Album #521 – A Walk Across The Rooftops

Album #521

The Blue Nile are innovators of a new sound to come out of 80’s pop music: sophisti-pop: a fusion of jazz, soul and synth pop. They group were actually discovered by Linn Synthesizers, who set up a label to release demonstration records, showing off their products. Contrary to popular belief, A Walk Across The Rooftops was not one of those records. The Blue Nile’s demo of songs off this album was heard by the label, who loved it so much that they decided to release this album. The centerpiece of the album is Paul Buchanan. Buchanan’s lead vocals are memorizing and a stark departure from other acts of the time. One reviewer commented that the songs lack a chorus or any familiarity. I would agree but, Buchanan’s voice makes the Blue Nile’s work accessible and fresh. The band reportedly worked hard in the studio to get the sound right and it shows. They clearly knew what they were doing. While not successful in North America, the group had modest success in the UK. But, it was word of mouth that caused this great album to sell. I am glad I got to discover this group. Albums can be a good thing because undiscovered gems like A Walk Across The Rooftops can bring an amazing discovery to someone my age, who is hearing music like this for the first time. Highlights include: A Walk Across The Rooftops, Tinsletown In The Rain, From Rags To Riches, Easter Parade and Heatwave. Overall, I give A Walk Across The Rooftops, 5 out of 5.

Next: Back To Mystery City by Hanoi Rocks

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