images flow through me and it is a rewarding experience. I can't believe a title like "Because of Toledo" could be so powerful... and then segue into something so different as "She saw the world". I love it and only wish it was twice as long. We've waited a long time but it is SOOO worth it.
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Format: Audio CD
I just wanted to add my two cents to the Blue Nile reviews and opinion section of Amazon. I have been following Blue Nile since about the 80's and i must say they had an affect on me spiritually, emotionally and even more. They rode with me as i traversed rocky relationships, family problems and directions in life. There is something inherent in their music that goes beyond having to release records due to the stardom of being rockstars or the glam and glory of it all. They seem to write out of life itself, breath itself, the need to express themselves in such an emotional and personal way. This new record of theirs may have been long due, but once again the ingenious esoteric unspokeness about their sound shines forth again. It's funny so often i tend to compare one record to the next and sit back and say that one is better or worse, but at the end of the day it is more of a collage and a collaboration of several musicians coming together in whatever shape or form they do it in and bring something magical to the ears of humanity. I cannot say that about many bands but few. Maybe the Cocteau Twins, The Chameleons and this genre but overall they shine with a brilliance that one must hear with open ears and open eyes. Til the next time my dear friends, write til your tears, joys and stories unfold and can be experienced and embraced by others...thank you
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By Dave on November 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Their are a handful of musical moments that I can recall exactly where I was and what I was doing. One was the first time I heard Paul Buchanan's haunting voice on "Over the Hillside" (from "Hats"). It was an epiphany, transcendent, call it what you will. Just when I started losing hope that they'll never re-enter our cosmos, back comes their star in the night sky. This outing is exquisite. Strings that illuminate the firmament. Guitar and bass that circle the moon. And then Paul Buchanan's rapturous voice - manna from heaven. Oh Lord, don't ever let their star fall from the night sky.
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Format: Audio CD
Like a melancholic but problematic love affair, this album simultaneously comforts and distresses a wounded heart. In that sense it's most reminiscent of...well, er, basically everything else this band has produced. The dichotomy of exposing oneself to love, or rather its potential, resonates throughout--and even though that's the recurrent focus of the lyrics, it's really most reflected in Paul Buchanan's extraordinary vocal ability to sound both awash in emotion and otherwordly in his anticipaton of its demise. Enduring...a true legacy in sound that will never grow old simply because it always connects with something primordial about the pursuit of love.
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I too like many of the folks here, am a HUGE HUGE HUGE Blue Nile fan. I began listening in the late 80's when I heard Headlights on the Parade on the public radio station in Nashville, TN. It has been the only band/record that has ever spoken to me so intensely and reflectively at that time in my life. I figured over the years (of growth, relationships-good and bad, love, loss, melancholy, joy, elation, evolution) that my seemingly lonely position of being the only person to LOVE this band- would fade. It has not. I looked long and hard for the next album after Peace At Last (an ok set); and found it with HIGH. I intensely (and with beating heart) skimmed the snippets of the tunes before purchasing hoping another track would speak to me as many did in the 80's- 10+ years later, BN has not lost their ability to reach in and connect with the innermost corners of psyche and subconcious. The minute I heard 'Stay Close' I felt like something long gone for over 10 years had come back to life. I listened over and over and over. I felt no one else on earth could understand my connection to this band. Clearly there ARE OTHERS. Its cultish. I hope to see a performance in some seedy London back club one of these days and who knows... one might just might find the renaissance man himself- Sting- sitting in the back sipping a smart cocktail... (or a green tea) ala Christian McBride :)
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