1. (00:05:05) The Blue Nile - Over the Hillside
2. (00:06:30) The Blue Nile - The Downtown Lights
3. (00:05:16) The Blue Nile - Let's Go Out Tonight
4. (00:06:17) The Blue Nile - Headlights on the Parade
5. (00:04:02) The Blue Nile - From a Late Night Train
6. (00:05:09) The Blue Nile - Seven A.M.
7. (00:06:27) The Blue Nile - Saturday Night
Playing Time.........: 00:48:55
Total Size...........: 232.89 MB
NFO generated on.....: 28/08/2009 18:10:30
:: Generated by Music NFO Builder v1.20 - www.nfobuilder.com ::
Biography from Allmusic.com.
The Scottish folk-ambient band the Blue Nile has enjoyed a mystique contrived by its inaccessibility and the infrequency of its recordings, but it has also made a series of critically acclaimed discs.
The group was formed by three Glasgow natives who had graduated from university there: singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Buchanan, bassist Robert Bell, and keyboardist Paul Joseph Moore. (Engineer Callum Malcolm and drummer Nigel Thomas have worked with the trio consistently, to the point of being considered secondary bandmembers.)
(The Blue Nile is the title of Alan Moorehead's 1962 sequel to The White Nile, the two books making up a history of the Nile River.)
They recorded their own single, "I Love This Life," which was distributed by Robert Stigwood's RSO Records just before the company closed its doors.
They were then signed by Linn Products, which released their debut album, A Walk Across the Rooftops, in 1984. (A&M handled it in the U.S.) Since the company was small and the band did not tour, the album took some time to find its audience, though it briefly reached the U.K. charts and led to high expectations for a second album.
This came in 1989 with Hats, which reached the British Top 20, throwing off three chart singles, "The Downtown Lights," "Headlights on the Parade," and "Saturday Night.
The album also made the lower reaches of the American charts as the Blue Nile embarked on its first tour, a 30-date journey taking place in the British Isles and the U.S. In the ensuing years, the band members switched record labels, signing to Warner Bros., and contributed to recordings by Robbie Robertson and Julian Lennon.
They finally emerged with their third album, Peace at Last, in June 1996. Another critically acclaimed release, it placed in the U.K. Top 20, but failed to chart in the U.S.
Review from Allmusic.com by Jason Ankeny
Five long years in the making, the Blue Nile's stellar Hats was well worth the wait; sweeping and majestic, it's a triumph of personal vision over the cold, remote calculations of technology.
While created almost solely without benefit of live instruments, it is nevertheless an immensely warm and human album; Paul Buchanan's plaintive vocals and poignant songs are uncommonly moving, and his deployment of lush synth washes and electronic percussion is never gratuitous, each song instead crafted with painterly precision.
Impressionistic and shimmering, tracks like "The Downtown Lights" and "From a Late Night Train" are perfectly evocative of their titles: Rich in romantic atmosphere and detail, they conjure a nocturnal fantasy world lit by neon and shrouded in fog, leaving Hats an intensely cinematic experience as well as a masterpiece of musical obsession
Amazon.com by Austin T
Fifteen years out, it is the rare piece of popular music that stands the test of time. I've got thousands of CDs in my collection. For me, Hats is indeed one of those very few recordings, if only for the tone of this terrific album.
Tracks like The Downtown Lights, Over the Hillside, and Headlights on the Parade bring out a mellow, urbane, highly emotive sensibility: refined electronica set to sparse, sad, probing beats. Think of a soundtrack for walking along damp and foggy city streets on a late Sunday evening. This record says "Glasgow", even for someone who has never visited.
Can't precisely put my finger on it, but Paul Buchanan's voice cuts through everything. Sad but fulfilling, mellow yet uplifting.
For this listener, Hats is an absolute classic that still very much stands out in my collection. Many years from now, I can't help thinking that some smart music historian will closely listen to this one.