🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 The Blue Nile

Love em - first 2 albums are masterclasses in emotive pop music

The version below is utterly heartbreaking (was my introduction to Paul Buchanan) :sob:

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I’ve loved The Blue Nile for years but didn’t know it.

My introduction came, funnily enough, via Craig Armstrong’s brilliant The Space Between Us, where the incredible rendition of Let’s Go Out Tonight in the post above resides (beat me to it, @DeathfromABrum !). Armstrong takes a song that’s already achingly romantic and melancholy and amps the emotion to absolutely throat-clenching levels because he’s a sadistic genius - and it’s become one of my favourite pieces of music. Had no fuckin idea it was by The Blue Nile, though. Didn’t own the album until relatively recently so didn’t even know who sang it (and even now I have the CD it’s pretty hard to read the liner notes to find Paul’s name in the writing credits) for the longest time. Wasn’t till late 2019 that I discovered that it was a cover version - I’d popped it on Youtube and lo and behold Youtube recommended me the same song but by a different act. I clicked on it and my mind was duly blown, and a head-over-heels romance with Hats began.

My love for Hats was actually so strong I utterly refused to listen to anything else by The Blue Nile because I didn’t want Hats to be diminished by proxy. To be honest, the only reason I have listened to another Blue Nile album is because I chanced upon A Walk Across The Rooftops in an Oxfam and figured I was being given the ok to do so by fate. It’s a good album. It’s a really good album. But for me, it is no Hats. I think Hats feels like a culmination of what they were attempting to do on AWATR; the widescreen romance, the clutch of optimism lit in a neon streetlight glow on a dark, rainy friday night when love flutters in and out of your grasp. Dancing to a busker on the Underground. A taste of 80s excess when you know you can’t afford it but fuck it it’s the weekend. The despair that hits you alone at home when all seems lost but there has to be a way.

Emotions run high on Hats, though on paper, Paul’s world-weary croon is an unlikely carrier for it - but there’s something about his delivery, his cadence that absolutely kicks you in the chest if you let it. Is it a product of its time? Very much so, but I don’t think it matters. I don’t feel like the songs have aged, even if the production would be handled differently now (and I’m glad it isn’t). There’s a universal quality in the phrasing Paul uses that might seem cheesy at times but like a lot of truisms, that’s just the way things are. Pray for love.



Well Matty Healy’s definitely with you on the 1975 thing. This was him in a Vulture interview picking his favourite albums a few years ago:

“The Blue Nile are my favorite band of all time. They’re fucking amazing. Musically, they’ve inspired me so much. There’s so much drama. It’s perfect nighttime music. It’s beautiful, romantic music with British sensibilities. The sounds on it are just amazing. And it’s called Hats ! What a fucking cool name for a record!”

Think he’s also said specifically that ‘Love It If We Made It’ was a musical homage.



if you have 55 minutes, i’d listen to this. blue nile live from the 1990s



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Never heard of them ever

Guarantee they will baader meinhof into my consciousness now and I’ll see or read something about them about a dozen times in the next week.

this reissue announced today

looks like a lot of extra tracks and that sort of thing


Think that’s the deluxe version that’s on Spotify

Score soon

Anything less than a 5 is a shocking disaster.


Hope they’re doing a fancy CD version as well.

The Blue Nile score 3.84

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  • Springsteen
  • Future Of The Left
  • Deftones
  • Blue Nile

0 voters

Someone pick a number 1-59 please.


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Interesting pick, cheers.

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Grabbed hats a year ago after it was recommended on here. The songs are fairly good but not sure I’d be listening to any of them in isolation. The mood of the album is unbelievable though. As soon as you turn it on it just transports you to dark, rainy, neon soaked streets. I guess the fact it sounds so nostalgic and longing really helps.

The only other album that achieves something like that is Burial’s Untrue - and although the music is polar opposites, the feeling it brings out is the same.

Never heard their other stuff, as someone else mentioned above I was worried it would diminish Hats as it is just such a perfect, standalone thing. Might need to give rooftops a listen now after the other comments!


This is high, but also disappointingly low.

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Good call on the mood. I’d say Balam Acab’s “Wander/Wonder” is similar in places too.


Ooo not listened to that in ages! Whacking it on first thing tomorrow now!

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