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1986 – Andrew Weatherall : Doll's Mix (Cry Softly)

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

Just after Andrew passed and we went into lockdown a number of people looked back into their tape collections and found artifacts that Andrew had made for them over the years...

Sorting through some archive links and realised this hadn't ever been put onto the stream, only stored on the weatherdrive. Just after Andrew passed and we went into lockdown a number of people looked back into their tape collections and found artifacts that Andrew had made for them over the years. Claire Doll's tape from 1986 was one of the first and she generously shared the sleeve image and (hand written) tracklist and although the tape was lost we recreated it for the Flightpath Estate. Over the next few years Claire subsequently went on to tirelessly create the stunning Weatherdolls and raise thousands for the charities associated with Andrew. Some great 80s tracks here with artists that don't show up that much through other compilations Andrew made, a fantastic artifact showing some early impeccable taste. Thanks so much for Claire and all the others who continually share their precious items with us.

Dear Friend,

I hope everything is fine and that life treats you well... I needed to write you these few lines. You know, sometimes you need to put things down on a sheet of paper. This is precisely what I felt when I listened to this mixtape... It moved me, and I needed to share my thoughts with you about it. So bear with me; I'll make it short. Well, at least I'll Try.

Isn't it hard. Standing in the rain /Yeah You're on the verge of going crazy and your heart's in pain / No one can hear but you're screaming so loud / You feel like you're all alone in a faceless crowd / Isn't it strange how we all get a little bit weird sometimes.
Hanson, weird, 1997

I didn't know Andrew Weatherall before discovering him thanks to Balearic Breakfast. I still don’t know much about Andrew, but this mix somehow drove me closer to him. And I guess it came into my life at the right moment, though it isn’t the “happiest” one. Isn’t it strange to see how life puts things together once in a while... Like everything that happens was meant to be, at least somehow... Last week, I had to wave goodbye to someone I liked a lot, and, just last night, that quote by Tori Amos came back to my mind :

I think that there is a place where she realizes that people come in and out of your life, sometimes for one day, sometimes for longer, and all of them make you what you are. You can't separate these people out of you. They form who you are, even the ones that you kind of say, 'Well, you know, I don't know if I wanna be formed by them anymore.' But you are in some way... you are, that's why maybe you don't have to look at them so harshly because they have affected you. At the end, though, you know, it's... us as individuals... with our... hmm... with our love for the land, for something untangible that, when soulmates come and go, you're never alone even when you're standing just you and your shoes, because she carry them with you." [Scarlet Stories]

How do you express the gratitude, the love, the feelings you have toward someone that changed you? Some of us are fortunate enough to have love stories, just like Andrew did. But sometimes, you don’t even need that. Sometimes, circumstances, life itself, your own mistakes give you the opportunity to get “closer” to someone, a guy, a girl, anyone, even a stranger. And that encounter, the few moments you spent with that person, changes how you see the world, how you see life, and even how you perceive yourself. Then, when it’s all over, when you’re about to say goodbye to "the one", you feel like you owe that person a lot of things. She changed you, sometimes even through the mistakes she made. You’re linked to each other without being best friends or lovers, but you learned from one another. And That matters a lot...

Maybe I’m a fool, but this happened quite often to me in the last 20 years. I’ve met people that brought something into my life. Some were friends, some were lovers, and some others were just colleagues from work. But, each time, I felt I gained something important from them. So I wanted to offer these people something special to show them how much I cared. That gift always took the form of a mixtape. I believe this love for mixtapes came from my childhood when I discovered that my mother’s friends were offering her tapes with music she liked. I was 8/9 years old back then, and I remember listening to these tapes with her, discovering artists like Tina Turner, Adriano Celentano, Alan Parson Project and even Paul Young... I felt it was beautiful to offer someone a tape you recorded, something you spent time on... So, I did the same in my own life. And this is where I feel close to Andrew (and also to other people sharing music through mixtapes). I find it heartwarming to offer someone a part of your soul as a “thank you”, secretly hoping they will cherish it over time...

Then, the other aspect that got me in Andrew’s mix is its overall “sadness”. I love sad songs, romantic songs, songs of broken promises. To me, these songs are the ones that illustrate the best the “humanity” we all carry inside of us, that very one we try to hide, even to close friends. In this regard, Andrew’s mixtape nails it. The songs he chose here are perfect in the message they carry and in the vast musicalness they offer. Lastly, this beautiful mixtape has a Soul of its own. I’ve listened to it five times in a row. It refuses to leave my mind; there’s a unity in here, a musical and a spiritual one. The purity of it all is so genuine, so open, without anything to restrain it. Every song is an open window to a sad but calm sea, where regrets are carried inside one’s soul without the need to impose sadness on the one the mix is being offered to. This is a “statement” mix, not something that imposes itself on the listener. And that kindness of soul is undoubtedly what makes this mixtape so unique; it has that absolute Balearic spirit, the one of a tired sun accepting its destiny and slowly disappearing in the depth of the blue sea, thus perfectly embodying a sentence I once wrote: « I keep my sadness alive so my joy won’t die »… I made a copy of Andrew's mixtape for you... Please, have a listen ! (you know how to do that, right ?)

So, should you meet someone special one day, don't think twice, write them a musical letter… You don’t need to create a whole mix like I do using an audio editor and lots of effects, you don’t need to spend months preparing this. Instead, get a tape recorder and record whatever songs you need to share with the person you feel for. Let your soul speak... Chances are that your tape will stay close to the heart of the person you will give it to… and Andrew won’t be far away either… So share your love, and, as Colleen says: "Remember... just be Balearic…."

Your Friend, The Lioncub...


Everything but the girl – Come on home

Five young cannibals – Funny how love is

The New world Orchestra – Where the heart is

Buddy Holly & The Crickets – Send me some lovin'

The Bible! – King Chicago

Madness – Yesterday's men

Patsy Cline – She's got you

Isley Jasper Isley – Caravan of Love Mary Coughlan – Double Cross Elvis Costello – Indoor Fireworks

Tom Waits – Martha

Everything but the girl – Careless

Was (not was) – Where did your heart go ?

The Human League – Human Prince & The Revolution – Under the Cherry Moon

Mary Coughlan – Nobody's Business

Paul Young – Everytime you go away

Paul Brady – Deep in your heart

The Pale Fountains – Beyond Fridays Field

Mary Coughlan – The Beach

Prince & The Revolution – Sometimes it snows in April

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