This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Beautiful South


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

alternative pop

Status:

Final release, Superbi (2006); several compilations have followed

See also:

Wikipedia's entry on the Beautiful South

Comparisons:

The Housemartins

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

a truly great, underappreciated band.
     for those who don't know the beautiful south, they are the phoenix that rose from the ashes of the band the housemartins. the housemartins were a jangly guitar like band (similar to the smiths and echo and the bunnymen or to a band/person like aztec camera or trash can sinatras). when they broke up two of the members created the beautiful south.
     ANYWAY are they ecto? ummmm maybe, the beautiful south do have a female singer, who for a while wasn't even listed as a part of the band (briana corrigan, fabulous voice, a little girly, but beautiful). she became a full-fledged member by the second album and left by the fourth one and was replaced by Jacqui Abbott.
     the beautiful south, with the use of briana's delicious voice, augmented the lyrics even more. their first single was a big hit (and had a fab video) "SONG FOR WHOMEVER" in the UK, i believe.
     it is amazing, but despite the fact that not everyone knowing them, whenever i introduce them to the beautiful south, they fall in love with them (ummm...sound familiar ecto fans?). a week after you introduce them to the beautiful south you can hear them whistling their songs under their breath (damn catchy stuff). (iflin@speakeasy.net)

the beautiful south is *very* tongue-in-cheek. i think someone mentioned that the beautiful south rose out of the ashes of the housemartins whose work was even more acidic. i particularly like the first album and enjoy the following two. (woj@smoe.org)

Comments about live performance:

They put on a fantastic show at the 9:30 Club. (10/95, neal)

I saw the Beautiful South opening for the Barenaked Ladies. The South was awesome...way more than I had hoped for or expected...in fact, they were so much more than I expected, my head and my ears hurt. I think the sound engineer said to himself "i think i'll make the band so loud and mushed together that it'll be a wall of frequencies that will cause Paul Kim's head to explode." Honest. The leader of the band and one of the lead singers, Paul Heaton, was a joy to watch on stage as he danced and jumped and cavorted all over. The entire group is frickin' tight, I tells ya...all the singers sang on key, all the instrumentalists played in tune and on beat, and they all seemed to be having a fun time. (7/99, paul2k@aol.com)

Recommended first album:

there is a BEST of BEAUTIFUL SOUTH that is available, and if you don't know where to start, that would be most appropriate. If you shun best of CDs i would just start from the very beginning (welcome to the beautiful south) and work your way forward in order. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Recordings:


Welcome to the Beautiful South

Release info:

1989—Go! Discs

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Heaton
David Rotheray
David Stead
Sean Welch
Dave Hemingway

Guest artists:

Briana Corrigan—vocals
Gary Barnacle—flute, saxophone
Martin Ditcham—percussion
John Thirkell—flugelhorn, trumpet
Peter Thoms—trombone
Mel Wesson—drum programming, keyboards
Pete Wingfield—keyboards, piano

Produced by:

John Rowley, Mel Wesson, David Rotheray, Michael Hedges

Comments:

It is their first album, WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, that is the best i think. Wry perfect pop songs with classy touches of strings and such, with some of the aftermath jangly guitars of THE HOUSEMARTINS still there. the album is a near classic if you ask me. which you didn't but ah well. It had what some people deemed an offensive cover (a man lighting a cigarette, a woman with a gun in her mouth next to each other) and was later replaced by a picture of a teddy bear. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Choke

Release info:

Go! Discs/Elektra

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Briana Corrigan—vocals
Paul Heaton
Dave Hemingway
David Rotheray
David Stead
Sean Welch

Guest artists:

Gary Barnacle—flute, saxophone
Kevin Brown—saxophone
Damon Butcher—keyboards, piano
Jody Kitson—percussion
Tony Robinson—trumpet
Pete Wingfield—piano

Produced by:

Mike Hedges

Comments:

the second album was darker, more sardonic than sarcastic. It is actually their darkest album in wit, subject matter, and sound. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

This album made me think there are some deep, dark secrets in the lives of the Beautiful South. (Riphug@aol.com)


0898 Beautiful South

Release info:

1992

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Produced by:

Jon Kelly

Comments:

The Beautiful South also have their third one out... yay!!!!! It's good, too. (meth@smoe.org)

the third album was more rhythm-oriented, more perky, and more percussive in nature. They seem to be trying on a new more "pop" sound with this one, and featured great surreal artwork in the booklet. (iflin@speakeasy.net)


Miaow

Release info:

1994—Go! Discs

Availability:

England

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of the Beautiful South

Group members:

Jacqueline Abbott—vocals
Paul Heaton—vocals
Dave Hemingway—vocals
David Rotheray—guitar
David Stead—drums
Sean Welch—bass

Guest artists:

Damon Butcher—keyboards
Norman Cook—programming
Martin Ditcham—percussion
Edward Shearmur—string arrangements
Gavyn Wright—orchestra leader

Produced by:

Jon Kelly

Comments:

the fourth album is not as good. it still has some winning songs, and also had two different covers, (the original had a picture of a dog listening to a record player, and RCA said it was a copyright infringement...).
     an extension of 0898, this album has its moments, but the song writing is and singing is mostly by Paul Heaton. Not nearly as strong if you ask me. With MIAOW came the swapping of female singers, bye bye beautiful-voiced BRIANA. hello adequate, but not quite as unique sounding JAQUELINE. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Carry on up the Charts: The Best of the Beautiful South

