This Is The Sea

by The Waterboys

This Is The Sea

This Is the Sea is the third studio album by the Waterboys, released on 16 September 1985 by Ensign Records. The last of their “Big Music” albums, it is considered by critics to be the finest album of the Waterboys’ early rock-oriented sound, described as “epic” and “a defining moment”. It peaked at number 37 in the UK Albums Chart. Steve Wickham makes his Waterboys recording debut playing violin on “The Pan Within” and subsequently joined the band. This Is the Sea is the last Waterboys album with contributions from Karl Wallinger, who left the group to form his own band, World Party. Mike Scott, the album’s principal songwriter and leader of the Waterboys, describes This Is the Sea as “the record on which I achieved all my youthful musical ambitions”, “the final, fully realised expression of the early Waterboys sound”, influenced by The Velvet Underground, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, and Steve Reich. Regarding the end of the group’s sound being tied to “The Big Music” after completing the album, Scott stated, “I finished with that kind of music to achieve whatever it was I was trying to achieve with that album. That overdubbed big sounding music, I didn’t need to do it anymore.“The album was recorded between March and July 1985, and released that October. A remastered and expanded version was released in 2004. This Is the Sea contains the best-selling Waterboys single, “The Whole of the Moon”. The album cover is a photograph taken by Lynn Goldsmith.


  1. Don’t Bang The Drum
  2. The Whole Of The Moon
  3. Spirit
  4. The Pan Within
  5. Medicine Bow
  6. Old England
  7. Be My Enemy
  8. Trumpets
  9. This Is The Sea

Apple Music


The Waterboys_._This Is The Sea (1985)(Full Album)

Release Images

Release Information

Key Value
Wikipedia URL
Format Vinyl LP Limited Edition (180gm Clear Vinyl)
Label Chrysalis Records Ltd.
Catalog Number ENCLX 5
Notes Limited Edition 180gm Clear Vinyl
Discogs URL The Waterboys - This Is The Sea