The early Waterboys sound was dubbed "The Big Music" after a song on their second album, A Pagan Place. This musical style was described by Scott as "a metaphor for seeing God's signature in the world." It either influenced or was used to describe a number of other bands, including Simple Minds, The Alarm, In Tua Nua, Big Country, the Hothouse Flowers and World Party, the last of which was made up of former Waterboys members. In the late 1980s the band became significantly more folk influenced. The Waterboys eventually returned to rock and roll, and have released both rock and folk albums since reforming. Their songs, largely written by Scott, often contain literary references and are frequently concerned with spirituality. Both the group and its members' solo careers have received much praise from both rock and folk music critics, but The Waterboys as a band has never received the commercial success that some of its members have had independently. Aside from World Party, The Waterboys have also influenced musicians such as Eddie Vedder, Johnny Goudie, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Grant Nicholas of Feeder, James Marshall Owen, and Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff. Both Bono and The Edge from U2, Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead are fans of the band. Jonny Greenwood tweets on The Waterboys "what a great band. something special about how he plays piano too - see them if you can."
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