north marine drive is the debut album of ben watt. the album was released on cherry red in 1983, prior to watt's success in everything but the girl, and reached number one in the uk indie chart the same year. the tone of the album is reflective and melancholic, reminiscent of some of the more stripped-down work of everything but the girl. its sparse, mainly acoustic, instrumentation effectively highlights watt's songwriting and vocal qualities. jazz saxophonist peter king who would go on to collaborate with everything but the girl contributes alto saxophone to several tracks. the cd issues also feature 5 bonus tracks of watt's collaboration with robert wyatt originally released as an ep in march 1982 (summer into winter). a downloadable version available from cherry red adds a further 3 bonus tracks, originally released on the compilation album our brilliant careers: cherry red rarities 1981-1983.
the song "some things don't matter" first appeared on the cherry red showcase compilation pillows & prayers in 1982. "walter and john", from "summer into winter", also appeared on the second volume of "pillows and prayers".