Get this crazy baby off my head!


The Beautiful South

The Beautiful South - Blue Is The Colour - 1996 - Go! Discs

Blue Is the Colour, released October 1996, is The Beautiful South's fifth original album following the two singles "Pretenders to the Throne" and "Dream a Little Dream", which never featured on any album until the release of the second greatest hits Solid Bronze in 2001. It was named after a pub in Sheffield. The album continued the melancholic tone of its predecessor Miaow, and is generally considered to be the band's darkest effort, reflecting Heaton's life at the time. This comes across in songs such as "Liar's Bar" (about alcoholism), "The Sound of North America" (a sarcastic look at capitalism), "Mirror" (Prostitution), "Blackbird on the Wire", "Have Fun" (which Heaton has cited as his saddest song), and the self-explanatory "Alone". The album spawned 4 singles, the first being "Rotterdam", which peaked at #5 in the charts in September 1996. The follow ups were "Don't Marry Her" which reached #8 in December, "Blackbird on the Wire", which got to #23 in March of 1997 and finally the single "Liar's Bar" which just missed the Top 40 in June. The lyrics to "Don't Marry Her" were substantially altered for radio release - changing from "Don't marry her, f**k me" to "Don't marry her, have me", and with "sweaty bollocks" becoming "Sandra Bullocks". On "Liars' Bar", Paul Heaton's vocal consciously imitates the style of Tom Waits. The album itself topped the album charts on November 2 1996. Some versions of the album come with a sticker saying "Track 1 contains some blue language which some people may find offensive" - from WIKIPEDIA

"Don't marry her... f**k me." Light, dreamy pop that includes lines like this may knock the listener over. An added feature is the various ways vocal duties are shared by Jacqueline Abbot, Dave Hemingway, and Paul Heaton. Finely produced, it should be noted that the knob-twiddler here was Jon Kelly (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Tori Amos, Kate Bush). Beautiful South reminds one of the blunt simplicity of some of the Ann Magnuson-sung Bongwater, but much more accessible. Dulcet harmonies with casual bar talk rewritten as poetry. "Have fun/And if you can't have fun/Have someone else's fun." The songs here transform spite and hurt into tuneful gems. "The whole place is pickled/The people are pickles for sure/And no one knows if they've done more here/Than they would do in a jar." Yes, yes, yes. Next time your significant other does you significant pain, just put Blue Is the Colour on for a few spins. It will be more healing than a public drunk and save you any day-after embarrassment. © Tom Schulte © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/blue-is-the-colour-r245697

The "hard to please" music "critic", Robert Christgau (@ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=The+Beautiful+South) gave this album an A rating, saying "Guitars vestigial, jokes brittle sometimes but no less funny, Paul Heaton's finest album evolves toward the calling he was born too late for: music hall. Like such northern stars as Dan Leno and George Formby Sr., he voices the sharp-witted resentments of working stiffs resigned to their lot. Or maybe not: from "Don't marry her, f**k me" to "Imagine a mirror/Bigger than the room it was placed in," a few women here see beyond the repressive depression of English suburban life, where one of two husbands drinks as much as Heaton and the other is as boring as Phil Collins--and the loners are tedious souses. The triumph in this vein is "Liars Bar," the greatest in a long line of drinking songs by the man who's said: "I consider myself a workaholic, it's just that I like to have a drink while I'm working." It comes with a video in which a disheveled Heaton leads a chorus of homeless drunks through a lurching soft shoe like a born variety artist. "I'm a standup comedian," he sings, and it sounds like a job application."
"Blue Is The Colour" is an excellent album in the jazz pop style from The Beautiful South. All the tracks bar one were written by the great songwriting team of Paul Heaton, & David Rotheray. As is the case with so many albums, many critics compared it to the band's debut album, "Welcome to the Beautiful South", an album that was very hard to live up to in terms of songwriting, and musicianship. Some critics also moaned that the songs were becoming too cynical and clever for their own good. The songs ARE "cynical and clever", and that is part of The Beautiful South's quality. "Liar's Bar", "Don't Marry Her" and "Rotterdam (Or Anywhere)" are just three of eleven clever, melodic, and brilliantly written pop songs by Paul Heaton, & David Rotheray. "Artificial Flowers" was written by Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. [ All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 137 Mb]. Listen to the band's classic pop jazz album "Welcome to the Beautiful South". The band's "Choke" album is @ TBSTH/CHOKE


