The Waterboys’ second album, a Pagan Place, contains the songs, Church Not Made With Hands, The Big Music and all The Things She Gave Me.
It gained widespread critical acclaim but wasn’t a massive commercial success. It peaked at number 100 in the UK charts. Scott described the style of the album as a “metaphor for seeing God’s signature in the world”.
Following the release of the album, they band played Glastonbury Festival and went on tour as support act with both The Pretenders and U2.
Their third album This is the Sea was released in 1985 It was their first album to reach the UK top 40, peaking at number 37. Again it was hugely praised by critics who felt it was even better than their previous album. It was given a 5 star review in Kerrang magazine.
The album contained the worldwide hit single The Whole of the Moon, as well as Old England and Spirit.
The Whole of the Moon would perhaps have had more success in the UK but Scott refused to perform on Top of the Pops when they insisted that he lip synced rather than sing live.
It was also the first album to feature future member, Steve Wickham who played violin on The Pan Within.
Scott said that the album was “the record on which I achieved all my youthful musical ambitions”.
They toured the album across the UK and North America. The UK tour saw Sinead O’Connor making her live debut in the UK as a backing singer. The band then joined Simple Minds for their European tour.
The band enter their folk-rock phase as Mike Scott falls in love with Ireland