Waking Hours

Del Amitri

1989: A&M Records CD 5287

  1. Kiss This Thing Goodbye
  2. Opposite View
  3. Move Away Jimmy Blue
  4. Stone Cold Sober
  5. You’re Gone
  6. When I Want You
  7. This Side of the Morning
  8. Empty
  9. Hatful of Rain
  10. Nothing Ever Happens

“You’re Gone” was the grabber for me, as I’d heard it around 1989–90 on Seattle’s short-lived KEZX radio station, but most of the tracks on this gem have become favorites of mine. “Empty” is especially appreciated with its perspective of the “guy who got the girl from the other guy”—not a scenario I’m personally tied to but one which makes for good dramatic tension. “We do not lie side by side and mock the thought of you / And I don’t take her hand and ask ‘Is this what he used to do?’”

“This Side of the Morning” and “Kiss This Thing Goodbye” are the obvious radio-staple hits and really aren’t bad, but “Move Away Jimmy Blue” hasn’t aged as well and “When I Want You” suffers a similar date-stamping (although the latter’s still quite nice). I’m delighted to note that “You’re Gone” is just as good to my ears now as it was 18 years ago…and in fact the quality of the band’s performance is too, it’s just a question of songwriting and production for the rest (to me).