Studio Albums 1986–2016

Andy White Buy Now
Year: 2016
Label: Floating World Records


On the thirtieth anniversary of his debut Rave On Andy White’s, Studio Albums 1986–2016 collects together all twelve of Andy’s studio albums, including the new and previously-unreleased Imaginary Lovers.

The albums have been remastered from the original tapes or mixes, have the original UK release track-lists, and the covers are either replicas of the vinyl sleeves, or have been redesigned in this format.

Andy has sorted through cardboard boxes, lyrics, diaries and photo sessions to put together an 80-page book, which includes rare photos, notes on the songs, and the story of how the albums were recorded. You can read edited excerpts below, with the individual album track lists. You won’t find any of this content anywhere else.

Love, loss, politics, growing up in Belfast, living in London and Europe, moving to Australia, divorce and renewal. Each album is a chapter in Andy’s life story. Each with its own musical style, tied together by his poetry and trademark lyrical wit.

Songs from the early albums – Reality Row, In A Groovy Kind Of Way, James Joyce’s Grave and Street Scenes From My Heart – to his later ones – Italian Girls On Mopeds, If You Want It, Separation Street – display the imagination and sheer inventiveness of a true poet and a music artist at the height of his powers. He’s written with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Tim Finn, been produced by Kim Fowley and his recording mentor, John Leckie.

Andy is a singer-songwriter for our times, documenting the world and its current chaos and beauty with remarkable insight.

For more details of how to order the box set, click the link to our web store on this page. It will be delivered worldwide by courier, and you won’t find it for as good a price anywhere else on the internet.

Above all, we’re confident that you’ll love the box, the book, and – most of all – the music.

Rave on!

Album by album:

Imaginary Lovers

Imaginary Lovers

“When I first listened back to the songs I had recorded in The Growlery during the Australian summer of 2010–11, I thought How Things Are could be a double album. What happened, and what happened next. However, the second part wasn’t finished. Maybe it had only just begun. I had to get out there again.

Imaginary Lovers is what happened next. In my heart, or mostly in my head. Looking out of half-open hotel windows and talking in the dark. Walking with a red guitar case, hemispherically-challenged. I was pulled close and pushed away at home and abroad, and came out of the whole turbulent exciting mess with twelve songs I knew I had to finish and record. I was writing on my six-string again. Its simplicity is a familiar shorthand, the fastest way of putting down on tape what’s happening in my head. I liked knowing that the fewer choices I had to make, the better these songs would sound. For the band songs, Sebastian and I resumed our routine. Thumbs up through the glass. I’d prepare a song and he’d arrive with ideas and drumsticks. Domini added strings and I mixed the album with Simon, close to the sea in Black Rock.”

1. Half-Time For You And I
2. The Girl From The Twilight Hotel
3. Rewriting The Rules Of Beauty
4. Anywhere With You Babe
5. Every Time I Look Around
6. Sideways No Shadow
7. Nonchalant
8. The Only Thing Missing Here Is You
9. And I Want You
10. You Mean Everything To Me
11. Lonely International Guy
12. Everybody Wants Somebody

How Things Are

How Things Are

“It was 2013 and Sebastian was 20. He’s been drumming since he was two … I would record and overdub during the week and every Saturday he would come up the studio to play on a song. It was both productive and a bonding experience. I felt lucky to be able to connect with Sebastian in this way. Not only was I his father — suddenly we were in a band together.

In The Growlery I had finally found my own multi-track Portastudio. I played everything on the recordings except for drums and strings. I could use the first take — often the best — or work
on something until I was pleased with it (I can only play keyboards on my own). Took my string arrangements to violin player Domini Forster, who improved them and overdubbed herself as a one- woman orchestra. Simon mixed the album at Sing Sing in Melbourne. On the first day, the Growlery recordings sounded good coming out of expensive studio monitors, and I knew it was going to work. The songs tell my story, but it’s one which many of us have experienced. As well as an expression of sadness it’s a celebration, a valediction to a time that’s gone and the start of something new.”

