Great Big Sea



by robnathanson USER (12 Reviews)
January 17th, 2005 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Great Big Sea are a band out of St. John's, Newfoundland. Up is their second studio release.

Great Big Sea gained critical acclaim with their own Celtic/Rock combination of original and traditional songs, most notably (on this cd) Mari-Mac, Rant and Roar, Lukey (also known as Lukey's Boat)

Great Big Sea is:
Alan Doyle--Vocals, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin
Sean McCann--Vocals, Guitar, Bodhran, tin whistle, snare drum
Darrel Power--Voclas, Bass
Bob Hallett--Vocals, button accordian, tin whistle, fiddle, mandolin, mandola

This cd contains 15 tracks. Some are original compositions, some are tradfitional songs arranged and performed by the b'ys.

~Track by Track~

Run Runaway
One of Great Big Seas most memorible songs, this song includes the fiddle, 4 simultaneous vocalists, guitar and drums. it is a hard hitting Rock track with a Celtic arrangement. after a few minutesa, this song will have you up and singing in no time flat. Alan Doyle takes lead vocals in this song, and his somewhat deep and scratchy voice fit this perfectly. It ends with the trademark Newfoundland incoherentness.

Goin' Up
Another original song , once again, Doyle taking over lead vocals. (he does most lead vocals, but they all do sing) This song is arranged in typical great big sea fashion--irish rock! the accordian plays a key part in this song, and keeps the tone of the song nicely. good melody and great vocals make this song a keeper

Fast as I can
this song slows down considderably from the last two, and it's a nice little song about taking things slow (in relationships) and trying to have a good time with it. It's a nice little "pre-love" song...the chorus:
I'm goin' fast as I can, please don't make me rush, this feeling's comin' on way too fast. I'll tell you all of the things you will never forget, but I'm not ready to say "I Love You" yet.

this is a good song to play when you're confused about a realtionship you're in. It's a good song to slow down and slow-dance to. Great Big Sea is great, not only for songs that'll get ya up and dancing, but also the ones that'll get you down and happy about.

this is the fastest paced and (in most peoples opinion best) song on the cd. fast fiddle, and true Newfoundland spirit go into this song. the chorus (repeated throughout the song) Mari-Mac's mother's makin Mari-Mac marry me. My Mother's making me marry Mari-Mac....try saying that a few tinmes really ya can't do it"
Ahh the joys of being a good fan of the celtic music there, eh bye"

Dancing With Mrs. White
a short, but very nice instrumental song.

Something to it
this is (I believe) Sean McCann singing, it's a pretty little song, nice, possibly for a slow dance, or just relaxing to. This is not one of my favourite GBS songs, but it's far from a bad song....I can't name any "bad" songs done by GBS.

Buying Time
another slower (albeit not as slow) song, this one'll have y'out movin around, not a hefty dancing or anything, but even still ya can't say it's not a good song.....(unless you're not a fan of this music that is) A good song, but not as pretty as "something to it"

more commonly known as "Lukey's Boat", this song is abouty as traditional as GBS gets. This is it's most famous rendition, but the song is done by so many bands it's hard to say if it's the's my favourite taht I've heard. this song features the infamous Tin-Whistle, fiddle, guitar, drums, and god only knows what else. GREAT Song.

Old Black Rum
this strats of hard kickin, and keeps it up. the song is about gettin drunk and doing things you otherwise wouldn't do... It's a great song to dance around to, and has definite Celtic and Irish roots. this is an original song but sounds like it could be and old folk song.

The Chemical Worker' Song (Process Man)
this song is what possibly goes through a "chemical workers" head. the chorus goes and it's go boys go, they'll time your every breath. and every day you're in this place, you're two days nearer death the song produces a lot of thoughts in my head about what some peopel do just so they can feed their families. it's a great song, and its just vocals and a drum. no real music. ( the drum is just there to keep the beat) My personal favourite on the album.

Wave over Wave
this song is a finely tuned song done by GBS, in a great fashion, nothing overly's pretty, and has a good rythm and flow to it far from the best, very far from the worst (as there is no worst, but I still prefer this to other songs.)

Billy Peddle
another good song, the first 1:45 is all instrumental and a few lyircs that are repeated in the song.....great beat, great song (short though)

Nothing out of nothing
this is a lament of sorts...has a great beat, and good lyrics, but there really parts...not the hwole way through. it's actually an inspirational songm and the more you listen the more you pick up on that

The Jolly Butcher
Yet another song that'l have yas up n dancin around and singing to the band (they love it when you do that)...(and they put on an awesome live show)...very catchy and I love it..another traditional song.

Rant and Roar
well...what's there to say about this's a traditional Newfoundland Folk song. it's a great closing song, and it leaves you wanting more. this song gets you singing and loving the moment. the anthem of Newfoundland (in my opinion) I love this song, and I love this cd...

~Overall Impression~
well...what can be said about this cd aside from, "it's a great cd" which I already said...I think.....either way, this in my opinion is a must own. it's not just background music, and it's more than just fiddles and irish Celtic music...this is the kind of musioc most often producved in my area, so I tend to enjoy it a lot, and it's just great.

90% of this cd will have you up and dancing around, and/or singing along to the chorus (and if you're really cool, the whole song) of all the songs on the cd.

If you're going to pick up a Great Big Sea cd, I'd definatley recommend this one. I'd also recommend "Play" both are great cd's!

(I will review "Play" on a later date)

to this cd:


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user ratings (14)

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 25th 2005


good review man...this is really good canadian band. You really should discribe it more for people that don't own the album

January 25th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, could use a little more depth of description. Great Big Sea is one of my favourite bands and one of Canada's best. It's really too bad they don't get more international recognition.

June 7th 2008


Newfies > All other Canadians

July 28th 2009


Celtic rock is not good, this isn't an exception

November 28th 2010


My grade 3 teacher used to sing their songs at the beginning of the day; he had his guitar and everything. Such good times.

June 26th 2013


Celtic rock is not good, this isn't an exception

Tell that to the thousands of kids (eg. myself) who grew up with this stuff

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