Anglo For Your Ear: The Waterboys’ “The Whole of the Moon”

It’s obvious Arcade Fire (see “No Cars Go”) cribbed a lot of their style from this ’80s British music collective: the brooding, enigmatic frontman (The Waterboys have Mike Scott, Arcade Fire has Win Butler); the male/female harmonies; the dense, folky arrangements; the orchestral instrumentation; the religiosity; the melancholy lyrics; and the sense of being a true musical community as opposed to a rock band. Their 1985 single, “The Whole of the Moon,” contains all of the above elements and became the group’s signature song.

Mandy Moore does a passable, Michelle Branch-esque version of the song on her Coverage album.

The Waterboys - This Is the Sea - The Whole of the Moon Download The Waterboys’ “The Whole of the Moon”
Mandy Moore - Coverage - The Whole of the Moon Download Mandy Moore’s “The Whole of the Moon”
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - No Cars Go Download Arcade Fire’s “No Cars Go”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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