1 Driftin’
2 Separation Street
3 You Got Me at Hello
4 Band of Gold
5 Jessica Says
6 All It Does Is Rain
7 Everyones In Love
8 Shakespeare Take My Hand
9 Closest Thing to Heaven
10 Thank You
11 Picture of You
12 Lennon



“I toured Garageband in Italy, the UK and America. From folk clubs to a BBC TV studio in Belfast. I hadn’t forgotten a series of songs I’d written in Vancouver. Decided to finish them, and record others I’d co-written over the past few years with a series of friends. I’d go back to Vancouver and record them live in the same studio. I didn’t start off planning it this way but, looking back, it was the opposite approach to Garageband, which was written in fourteen days and took a year to record in studios all over the world.

I called musician friends, they arrived and I picked up the bass. John Raham, the drummer who’d engineered the original sessions, played drums. We were recording in Ogre, a high-roofed warehouse near Main Street. The vocals were easy with those musicians playing. The story starts off here. Somebody always gets hurt.

As close to a co-written solo album as I’ve released, I knew I could play these songs solo or with a band. The title was easy. Songwriter.”

1 The Valley Of My Heart
2 If You Want It
3 I Believe
4 Turn Up The Temperature On The Machine Of Love
5 Candlestick Park
6 When You Gonna Come
7 First And Discovery
8 Start All Over Again
9 Why Don’t You Stay
10 Faithful Heart
11 Kathleen
12 When I Come Back
13 Now It’s Over
14 Twelve String Man



“Early in 2005 I bought a white laptop which came with recording software. I started playing around with it.  I’d re-read On The Road, and started recording using Kerouac’s automatic writing method. I knew he’d edit meticulously afterwards, but I’d think about that later. The first song on Monday turned into a second on Tuesday and a third on Wednesday. I set myself a target of ten songs in ten days and ended up with fourteen, recording vocals and acoustics with the laptop’s microphone, using samples and loops for everything else.

Later that year, touring the UK with Rad, I called Real World and booked two days to record. John Leckie lived nearby and was free. He said he’d come and produce. We gathered in the studio and John set up Rad with a grand piano in the Stone Room.  We finished recording the tracks I’d planned in super-quick time. “What’s next?” John asked. I played the recordings I’d made on my laptop, and asked him what he thought I should do with them. My vocals recorded on a laptop microphone were playing through Real World’s state-of- the-art monitor speakers. “Radiohead would have spent a month getting that sound. Let’s do those ones, have you got a drummer?”

1 First She Said Stop
2 The Capital Of Now
3 I Got A Number Off You
4 You Walked Back Into My Heart
5 Message To You
6 Waiting For Someone
7 You’ve Got It All Worked Out
8 A Long Time Coming
9 No Way Out
10 Live To Fail (Lift The Veil)
11 Letter From T/Don’t Choose The Wrong Way
12 Samuel Beckett
13 Gallery Girls
14 In A Garage

Boy 40


“A new home in the sun, incense, the so-called ‘war on terrorism’. Looking for a direction to write a new album, you usually find it’s there already. You just have to be able to detect it and make the right choices. Many of these are the result of coincidence and luck.

After the Coz I’m Free writing session, a producer recorded a version of In A Groovy Kind Of Way which was used in a Kirsten Dunst film. He asked me to come over to London to write more. The session was cancelled and I was alone in W12 with a coffee maker and my Epiphone, writing and listening to Radio 4. 9/11 was still on everyone’s minds (will it ever not be?) when news of the Bali bombing came through. I had grown up in a real life war on terrorism, moved to Australia, and now suddenly it was a worldwide concern. I visited my sisters in Dublin and then flew back to Australia with a one-day recording session on tape and a yellow legal pad full of words.

Back in Melbourne, the summer sun lasted long into the evenings and the global war machine was starting up again. Holding on to innocence in the face of experience is what this album’s about.”

1 Tell Me Why
2 Faithful
3 Twelfth Of July
4 Italian Girls On Mopeds
5 Can’t Hold Back
6 The Fortune Teller’s Right
7 When Will You Learn
8 The Pain Behind Your Heart
9 Hunger For Your Love
10 Lisa
11 If I Catch You Crying
12 Everything You’ve Got
13 Morning Star
14 Trying To See God

Andy White


“I moved to Switzerland and wrote most of these songs in an ancient wooden house in a small town, looking out over the Rhine Valley at the mountains in the distance. I’d cycle to the post office with Sebastian, getting used to living in a land with a different language. I took trains to tour. Flew from Zürich airport to festivals all over the world.