1 Don't Marry Her 3:23
2 Little Blue 3:17
3 Mirror 4:05
4 Blackbird On The Wire 4:56
5 The Sound Of North America 4:02
6 Have Fun 4:45
7 Liars' Bar 5:53
8 Rotterdam (Or Anywhere) 3:37
9 Foundations 2:44
10 Artificial Flowers 3:58
11 One God 4:12
12 Alone 4:59

All songs composed by David Rotheray & Paul Heaton except "Artificial Flowers" (Recorded by Bobby Darin in 1960) by Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick


David Rotheray - Guitar
Sean Welch - Bass
Damon Butcher - Keyboards, String Arrangements & Programming
David Stead - Drums
Andy Duncan - Percussion & Programming
Martin Ditcham - Additional Percussion
Paul Heaton, Jacqueline Abbott, Dave Hemingway - Vocals


Following the disbandment of the British indie pop group the Housemartins in 1989, vocalist Paul Heaton and drummer David Hemmingway formed the Beautiful South. Where their previous group relied on jazzy guitars and witty, wry lyrics, the Beautiful South boasted a more sophisticated, jazzy pop sound, layered with keyboards, R&B-inflected female backing vocals and, occasionally, light orchestrations. Often, the group's relaxed, catchy songs contradicted the sarcastic, cynical thrust of the lyrics. Nevertheless, the band's pleasant arrangements often tempered whatever bitterness there was in Heaton's lyrics, and that's part of the reason why the Beautiful South became quite popular within its native Britain during the '90s. Though the group never found a niche in America -- by the middle of the decade, their records weren't even being released in the U.S. -- their string of melodic jazz-pop singles made them one of the most successful, if one of the least flashy, bands in Britain. Their popularity was confirmed by the astonishing success of their 1994 singles compilation, Carry on Up the Charts, which became one of the biggest-selling albums in British history. Heaton and Hemmingway formed the Beautiful South immediately after the breakup of the Housemartins, who were one of the most popular and well-reviewed British guitar pop bands of the mid-'80s. The Housemartins had earned a reputation for being somewhat downbeat Northerners, so the duo chose the name Beautiful South sarcastically. To complete the lineup, the pair hired former Anthill Runaways vocalist Briana Corrigan, bassist Sean Welch, drummer David Stead (formerly a Housemartins roadie), and guitarist David Rotheray, who became Heaton's new collaborator. In the summer of 1989, they released their first single, "Song for Whoever," on the Housemartins' old record label, Go!. "Song for Whoever" climbed to number two, while its follow-up "You Keep It All In" peaked at number eight in September, 1989. A month later, the group's debut, Welcome to the Beautiful South, was released to positive reviews. "A Little Time," the first single from the group's second album, Choke, became the group's first number one single in the fall of 1990. Choke was also well-received, even though it didn't quite match the performance of the debut, either in terms of sales or reviews. In particular, some critics complained that Heaton was becoming too clever and cynical for his own good. The Beautiful South released their third album, 0898, in 1992; it was their first record not to be released in the United States, yet it maintained their success in Britain. Following the release of 0898, Corrigan left the group, reportedly upset over some of Heaton's ironic lyrics. She was replaced with Jacqui Abbot, who made her first appearance on the band's fourth album, 1994's Miaow. While both 0898 and Miaow were popular, they were only moderate successes. Their respectable chart performances in no way prepared any observers, including the band themselves, for the blockbuster success of Carry on Up the Charts, a greatest-hits collection released at the end of 1994. Carry on Up the Charts entered the charts at number one. It was one of the fastest-selling albums in U.K. history and its success outlasted the Christmas season. The album stayed at number one for several months, going platinum many times over and, in the process, becoming one of the most popular albums in British history. Its success was a bit of a surprise, since the popularity of the Beautiful South's previous albums never indicated the across-the-boards success that greeted Carry on Up the Charts. The album wasn't released in America until late 1995, after it broke several U.K. records. The Beautiful South released their follow-up to Miaow, Blue Is the Colour, in the fall of 1996. Quench followed three years later, then Painting It Red in fall 2000, and Gaze in 2003. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-beautiful-south-p3647/biography


