Blue Is the Colour

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For the song of the same name performed by the Chelsea football squad, see Blue Is the Colour (song).
Blue Is the Colour
Blue Is the Colour.jpg
Studio album by The Beautiful South
Released 14 October 1996
Genre Alternative rock
Length 49:56
Label Go!, Ark 21
Producer Jon Kelly
The Beautiful South chronology
Carry On up the Charts
Blue Is the Colour
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A[2]

Blue Is the Colour is the fifth studio album from English sophisti-pop band The Beautiful South, released in October 1996 through Go! Discs and in America through Ark 21 Records. Following the two singles "Pretenders to the Throne" and "Dream a Little Dream", which never featured on any album until the release of the second greatest hits Solid Bronze in 2001, it was named after a pub in Sheffield.

The album continued the melancholic tone of its predecessor Miaow, and is generally considered to be the band's darkest effort, reflecting Heaton's life at the time. This comes across in songs such as "Liar's Bar" (about alcoholism), "The Sound of North America" (a sarcastic look at capitalism), "Mirror" (Prostitution), "Blackbird on the Wire", "Have Fun" (which Heaton has cited as his saddest song), and the self-explanatory "Alone".

The album spawned 4 singles, the first being "Rotterdam", which peaked at #5 in the charts in September 1996. The follow ups were "Don't Marry Her" which reached #8 in December, "Blackbird on the Wire", which got to #23 in March 1997 and finally the single "Liar's Bar" which just missed the Top 40 in June. The lyrics to "Don't Marry Her" were substantially altered for radio release - changing from "Don't marry her, fuck me" to "Don't marry her, have me", and with "sweaty bollocks" becoming "Sandra Bullocks". On "Liars' Bar", Paul Heaton's vocal consciously imitates the style of Tom Waits, while in "Alone" the bass line serves as another allusion to him. The album itself topped the album charts on 2 November 1996.

Some versions of the album come with a sticker saying "WARNING track one contains some possibly offensive blue language"

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Paul Heaton & Dave Rotheray (except where noted)

  1. "Don't Marry Her" – 3:23
  2. "Little Blue" – 3:17
  3. "Mirror" – 4:05
  4. "Blackbird on the Wire" – 4:57
  5. "The Sound of North America" – 4:02
  6. "Have Fun" – 4:44
  7. "Liars' Bar" – 5:53
  8. "Rotterdam (or Anywhere)" – 3:37
  9. "Foundations" – 2:44
  10. "Artificial Flowers" – 3:58 (Sheldon Harnick & Jerry Bock)
  11. "One God" – 4:12
  12. "Alone" – 4:58


As was their usual modus operandi, The Beautiful South included unreleased material on the B-sides of the singles taken from their albums.[3]

from the "Rotterdam" CD5

  • "Rotterdam" (single version)
  • "A Minute's Silence"
  • "Pollard"

from the "Don't Marry Her" CD1

from the "Don't Marry Her" CD2

Note: The French version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" ("Les Yeux Ouverts") was recorded for the movie French Kiss. It was re-used in the film The Devil Wears Prada.

from the "Blackbird On The Wire" CD1

from the "Blackbird On The Wire" CD2

from the "Liar's Bar" CD1

from the "Liar's Bar" CD2


Basic band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Damon Butcher – Keyboards, Programming, String Arrangements
  • Martin Ditcham – Percussion
  • Andy Duncan – Percussion, Programming

Other credits[edit]

  • John Brough – Producer, Engineer
  • Jon Kelly – Producer
  • Ryan Art – Design
  • Art Murphy – Paintings, Cover Painting
  • Lawrence Watson – Photography


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ King, David. ""The Beautiful South Discography"". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
Preceded by
Greatest Hits by Simply Red
UK number one album
2 November 1996 – 8 November 1996
Succeeded by
A Different Beat by Boyzone