Before I left Dublin, late in 1997, Peter Jenner called and told me that Billy Bragg and Wilco had finished recording in the Factory studio four days early. There was free time. Did I want it? I asked Liam O Maonlaí if he was around. He was, and called Kieran Kennedy who said he would come and produce. That’s how the album began.

A couple of years later I flew back to finish recording in Temple Bar Studios, and in April 2000, John Leckie arrived to mix.  After moving away, every time I returned to Dublin was an intense experience, and you can hear it in the songs. The listening party was an Event. All our friends gathered in the studio. This is the sound of Irish musicians playing their sweet asses off.”

1 Let Me Be Free
2 Sunrise
3 Come With Me
4 I Want It Straight
5 Little Boy
6 Jesus In A Cadillac
7 Deeper Water
8 Hysteria
9 Bodybuilder
10 Understand
11 What About You Babe
12 The Very Thing
13 Coz I’m Free



“After Destination Beautiful, I recorded Altitude with Tim and Liam in Melbourne and we toured the world as ALT. I dived head first into co-writing, and discovered a music scene in Dublin where I fitted in. It was time to record outside Northern Ireland for the first time. I was a solo artist again — independent, broke, happy.

In the summer of 1995 Tim Finn and I recorded at Real World Studios after playing WOMAD. I toured Australia solo, and wrote and recorded a series of new songs with Tim. Brought the tapes back to Sun, an underground studio in the middle of Dublin. Producer Kim Fowley had told me to write two hits, and booked a session there. I brought along a stack of songs I’d demoed at home.

Pulling together recordings from all over the world took patience and care, and Ingmar Kiang and Pat Donne were a great mixing team. The album sounds fresh. Very teenage. It sent me off down alleyways and backstreets I never knew existed all over Europe, America and Australia. Its strength comes from that underground Dublin experience.”

1 Acoustic Guitar
2 Get Back Home
3 All Of The Things I Can Bring
4 If You Don’t Know By Now
5 It’s Gonna Be Like This All The Time
6 Jacqui
7 Because She Loves It
8 Don’t Be Afraid
9 My Gay Cousin
10 Between A Man And A Woman
11 I Couldn’t Do It
12 It’s Gonna Be Like This In The Rain
13 Whole Thing

Destination Beautiful


“Recording was booked for June 1993, and there was a baby on the way. Should we cancel? No, maybe it’s the best time to record. Christine and I stayed in my parents’ house and I’d drive the twenty miles to Randalstown every morning, not knowing when I’d get the call. When producer Rod McVey and I met at the studio, I had one eye on the clock.

We threw everything at this recording. In our finest moments at Homestead it was all about us having the best time doing what we loved. Rod, Mudd Wallace, Enda Walsh and I were free to throw all our ideas at the tape machine and see if they worked. We were aware of what the outside world was listening to, but largely ignored commercial demands. This independent path was difficult at the time, but listening back I can hear its worth. Whatever you may think, this is authentically the sound of what went on in the studio.

At one of our partings, in Paris, I had written “destination beautiful” on a baggage tag of Christine’s. That was always going to be the album title. It’s baby blue and dedicated to Sebastian.”

1 Street Scenes From My Heart
2 Thinking Of Change
3 John
4 Many’s The Time
5 Punks Outside The Secret Police
6 She Doesn’t Want You Any More
7 Learning To Cry
8 He’s Out There
9 Ciao Baby
10 Looking For Friends
11 I Couldn’t Leave You
12 The Government Of Love

Out There


“I played all over Europe from Scandinavia to Spain. When the Berlin Wall came down I was invited to play a week-long festival in East Berlin with my band. After the Velvet Revolution a bus arrived to drive us from Glastonbury Festival to Prague. It was a time of historical change and we were playing in the heart of it.

I went back to North America and discovered the how long the road could be. Back in Europe, I went looking for James Joyce’s grave in Zürich, then got to know my future wife in Paris. I was writing wherever I went, spending more time in Dublin, where Peter Price signed me to Warners. I went back into the studio with Rod, words spilling out of my little black book.

