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the Blue Nile – A Walk Across the Rooftops (1984)

February 11, 2020

[Album 722/1001]

What do you get when you mix The Police & Peter Gabriel?

Or more specifically, when you merge Synchronicity with So?

Likely something eerily similar to the Blue Nile’s, A Walk Across the Rooftops.

The comparison is imperfect, of course: on the Blue Nile’s debut album, there’s nothing nearly as upbeat as Sledgehammer, nor any track anywhere near as befuddling as 220px-TBN-WalkAcrossMother.

And the meeting of the 2 albums is made even more impressively implausible, given that A Walk Across the Rooftops was released 2 years before So!

That being said, does Tinseltown in the Rain not sound like a combination of King of Pain‘s verses + Red Rain‘s chorus?

What percentage of Automobile Noises could be attributed to Tea in the Sahara? How much to Mercy Street?

Or doesn’t Stay feel a bit like a hybrid of the final chorus in Wrapped Around Your Finger with…you get the idea.

Which is not to say the Blue Nile’s work here is in any way derivative (as that would be somewhat chronologically impossible, given Gabriel’s release date).

Instead, I suppose what I’m trying to say is this: I’m a big fan of Synchronicity, So, and Walk Across the Rooftops.


Verbalize the Positive

Though nothing here sounds identical to songs that came before/after 1984, the Police/Gabriel/Blue Nile similarities reminded me of this Flight of the Conchords scene, featuring the magnificent Murray Hewitt!

From → 1980s

  1. My first Blue Nile album, and still a classic. Can’t hear the Police/Gabriel thing, Geoff, but if that bridge helped you towards fandom, hooray!

  2. I like their second one (Hats) even better.

  3. Wow-what a mashup between The Police and Gabriel. Sounds interesting though and nothing wrong with having three favorite albums combined into one!

    • If I’m going to be reminded of other artists when listening, Gabriel & The Police are pretty favourable reference points in my books!

      • I watched that making of the ‘So’ album a few weeks back. Pretty cool stuff on how Peter and Lanois went outside the box on that stuff.

      • That making of video sounds promising!

  4. So if Gabriel came out after Blue Nile, then what I am hearing is that Gabriel stole the Blue Nile sound and not the other way around. Interesting.

    • Though with the 1001 list, I’ve learned that everything kind of sounds like everything, so I wouldn’t say it’s plagiarism. And if I re-listened to Gabriel’s pre-1984 stuff, I imagine this would remind of some of that!

  5. Great album, though I don’t hear the Police and Gabriel in it, but maybe cause I’m not overly familiar with those specific albums? Regardless, it’s nice to see more love for Blue Nile… Hats is especially good if you get to it.

    • And it’s possible I’m the only one who hears the similarities – so perhaps listening just put me in the mood for the police & peter!
      That’s now 3 reliable sources recommending Hats too, it will be explored

  6. I’ll have to ask Sarah if she knows these guys. I never heard of them.

    Would I be cheating on Tenacious D if I started watching Flight of the Concords? It feels like it might be cheating.

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  1. 1983 | 1001albumsin10years

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