Katrina and the Waves (album)

Katrina and the Waves is the third studio album by American/English new wave band Katrina and the Waves, released in March 1985 by Capitol Records. It was their first album on a major label, and a Top 30 hit in the US and the UK.[4][5] The majority of tracks were re-mixed and overdubbed versions of songs that had appeared on their first two albums; the tracks "Walking on Sunshine" and "Going Down to Liverpool" were entirely re-recorded versions of songs from their first independently released album.

Katrina and the Waves
Katrina & the Waves - Walking on Sunshine.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 22, 1985
RecordedNovember 1984−January 1985
Attic (Canada)
Katrina and the Waves chronology
Katrina and the Waves 2
Katrina and the Waves
Singles from Katrina and the Waves
  1. "Walking on Sunshine"
    Released: March 1985
  2. "Red Wine and Whisky"
    Released: June 1985
  3. "Do You Want Crying"
    Released: July 1985
  4. "Que Te Quiero"
    Released: October 1985[3]

This version of "Walking on Sunshine" became a top-ten pop hit in both the US and the UK.[6][7]


Between 1983 and 1984, English-based Katrina and the Waves released their first two albums on the Canadian Attic label and enjoyed some airplay success in Canada[8] as well as a chart position on the UK Singles Chart with "Que Te Quiero" (#84).[7] Helped by intensive touring and the added mystique of their releases being on import in England and the United States, the band's reputation was growing. And when the Bangles covered "Going Down to Liverpool", a song from Katrina and the Waves' first album, major record labels started to take an interest.[8] This eventually led to signing a deal with Capitol Records in Los Angeles.

It was decided to re-record, overdub or remix ten tracks from the two Canadian albums for their Capitol debut.[9] The label wanted to make some of the songs more single-worthy, particularly "Going Down to Liverpool" and "Walking on Sunshine", so the band did some recording and mixing in London with producer Pat Collier, who had worked on their first two albums. "We did loads of versions [of "Walking on Sunshine"]," Collier said in 2017. "We just kept going round and round in circles. We kept redoing it nonstop."[1] They also added a horn section, which the original 1983 version didn't have. Katrina Leskanich said in 2015, "As we were recording it, an arranger wandered in and said: "You should put horns on that." And he hummed what became that pumping melody. But the horn section we got in whinged so much about how hard it was to play that we had to drop the key just for them."[10]

Ultimately, Capitol decided to outsource a remix, and the tracks were given to engineer Scott Litt at the Power Station in New York. The band arrived from London with Collier to meet with their new label and to be in New York while Litt mixed the album. Due to a problem with the drum tracks for "Walking on Sunshine", Litt had to re-record the drums at the Power Station. When drummer Alex Cooper had finished his work in a couple of takes, "it was phenomenal," Litt said in 2017. "All of a sudden the song exploded. As soon as the drums were done, that spurred us on to do more. I was flying guitars around."[1] Talking with Goldmine magazine in 2021 about working with Litt on "Walking on Sunshine", Leskanich said, "Boy did he wave a magic wand over it, because it was his idea to start with the drums and said that the DJs will go crazy with that sound and it will wake up America. That was a stroke of genius. He was a great producer, getting the sound right."[9] Litt also re-arranged parts in the song, like holding the horns out of the first chorus, and Leskanich's "Woo," which was somewhere else in the song, was put in after the drum intro. "Scott absolutely made that track," Collier said. "He took it in hand and made it what it is."[1]

According to Leskanich, "Walking on Sunshine" was never meant to be the album's first single, as Capitol originally wanted to go with "Do You Want Crying". "Capitol sent out a sampler of four tracks and all the DJs said, "It's the "Sunshine" song because we can talk over the intro and it's got the right energy for summer," she said.[11] When the song was released as a single in March 1985, it charted all over Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.[1] By July 1985, Katrina and the Waves had sold more than 300.000 copies worldwide.[12]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [13]
Robert ChristgauA-[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [15]
Trouser Pressfavourable[16]

In two contemporary reviews for Village Voice and Playboy, critic Robert Christgau wrote, "For a while I thought the only thing Capitol had done right was sign them, but between the exuberant Katrina Leskanich and the surefire Kimberley Rew this band would be hard for any label to fuck up: not one of the twenty songs on the band's two Attic LPs ... is a loser." Christgau felt that, as a songwriter, Rew has an "unerring knack for up-to-the-minute Sixties-style hooks" and writes "rock-outsider lyrics that never get obtrusively specific," while Leskanich has "a voice so big and enthusiastic she could make Barry Manilow's songs sound like Holland-Dozier-Holland." The "tricky" new version of "Machine Gun Smith" makes up for the "Motown horns" added to "Walking on Sunshine," Christgau said, and the re-recorded "hyped-up" drums on the latter "don't really hurt anything."[14][17]

