- 03 Dec 21
Scott’s ultimate voyage of musical exploration
The original Room to Roam could not contain the sonic juggernaut that The Waterboys were over a frenetic 15 months in 1989/‘90. No studio album could. When the core quartet of Mike Scott’s group were joined by box-player Sharon Shannon, Scottish flautist/whistle player Colin Blakey and former Skid Row drummer Noel Bridgeman, they were arguably the best band on the planet.
Featuring the original album with four further discs of demos, outtakes, live cuts, rough mixes, covers and an accompanying DVD that includes bootleg films of concerts, The Magnificent Seven captures a band for all seasons. They reeled and rocked across sixty-five concerts, along the lost highways of Ireland, Britain, Europe and North America. Indeed, the gigs never ceased, as the raggle taggle troupe constantly played – on buses, boats, planes, in waiting rooms and lobbies, in bars, bedrooms, kitchens and backyards.
Developed on the road, Room To Roam went beyond Fisherman’s Blues, and it requires the mammoth scope of The Magnificent Seven to showcase it effectively. A prime example is the eleven-minute instrumental of ‘Three Ships’, which featured for only 50 seconds on Room To Roam’s ‘She’s All That I Need’, a coda to ‘How Long Will I Love You?’
The second disc here, Rambles Of Autumn, is achingly good, consisting of live recordings from Paris to Los Angeles. The medley of ‘Trip to Broadford/Sweet Thing/Blackbird/You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ is worth the asking price alone. Elsewhere you hear the evolution of ‘A Man Is In Love’ and ‘A Life of Sundays’ – songs that would appear on Room To Roam.
Elsewhere, the majesty of those that missed the cut – ‘How Many Songs Till I Get Home’, ‘Morag’ and ‘Higherbound’ – display the necessity of The Magnificent Seven, a testament to the collective dream of all the players. Buy it and lose yourself in it.