Q Magazine

The Waterboys Prepare to Unleash the Mammoth Set '1985: How the Waterboys Made "This Is the Sea" and Saw the Whole of the Moon'

Scheduled for release on Feb. 23, the physical version of the set contains 6 CDs and a 220-page hardcover book.

wills q template
Source: Patrick Durand

Mike Scott of the Waterboys, possibly picturing a rainbow.

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

It wasn’t their highest charting album, nor was it the album that’s gotten them the most acclaim in their career, but if there’s an album that helped to truly define the essence of the Waterboys, it was their 1985 LP, This Is the Sea, featuring the track that’s become arguably their signature single, “The Whole of the Moon.”

Article continues below advertisement

In advance of the album’s 40th anniversary, Waterboys frontman Mike Scott has delved deep into the archives and come up with a 6-disc, 95-track box set – 1985: How the Waterboys Made This Is the Sea and Saw the Whole of the Moon – which effectively tells the entire story of how the band created This is the Sea, utilizing not only the original album tracks but also home cuts, early demos, alternate versions, outtakes, concert recordings, and TV and radio sessions, 64 of which are previously unreleased.

On top of that, there’s a 220-page hardcover book filled to the brim with deep recording details, background, cultural context, songwriting pages, lyrics, previously unseen writings, and a plethora of photographs, many of which have never been seen before.

Oh, right, and there’s also the text, which is written not only by Scott but also by band members Anthony Thistlethwaite and Max Edie.

In other words, this truly is the definitive story of This Is the Sea.

Article continues below advertisement
wills q template
Source: Chrysalis

The cover art for "1985: How the Waterboys Made 'This Is the Sea' and Saw the Whole of the Moon"

Both the physical release and the digital release (the latter sans the hardcover book, obviously) will both be out on February 23, along with a clear vinyl remastered version of the original album.

As for the track listing of the set, brace yourself accordingly, because here it comes...



Towers Open Fire: Trumpets (Session) / Be My Enemy (Prototype 3) / The Ways Of Men (Session) / The Waves #1 / Old England (Demo) / Towers Open Fire / Down Through The Town / Ribbon Of Steel (Live) / Bury My Heart (Live) / The Three Day Man (Live) / Medicine Bow (Session) / This Is The Sea (Live) / A Door For My Soul Home (Demo) / Son Of Rags / In My Bed / The Pan Within (Inst Demo) / Even The Trees Are Dancing (Full Length) / Theme / Fuzz Guitar Vamp / Death Is Not The End


The Black Book: Beverly Penn (Piano Demo) / Don't Bang The Drum (Piano Demo) / Be My Enemy (Piano Demo) / The Day I Ran Out Of People / Winter Blows / The Mercenary And The Samaritan / Looking For Dickon / Spirit (Piano Demo) / All The Bright Horses / Custer's Blues (Piano Demo) / The Woman In Me / Paris In The Rain / The Song Of Sitting Bull / Talk About Wings / The Whole of The Moon (Writing of) / The Pan Within (Piano Demo) / No Sun In The Sky / Winter In The Blood / We Belong To The World / The Whole of The Moon (Piano Demo)


A Sky Full Of Crows: Medicine Jack / Medicine Jack Boogie-Woogie / The Sound Of Snow / The Pan Within (Inst) / It Should Have Been You, Guitar Play / Old England (Early Take) / Old Macmichael Had A Band / Sweet Thing / Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town / Spirit (Full Length) / Then You Hold Me / Trumpets (Instr #1) / Rain Come Down / Son of Dirt / This Is The Sea (Drumatix Version)


The Ladder: Medicine Bow (Elemental Rough Mix) / Trumpets (Inst #2) / Be My Enemy (Rough Mix) / Sleek White Schooner / Sweetheart Like You / This Is The Sea (Fast with Mike Lead Guitar Demo) / Adrian And The Piano Storm / Beverly Penn (Synth Version) / This Is The Sea (Fast with Tom Verlaine Lead Guitar Version) / The Waves #2 / The Ladder (Demo) / Beverly Penn / Don't Bang The Drum (Livingston Mix) / Ribbon of Steel Slide Guitar / Paisley Park


Mountaintop: The Whole of The Moon (Livingston Mix) / High Far Soon / This Is The Sea (Livingston Mix) / Medicine Bow (Full Length) / The Pan Within (Wickham's First Play) / Miracle / World Party (Demo) / I Am Not Here / Born To Be Together (Session) / Higher In Time (Session) / The Whole of The Moon (Video Version) / Meridian West / Don't Bang The Drum (Session) / Medicine Bow (Session) / Behold The Sea / Beverly Penn 2023


This Is The Sea (The Album) Don't Bang The Drum / The Whole of The Moon / Spirit / The Pan Within / Medicine Bow / Old England / Be My Enemy / Trumpets / This Is The Sea

Lastly, if you'd like a little taste of what to expect, the Waterboys offered up just that for this past November's Record Store Day - a single featuring the fast version of the album's title track, featuring Tom Verlaine on lead guitar (it's on CD4), and the official video for the song can be found below.


Subscribe to our newsletter

your info will be used in accordance with our privacy policy

Read More