All this time I was living in a first-floor flat in Belfast, very close to where I grew up and went to school. Thatcher was ejected and that night I played the Ulster Hall with Billy Bragg. The first Gulf War brewed up and boiled over. We marched and protested. I scribbled songs and poems on scraps of paper and newspapers, playing E and A on my twelve-string. That’s the sound of Out There.”

1 Palaceful Of Noise
2 Where’s My Home
3 The Colour Of Love
4 Waiting For The 39
5 La Rue Beaurepaire
6 Speechless
7 Berlin 6am
8 James Joyce’s Grave
9 One Last Kiss
10 Na Na Na Na



“I moved back to Northern Ireland and lived in a farmhouse near Culllybackey, the Timbuktu of Ireland. Spent hours driving the northern highway either on a beaten-up bike or in the Frankenmazda, two wrecked cars welded together into one, with my six-string on the backseat. Started writing songs on it again. I wanted to write an album I could play solo if I needed to. Took these new songs to Percy Robinson’s studio in Donegal. I could feel the lyrics breathe. Like in the early days, I didn’t care who’d ever listen to these songs, I simply had to write them.

As a result of all this bohemian artistic integrity, I was skint. I asked my publisher in London for enough money to take the cassettes to Homestead and finish the album. They obliged. A guy in an office signed a cheque, I rang Rod and Mudd, and we were off.

I called the album Himself because that’s what it was. Personal. People in Ireland really do say “It’s himself” when you walk in the room. However, I could have chosen any title since I’ve only ever heard it called The One With The Cat On The Cover.”

1 In A Groovy Kind Of Way
2 1000000 Miles
3 Six String Street
4 Freeze-out
5 Just Jumped Out Of A Tree
6 20 Years
7 The Guildford Four
8 The Pale Moonlight
9 Birds Of Passage
10 St. Patrick Good Luck
11 COWP #1
12 The Whole Love Story
13 COWP #2 – Andy White

Kiss The Big Stone


“By 1987 I had been welcomed in by the record machine and learned more than I wanted to know about expectations and comparisons. I was listening to Prince, writing on the road.

Rod and I met at his place and recorded four-track demos of new songs I’d written on an electric guitar. Each one had a particular setting and mood, so we set about painting pictures around the lyrics using synths and drums machines. If you put an acoustic guitar on the cover, people assume that it’s an acoustic album, but we’ve always used samplers and electronics in the studio.

Took these four-track recordings to Homestead and started from there, working with a string of guest musicians. The aim was to colour in the black and white with these songs about driving, girls, and other spiritual concerns. We mixed the album in a psychedelic haze and brought it to London Records. Remixed for its original release, this version is mastered from those original mixes. Except for a single harmonica note which was to have started the album. The opposite of the thunderous drama of albums at the time like The Joshua Tree. Imagine it before you press play.”

1 Come Down To The Sea
2 Daisy
3 Broken Hearted
4 Tower Of Babel Time
5 You And Your Blue Skies
6 Here Come The Girls
7 Go Tell Susanne
8 Hanging Around Wit’ You
9 Born To Be With You
10 West Wind Blues
11 Come Down To The Sea (Reprise)

Rave On Andy White


“In the North they played the national anthem in the cinema after the credits rolled. Playing shows on the border they wanted The Soldier’s Song. On the street outside, The Sash, and in folk clubs, rebel songs. We listened to John Lennon and Teenage Kicks, The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan. An MCA Records executive told me at Rave On’s New York launch how it sounded like it was recorded in Los Angeles. I smiled and nodded, staggering under the impact of the jazz cigarette he’d just handed me. Thought of the rain on the telephone wire and the sound of the marching band disappearing down Main Street.

Halfway round the world I press play and see cigarette smoke curling up through the light of the piano lamp. Northern Irish countryside outside the door, dark and damp. Those marching bands and the daily quota of violence on TV whenever we’d take breaks from recording and drinking whiskey to eat Sugar Puffs in the kitchen, laughing. It was 1986 and we’d survived all that Wham! could throw at us. Tangled up in a studio twenty miles outside of Belfast playing our hearts out and reaching deep into something we knew was good.”

1 The Soldier’s Sash
2 Vision Of You
3 Reality Row
4 I Will Wait
5 Things Start To Unwind
6 Religious Persuasion
7 Tuesday Apocalypse #13
8 Rembrandt Hat
9 The Walking Wounded
10 The Big Rain