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Hats (album)

Hats (album)

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Hats is the second album from Glaswegian adult alternative
Adult album alternative
Adult album alternative is a radio format. A spinoff from the album-oriented rock format, its roots trace to the 1960s and 1970s from the earlier freeform and progressive formats....

Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 group The Blue Nile
The Blue Nile
The Blue Nile is an adult alternative/pop band from Glasgow. The music of The Blue Nile is built heavily on synthesizers and electronic instrumentation and percussion, although later works featured acoustic guitar more prominently.-Early years:...

, released on 16 October 1989 on Linn Records
Linn Records
Linn Records is a Glasgow-based record label which specialises in classical, jazz and Scottish music. It is part of Linn Products.-History:While Linn engineers were testing their flagship product, the Sondek LP12 turntable, they became frustrated with some of the specialist test LPs they were using...

 in the UK and on A&M Records
A&M Records
A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that operates under the mantle of its Interscope-Geffen-A&M division.-Beginnings:...

 in the US.

Lush and evocative, this album is considered by many music critics as the band's most enduring work, and one of the best pop albums released in the 1980s. After a prolonged delay in which an entire album's worth of work was scrapped, The Blue Nile released Hats to rave reviews, including a rare five-star rating from Q magazine. In 2000, the same magazine placed it at number 92 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2006, Q Magazine placed the album at #38 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".

Hats is also The Blue Nile's most successful album, reaching #12 on the UK album charts, and spawning three singles: "The Downtown Lights," "Headlights on the Parade," and "Saturday Night". Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones is an American vocalist, musician, songwriter, and producer. Over the course of a three-decade career, Jones has recorded in various musical styles including rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul, and jazz standards.-Childhood:...

, a huge fan of the band, personally selected The Blue Nile as her opening act for her US tour in 1990. She would later record a duet with them, a cover of their own "Easter Parade," which was featured as a B-side to the single "Headlights on the Parade".

Since The Blue Nile was essentially unknown in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1989, the cover artwork for the US release of Hats was slightly modified for marketing reasons, with the band's name in larger letters.

As a promotional tool, A&M Records
A&M Records
A&M Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that operates under the mantle of its Interscope-Geffen-A&M division.-Beginnings:...

–who distributed Hats in North America–took out a full-page advertisement in Billboard offering a free copy of the CD to anyone who called a toll-free number which was provided.

Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox, OBE , born Ann Lennox, is a Scottish singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist. After achieving minor success in the late 1970s with The Tourists, with fellow musician David A...

, with whom The Blue Nile worked on Diva, later performed a cover of "The Downtown Lights" on her second solo recording, Medusa
Medusa (Annie Lennox album)
Medusa is the second solo album by the Scottish singer Annie Lennox, released in March 1995. It consists solely of cover songs, all originally recorded by male artists. It entered the UK album chart at No. 1 and peaked in the US at number 11, spending 60 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. It has...


Track listing


  • Robert Bell - Bass, Synthesizer
  • Paul Buchanan - Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer
  • Paul Joseph Moore - Keyboards, Synthesizer

External links