A band as well known for their gin-soaked cynicism as their catchy and lush pop melodies, the Beautiful South have had enormous impact in their native England, while success in America has been limited to cult status. Music critics on both shores and beyond, however, have praised the South and in particular, lyricist and singer Paul Heaton, for his cockeyed views on love, the music business, and whatever else comes up, as well as his and songwriting partner Dave Rotheray's innate ability to invent hummable tunes with irresistible pop hooks. Named for the not-so-beautiful debilitated neighborhoods of South London, their name, like their songs, is an exercise in irony. As Spin's Jonathon Bernstein observed, their music consists of "intricately constructed melodies serving as safe houses for bilious attacks on men and women—and that dumb, doomed dance they do together." Formed from the remnants of the breakup by the House martins, another cynical band, albeit with a more political bent, singer/songwriter Heaton, along with Housemartin drummer Dave Hemingway started the Beautiful South in 1989 in their hometown of Hull, a gray, working-class city in the north of England. With guitarist/songwriter Rotheray, bassist Sean Welch, drummer David Stead, and vocalist Brianna Corrigan, the South presented a more expansive musical playing field than what was offered in the Housemartins. With Hemingway, now a singer not a drummer, Corrigan, and Heaton, the band was able to move seamlessly through the vocal characterizations of three quite different lead vocalists. "Their voices," Parke Puterbaugh observed in Stereo Review, "one a croon of limited range [Heaton], the other more of a sing-speak [Hemingway]—are joined by Corrigan's girlish mouse-squeak and backed by a crack three-piece band of guitar, bass, and drums." SONGS FOR WHOEVER - The Beautiful South stormed out of the gate with their debut single, "Song For Whoever," a magnificently sardonic view of syrupy love songs which feature women's names as a protaganistic prop. Released in May of 1989, the song went to number two on the charts in the UK and marked a stellar introduction to the new band. The next single, "You Keep It All In," also a hit, featured all three vocalists bemoaning the stodgy, reserved tendencies of the British. Both songs appeared on their debut album, Welcome to the Beautiful South, released in October of 1989. "Make a list of qualities that define great pop music," People magazine's Michael Small suggested in his review, "and you've got a pretty fair description of the Beautiful South." The album did exceptionally well in England but received a cooler response in America, despite praise from the likes of Small and his colleagues. "They aren't yet a classic pop band," Spin's Tony Fletcher asserted, "but Welcome to the Beautiful South remains exactly that—a warm introduction to an enticing new proposition. Here's to the sequel." The sequel turned out to be 1990's Choke, an album that cemented their reputation as biting ironists. Stereo Review's Puterbaugh describes the album as a "mix of lyrical quirks and music-hall andcabaret-influenced pop.... [which] stops just shy of being cute and charming, however, and gives the songs here a devilishly droll edge." For their part, just before the album's release in an interview with Melody Maker, Heaton and Rotheray expressed some regret to being thought of as mere cynics. "It's just the way I write. Unfortunately," Heaton offered. "I'd like to be able to write just straight in some ways.... I think there's a bit of immaturity in the way I write actually." Hemingway confessed he didn't like that people saw the band as cynical. "I don't think we are," he said. "It's just that the bubble of unreality is there and there are not many people bursting it. So we took it upon ourselves to burst a few bubbles." ALCOHOLISM, NUDITY, ETC. - It was 1992's 0898 Beautiful South that had the most bubbles bursting. With 0898 being the English equivalent of America's 1-900 sex lines, the album opened with "Old Red Eyes Is Back, a lush and airy tale of alcoholism. Labeled a "pop album with fangs" by Stereo Review's Puterbaugh, he also declared "Old Red Eyes Is Back" as his nominee for song of the year, and commented on the song being "compassionate while noting the waste of a life. It is this kind of juxtaposition of serious themes and sunny music that makes the Beautiful South stand out from the pack, and 0898 Beautiful South contains a dozen songs that can equally be hummed, pondered, and puzzled over." Heaton, in an interview with Stuart Maconie of England's Q magazine, discussed "Old Red Eyes," asserting that it wasn't a morality tale. "It's looking at the more humorous and sad side of being drunk.... It sold respectably but the radio didn't really play it. I don't suppose they like songs about alcohol abuse." Another song from 0898, "36D," caused even more furor. Written about England's Page 3 girls, women who appear topless on the third page of some London tabloids, Heaton and Rotheray's intention was to attack