Commenting on the songs being re-recorded or remixed, Trouser Press wrote, "In most cases, it's an improvement, exposing untapped realms of both pop and power, but the second "Going Down to Liverpool" obliterates the atmosphere and the hooky melody of the original in an absurdly overheated arrangement. With that one caveat, Katrina and the Waves is otherwise a delight."[16]

In a review for AllMusic, David Cleary wrote that re-recording ten songs from their first two albums made a lot of sense, given the "criminal" lack of attention the albums received. Recorded in what Cleary described as "an aggressive power pop style", most of the songs "hold up extremely well under this approach," he said. He singled out "Red Wine and Whisky" and "Do You Want Crying", describing them as "desperately driven and urgent tuneful rockers," while "Cry for Me" and "The Sun Won't Shine" "regenerate as blues-like shouting numbers of apocalyptic intensity." Cleary called the album "an essential purchase."[13]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Kimberley Rew, except where noted.

Side one
1."Red Wine and Whisky" 3:43
2."Do You Want Crying"Vince de la Cruz3:35
3."Que Te Quiero" 3:20
4."Machine Gun Smith" 3:03
5."Cry for Me" 4:58
Side two
6."Walking on Sunshine" 3:59
7."Going Down to Liverpool" 4:30
8."Mexico"de la Cruz3:17
9."The Sun Won't Shine Without You" 3:38
10."The Game of Love" 3:16
Total length:37:19


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[18]

Katrina and the Waves
Additional musicians
  • Wendy Nicholl – background vocals (1, 5, 8, 9)
  • Alan Chaney – organ (2)
  • Nick Glennie-Smith – organ (5-7)
  • John Earle – brass
  • Dick Hanson – brass
  • Ray Beavis – brass
  • Eamon Fitzpatrick – brass arrangement (6)
  • Katrina and the Waves – producer
  • Pat Collier – producer, engineer
  • Scott Litt – additional production, engineer, mixing
  • Jon Goldberger – assistant engineer
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Pat Gorman/Manhattan Design – design
  • Caroline Greyshock – photography


Charts (1985) Peak
Swedish Albums Chart[19] 6
RPM100 Albums (Canada)[20] 18
Billboard 200 (US)[21] 25
UK Albums Chart[22] 28
New Zealand Albums Chart[23] 38
Australian Albums Chart[24] 39
German Albums Chart[25] 43

Singles - Billboard (United States)[6]

Year Single Peak position
Billboard Hot 100 Adult Contemporary Hot Dance Music/Club Play Mainstream Rock Tracks
1985 "Walking on Sunshine" 9 21 19 21
"Do You Want Crying" 37
"Que Te Quiero" 71
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[26] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[27] Gold 50,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b c d e Schultz, Barbara (18 October 2017). "Classic Tracks: Katrina & The Waves, "Walking On Sunshine"". Mix. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  2. ^ "A Potted Biography". kimberleyrew.co.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Katrina And The Waves - Discography". 45cat.com. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  4. ^ "US Albums (Billboard)". Billboard. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  5. ^ "UK Albums". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b "US Singles". Billboard. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Official UK Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Band History". Katrina And The Waves official website. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  9. ^ a b Kurtz, Warren (7 June 2021). "Fabulous Flip Sides – Katrina and The Waves". Goldmine. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  10. ^ Simpson, Dave (1 September 2015). "Katrina and the Waves: how we made Walking on Sunshine". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Kickin' it Old School - Interview with Katrina Leskanich from Katrina and the Waves". 102.7 103.5 WICY. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  12. ^ Vare, Ethlie Ann (20 July 1985). "Katrina's Waves finally find the sunshine". Billboard. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  13. ^ a b Cleary, David. "Katrina and the Waves - Katrina and the Waves (1985) review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Katrina and the Waves". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  15. ^ Anthony DeCurtis; James Henke; Holly George-Warren, eds. (1992). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. p. 388. ISBN 0679737294.
  16. ^ a b Robbins, Ira; Schinder, Scott. "TrouserPress.com :: Katrina and the Waves". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 1985). "Playboy Music". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Katrina and the Waves". Discogs. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Katrina and the Waves - Katrina and the Waves (Album)". Swedishcharts.com. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 42, No. 21, August 03, 1985". Library and Archives Canada. 3 August 1985. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Billboard 200: Week of June 15, 1985". Billboard. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Katrina and the Waves Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Katrina and the Waves - Katrina and the Waves (Album)". Charts.org.nz. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  24. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 164. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  25. ^ "Album – Katrina and the Waves, Katrina and the Waves". Charts.de (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Katrina and the Waves – Katrina and the Waves". Music Canada. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Scandinavian Waves" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3, no. 49. 13 December 1986. p. 10. Retrieved 27 July 2021.