Release info:

1994

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

OK, i know that this album is a compilation of the hits of the Beautiful South (what hits, you might be saying...well, you definitely don't hear them much on the radio here), but it sure as heck sounds like it could have been masterfully put together to sound like the soundtrack to a Broadway musical :) Definitely carries over the humor and catchiness of the Housemartins, Paul Heaton's old group....and one can pick up the influence Paul has on the Barenaked Ladies...lots and lots of great songs on here. (paul2k@aol.com)

It's a hellofalota fun to listen to. Even if you have the other albums, it's pretty great to be able to pop in a cd and hear songs taken from a bunch of their albums. I bought it for a friend, and miss having it around. (neal)


Blue Is the Colour

Release info:

1996

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Jacqueline Abbott—vocals
Paul Heaton—vocals
Dave Hemingway—vocals
David Rotheray—guitar
David Stead—drums
Sean Welch—bass

Guest artists:

Damon Butcher—keyboards, programming, string arrangements
Martin Ditcham—percussion
Andy Duncan—percussion, programming

Produced by:

John Brough, Jon Kelly, Dave Hemingway

Comments:

It seems a little more sedate than many of the previous albums, but their sardonic wit is still firmly in place. I've actually had trouble getting past the first track since it's so fun, and listening to the whole album. The first track features their female singer, singing a song whose chorus is "Don't marry her, f*** me."
     If you like Beautiful South, I'm sure you'll like this album. It's a good, fun solid album, but no real new ground, and probably not as good as some of their previous (or the best of collection.) (jjhanson@att.net)

A new dose of Paul Heaton's sardonic wit and humor and bleak visions of mankind all performed over cheery happy pop music. Actually, The Beautiful South are a little more serious than usual here, but not on "Don't Marry Her", where Jacqueline Abbott sings "Don't marry her, fuck me" in the prettiest voice! A scream! (esp. the sweaty bollocks line!) (cjmacs@cris.com)

it is pure beautiful south. if you like their previous CD Miaow, you will like BLUE IS THE COLOR. i kinda like Miaow better. Actually this is my least favorite of theirs. musically it sounds like easy-listening muzak, with bitter ironic lyrics written over it. but the lyrics aren't even that great. Each later release by the Beautiful South gets more and more slick and produced. i sort of miss the jangly guitar and the more rough feel of the housemartins, so this might be while i like the earlier by the Beautiful South stuff better. Dave and Paul don't even play any instruments on BLUE IS THE COLOR, just sing (along with jackie). but on the whole if you like the Beautiful South you should definitely check out BLUE IS THE COLOR.
     The string arrangements on the first two albums (welcome to..., and CHOKE) are a great addition to the music. BLUE IS THE COLOR's music is rather bland in comparison, and there is one AWFUL song on there, with Paul singing in a horrid raspy drunken accent. i fast forward every time i hear that song. On the other hand there are two brilliant songs sung by Jaqueline ("DON'T MARRY HER" and "ONE GOD"). With lyrics like "Don't marry her Fuck me" and "The world won't end in darkness it will end in family fun, with Coca-cola clouds and a Big Mac sun," the lyrics quite worth the cost of the CD alone. Cracker line that one is! (iflin@speakeasy.net)


Painting It Red

Release info:

Ark 21

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for Beautiful South fans

Group members:

Jacqueline Abbott—vocals
Paul Heaton—vocals
Dave Hemingway—vocals
David Rotheray—guitar
David Stead—drums
Sean Welch—bass

Guest artists:

Damon Butcher—keyboards
Martin Ditcham—percussion
Gary Hammond—percussion
J. Neil Sidwell, Steve Sidwell, Chris White—overdubs

Produced by:

Jon Kelly, Paul Heaton

Comments:

the Beautiful South's new one is mediocre. (paul2k@aol.com)

Further info:

There are two Beautiful South DVD releases: The Beautiful South: Munch—Our Hits (2003) and Live In The Forest (2005)

Why the ads?


Artists from
England

1 - 40 of 176 entries

Ad-Ca  Ca-Go  Go-Mr  Na-Ti  To-Zo  >>

Click the bullet for speed (drop the menu) or the name for convenience (keep the menu)


>
Adam Ant

>
alasvals

>
The Albion Band

>
Alisha's Attic

>
All About Eve

>
alt-J

>
Jon Anderson

>
Tasmin Archer

>
Joan Armatrading

>
Frankie Armstrong

>
Joy Askew

>
Virginia Astley

>
Natacha Atlas

>
Auburn

>
The Auteurs

>
Babble

>
Meg Baird, Helena Espvall, Sharron Kraus

>
Barefoot Contessa

>
Bat For Lashes

>
The Beatles

>
Beautiful South

>
Bellowhead

>
Heidi Berry

>
Betty Boo

>
Black

>
Black Box Recorder

>
Blowzabella

>
Boa

>
Booth and the Bad Angel

>
David Bowie

>
Bows

>
Anne Briggs

>
Sarah Brightman

>
Broadcast

>
Sam Brown

>
Vashti Bunyan

>
Kate Bush

>
Camel

>
Carmel

>
Katy Carr

Ad-Ca  Ca-Go  Go-Mr  Na-Ti  To-Zo  >>


Other Countries...
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2013-12-15 18:58:04.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.