Blue Is the Colour

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Blue Is the Colour
Blue Is the Colour.jpg
Studio album by The Beautiful South
Released 21 October 1996
Genre Alternative rock, Pop rock[1]
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
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauA[2]

Blue Is the Colour is the fifth studio album from English 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 No. 5 in the charts in September 1996. The follow ups were "Don't Marry Her" which reached No. 8 in December, "Blackbird on the Wire", which got to No. 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


The Beautiful South
Additional musicians
  • Damon Butcher – Keyboards, Programming, String Arrangements
  • Martin Ditcham – Percussion
  • Andy Duncan – Percussion, Programming
  • John Brough – Producer, engineer
  • Jon Kelly – Producer
  • Ryan Art – Design
  • Art Murphy – Paintings, Cover Painting
  • Lawrence Watson – Photography


  1. ^ a b Schulte, Tom. "The Beautiful South – Blue Is the Colour". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ King, David. "The Beautiful South Discography". Retrieved 15 November 2014.