the industry that supports it, not the women themselves, but mixed messages in the song reflected otherwise. "We all agree that we should have targeted the media as sexist instead of blaming the girls for taking off their tops," Hemingway admitted to Eric Puls of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It was a case of rushing headlong into the recording of the song." Vocalist Corrigan refused to sing on the song and when she left the band after the album's release, rumors intimated that it was the sexist lyrics of "36D" that prompted her exit. Corrigan said that may have been an impetus, but not the reason. "I left really because it was the right time for me to go, " she told Gary Crossing of England's The Big Issue. "My reservation about some of the lyrics became like a trigger to spur me on." Creative growth played a role as well, Corrigan admitted. "I'd always written songs for myself, but I knew there wasn't going to be an opportunity for that in the band. As a woman in this business you're always in a much stronger position if you perform your own stuff." Following the exodus of Corrigan, the band took some time off and returned with Miaow, a 1994 album featuring new vocalist Jacqueline Abbott, whom the band discovered singing at a party. While only available as an import in America, the album didn't fare well in England despite critical praise. After hearing the album Peter Paphides of Melody Maker declared "Heaton (not the smug, flat-capped curmudgeon we'd have you believe) oozes more humanity from his tiniest cuticle than any of the lemon-faced irony-challenged Americans we blindly laud."The small reception didn't seem to bother Heaton, however, confessing to Melody Maker's Sylvia Patterson, "Sales figures certainly aren't important to me, that's a dangerous way to think.... People know what I look like , they stilllike me and that's more important.... I'm genuinely happy I've enough money to go into a bar, buy another gin and tonic and people have enough time to give me a smile—that seems like a fair enough agreement." CARRYIN' ON UP THE CHARTS - Heaton and company wouldn't have to worry about record sales much longer. In November of 1994 Carry on Up the Charts-The Best of the Beautiful South was released and became the third fastest selling UK album of all time. At the same time, Heaton was questioning how much further he could go with the band. "I was feeling a bit unconvinced about me own future in music, " he told Patterson. "Because I just feel a bit old for it....I was just thinking how I'm not sure, as a singer-songwriter in a band, how long you can go in the pop industry. There are four songwriters I can think of, and they're all better than me, who started off in bands and went solo: Paul Weller, Neil Young, Elvis Costello, and Van Morrison. If I was gonna be like that I'd have to be a lot stronger in terms of personality and security than I am now. Right now, I can't even imagine going to New York by meself. I'm just Paul Heaton, I'm not able to do it. I haven't got the confidence." FOR THE RECORD. . .Members include Paul Heaton, vocals and song writer; Dave Rotheray, guitar and songwriter; Dave Hemingway, vocals; Brianna Corrigan (left band 1992), vocals; Sean Welch, bass; David Stead, drums; Jacqueline Abbott, (joined band 1993), vocals. Formed 1989 in Hull, England. Heaton and Hemingway had previously been in the band, the Housemartins, which disbanded 1989; released first album, Welcome to the Beautiful South, 1990; album received good reviews and the band toured America, 1990; released 0898 Beautiful South which contained the controversial song "36D," 1992; Corrigan left band, 1992; compilation, Carriy on Up the Charts-The Best of the Beautiful South, became third fastest selling album ever in the UK, 1994: Addresses: Record company—Polygram Records, 825 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10019: Towards the end of 1996 the band released Blue is the Colour, another album available only as an import in America. Jennifer Nine of Melody Maker described it as, "charming, subversively luscious business as usual." So it seems Heaton will carry on with the Beautiful South admitting to Patterson in 1995 that he's, "starting to write really good lyrics now. I'm starting to get proud." Not that he'd ever describe himself as a good songwriter, however. "Because I'm not," he told Patterson. "Because I'm not Otis Redding and I never will be." But Heaton does confess that the Beautiful South, aside from exploring the undiscovered hooks and melodies of pop, is furthering the mission begun by The Clash, The Jam, and the Sex Pistols. "It's all a question of putting people on the right train," he told Patterson, "telling them to watch out, there's things in people and society to be angry about." Additional information for this profile was obtained from the Beautiful South page from Polygram Records, www.polygram.com. © Brian Escamilla © 2011 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved http://www.enotes.com/contemporary-musicians/beautiful-south-biography