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North of a Miracle Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, November 17, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Aussie edition of the former Haircut 100 frontman's 1983 solo album includes seven bonus tracks, 'Whistle Down The Wind' (12 inch), 'Take That Situation' (Rhythm Mix), 'CafeCanada', 'Love At The Door', 'Don't Get Me Wrong', 'Stolen Tears' & 'Laura'. 2001.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 17, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sony/Bmg Int'l
  • ASIN: B00005S84L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,825 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Nick Heyward Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
'North Of A Miracle' is an exceptional album that captures Nick Heyward at his talented best.
Recent offerings ('The Apple Bed', 'Tangled' and the brilliantly melodic 'From Monday To Sunday') have all seen Nick Heyward communicate via a more guitar-based, and sometimes second division, Britpop sound. Were it not for the fondly-remembered Haircut 100 days, it would be difficult to believe that Nick Heyward was once an out and out pop artist.
Soulful pop is Nick Heyward's specialility, so why did he leave it all behind? His 1990s albums may have given him credibility amongst fans of a certain genre, but somewhere along the way the music has become stereotypical, a parody of itself. The latter three albums are not bad by any means; the melodic magic remains, but the strummy guitar effect and Britpop yesteryear references are beginning to wear a bit thin to this reviewer.
'North Of A Miracle' was Heyward's only solo commercial success. Albums such as the flawed 'Postcards From Home' (1986) and the likeable 'I Love You Avenue' (1989) maintained Heyward's pop sensibilities but shifted fewer units. This, I suggest, was just part of a phase all artists go through following mid-range commercial success. Had Heyward persevered with pop in his subsequent three albums, further UK (and possibly US chart) hits would undoubtedly have followed.
'North Of A Miracle' sees Heyward tackle new musical arrangements that evolved from the Haircut 100 sound. Like a previous reviewer mentioned, half of this album would have appeared on the next Haircut 100 offering had the band not sadly split up. But certainly not as arranged on 'North Of A Miracle'.
The Haircut 100 re-recordings and the new solo Heyward songs all combine to create an evocative musical experience.
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I have mixed emotions about the Haircut 100 album, mostly around the fact they were lumped in with the preppy new romantic movement, but one thing is for certain: Nick Heyward knew how to write a great pop song. Although Pelican West had its share of gems it remains a flawed album. This, Heyward's debut, is brilliant. Genius, even. Who he chose to collaborate with (Geoff Emerick, who's production here is blindingly brilliant, choice session musicians, full orchestra), that he was brave enough, in 1983, to not use synthesizers and that he just happened to pen the best, most insanely catchy and complicated (yet accessible) songs of his career are but a few examples of why you need to hunt this down and devour it. Forgotten by virtually everyone, but absolutely cherished by those who remember. Has not dated one day. Highly recommended for all who appreciate well crafted and heartfelt pop music in the mold of McCartney, Squeeze or the poppier moments of XTC.
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Format: Audio CD
Nick Heyward's North of a Miracle was originally released in 1983 following his success with Haircut 100. It epitomized the resurgence of that time using real orchestral instruments instead of synthesizers, so prevalent in previous years.
The album was produced by Heyward and Geoff Emerick of Beatles fame as George Martin's engineer on the later albums. The production quality is brilliant with a full orchestra on every track and a good deal of percussion. The vocal harmonies, guitars, bass, drums, piano, organ and other instruments jump out of the speakers with crisp sonic precision to be appreciated across the audio spectrum.
Most importantly, the songs are great. The CD version includes a few extra tracks as noted and as usual, the extra tracks are forgettable with the exception of Stolen Tears, a bright tune with fine acoustic guitar work.
Listeners of college radio or English radio in the early 80s may have heard When It Started to Begin, Atlantic Monday or other tracks but American pop radio listeners surely heard Whistle Down the Wind, which cracked Billboard's top 20 in late 1983. Opening with piano and a droning fretless bass (Pino Palladino), this breezy tune grows in energy with each measure and finishes with a beautiful orchestral climax. A pop tune with class.
Every other one of the 10 original songs are exceptional although The Day It Rained Forever, the last song on the original album, always made me hit the stop button on my turntable.
Speaking of which, I still have the original vinyl LP in mint condition and a good turntable with an Ortofon cartridge and it sounds much better than the CD, which sounds fine. I realize not everyone wants to bother with all the old stuff but the LP does sound better. That's another story for another day.
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By A Customer on April 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This a gemm of the '80s. Got fab UK hits like Take that Situation, Whistle Down the Wind, Blue Hat for a Blue Day. Some songs come from the second lost album from Haircut 100 like When it started to begin who was call Coming Home before, Club boy at the sea. I think Atlantic Monday is a song really perfect that you want to listen through the years. About the bonus tracks you got here for the first time on CD the "12 version of Whistle Down the Wind (probably do it with the Haircut boys) and the non album single Laura only get it on compilations plus a couple of b-sides. A really great album with all the songs put in his right place.
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