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CLANNAD

Prog Folk • Ireland


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Clannad picture
Clannad biography
Founded in Gweedore, Donegal, Ireland in 1970 (as "Clann as Dobhar") - Hiatus from 1998-2006

For decades CLANNAD have embodied the spirit and dedication of the proverbial musical family, which just happens to be related by blood as well. While they have navigated a number of distinct phases and less distinct transitions, and are generally and correctly classified as a folk group, they have always been so much more.

In the 1970s they were more closely allied to traditional Irish music, but with eclectic influences from jazz to rock, surely among them the PENTANGLE. While their international popularity was limited at this time, they blazed the path for a revival in Irish folk music, along with the CHIEFTAINS before them and contemporaries PLANXTY and CHRISTY MOORE. Recommended albums from this period - "Clannad" and "Dulaman".

Surprisingly, the 1980s were their most progressive phase, in which they pioneered a blend of pop, folk, ambient, and new age music. They not only sold a lot of albums, but inspired artists in the progressive world and beyond, from LOREENA MCKENNITT to IONA to ENYA, herself a family member and brief band member, to KARNATAKA to CAPERCAILLIE, ALTAN, and numerous other successful and obscure acts. All albums from this period are recommended to prog folk fans, with the exception of "Cran Ull" from 1980 which was more allied to their earlier period.

In the 1990s they achieved their greatest international success including a Grammy award for best new age album for Landmarks. The music from this period was pretty but generally lacked what little edge they had sharpened before. After an extended hiatus in which lead singer Moya Brennan embarked on a successful solo career, they returned to the stage in the mid 2000s and to the studio in 2013 to produce Nadur, revealing that not much had changed.

Clannad belongs on progarchives for their influence on numerous prog acts and their appeal to many prog fans, but mostly for their 1980s period in which they combined eclectic influences into their own unique take on Irish prog folk.

See also: WiKi

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Buy CLANNAD Music


NadurNadur
ARC Music 2013
$9.73
$6.40 (used)
Turas 1980Turas 1980
Made In Germany Music 2018
$16.99
The Essential ClannadThe Essential Clannad
Sony Legacy 2012
$10.88
$10.92 (used)
LegendLegend
Limited Edition · Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
$6.06
$2.33 (used)
Clannad: Live at Christ Church CathedralClannad: Live at Christ Church Cathedral
ARC Music 2013
$7.50
$5.78 (used)
Clannad: Greatest HitsClannad: Greatest Hits
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2000
$4.68
$1.82 (used)
Crann UllCrann Ull
TARA MUSIC 2016
$10.37
$0.99 (used)
LandmarksLandmarks
Atlantic 1998
$8.97
$0.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Clannad - Clannad Themes - Clannad CD 85VG The Fast Free Shipping USD $5.00 Buy It Now
Fuaim by Clannad (CD, Mar-1993, Atlantic (Label)) USD $7.76 Buy It Now
CLANNAD. IN A LIFETIME..7 vinyl USD $1.73 [0 bids]
MINT/M- ORIG FOLK IRISH 1979 LP~CLANNAD 2~SHANACHIE 79007~~HEAR USD $14.99 Buy It Now 52m 18s
CLANNAD IN FORTUNES HAND 7" VINYL USD $5.31 Buy It Now 57m 3s
CLANNAD - Diolaim - Folk Roots Of One Of Ireland's Groups - CD - Import - *NEW* USD $25.95 Buy It Now 1h 4m
Clannad Theme From Harry's Game 7" RCA RCA292 EX/EX 1982 picture sleeve, Theme F USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h
Clannad Theme From Harry's Game 7" RCA 118127 EX/EX 1984 picture sleeve, Theme F USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h
Clannad In Fortune's Hand 7" RCA PB43971 EX/EX 1990 picture sleeve, In Fortune's USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Clannad Closer To Your Heart 7" RCA PB40357 EX/EX 1986 picture sleeve, Closer To USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Clannad In A Lifetime 7" RCA PB42873 EX/EX 1989 picture sleeve, a-side with gues USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h 3m
Clannad White Fool 7" RCA PB41703 EX/EX 1988 picture sleeve, White Fool/Many Roa USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h 6m
Clannad Almost Seems Too Late To Turn 7" RCA PB40469 EX/EX 1985 picture sleeve, USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Clannad Hunter 7" RCA PB42609 EX/VG 1989 picture sleeve, Hunter/Atlantic Realm USD $8.64 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Clannad - Past Present - Compilation CD Album - RCA ?- 74321 28981 2 - DISC ONLY USD $1.85 [0 bids]
2h 9m
Clannad In A Lifetime 7" RCA PB40535 EX/EX 1986 picture sleeve, In A Lifetime/In USD $15.98 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Clannad The Ultimate Collection Best Of (Australia) CD - Like New USD $9.81 Buy It Now 3h 13m
CLANNAD theme from harry's game 7" PS EX/EX uk rca RCA 292 USD $5.82 Buy It Now 3h 18m
Clannad Macalla vinyl LP album record RCA PL 70894 USD $6.64 [0 bids]
3h 44m
CLANNAD - Anam - 1990 Magazine Advertisment Poster USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 10m
Clannad - Past present (1989 CD ALBUM) EXCELLENT CONDITION USD $2.65 Buy It Now 4h 36m
Clannad - Theme From Harry's Game 7"- RCA 292 - Ex USD $4.65 Buy It Now 4h 55m
Clannad - Rogha: The Best of Clannad (CD, Jan-1997, RCA) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5h 15m
20 VINTAGE INSTRUMENTAL HITS: ALBATROSS, HURRICANES, ACKER BILK, ALPERT, CLANNAD USD $11.30 Buy It Now 5h 21m
CLANNAD legend (original & inner) LP EX/EX PL 70188 folk rock ambient neofolk USD $17.49 Buy It Now 5h 35m
CLANNAD - MACALLA VINYL LP + INNER SLEEVE USD $5.31 [0 bids]
5h 39m
ENYA Watermark 1988 UK vinyl LP RECORD EXCELLENT CONDITION CLANNAD F USD $19.96 Buy It Now 5h 43m
ENYA Shepherd Moons 1991 UK vinyl LP EXCELLENT CONDITION CLANNAD original USD $33.27 Buy It Now 5h 47m
CLANNAD - Best Of, In a Lifetime - 2003 26 Track 2 X CD USD $3.31 [0 bids]
5h 48m
CLANNAD - Celtic Collection - 2004 16 Track CD Album USD $2.65 [0 bids]
5h 48m
CLANNAD - Theme from Harry's Game - 1982 7" Vinyl 45 USD $1.72 [0 bids]
5h 49m
Clannad ~ Past Present ~ RCA Records ~ 9912-1-R ~ Vinyl Record USD $3.99 Buy It Now 6h 9m
CLANNAD LP MACALLA U2 BONO RCA 1985 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6h 14m
Clannad Legend NL 71 703 VG-EX Condition (SB1) USD $10.65 Buy It Now 6h 47m
x4 7" Vinyl Record LP Kylie Benata Clannad Bryan Ferry USD $3.33 [0 bids]
6h 48m
CLANNAD - UK CASSETTE TAPE - LEGEND - TV SOUNDTRACK USD $7.97 Buy It Now 6h 49m
CLANNAD CASSETTE TAPE - THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION - 1997 (BEST OF/GREATEST HITS) USD $7.97 Buy It Now 6h 49m
CLANNAD - GREATEST HITS USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.69 Buy It Now 6h 58m
CLANNAD - MAGICAL RING [REMASTER] USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $7.99 Buy It Now 7h
Clannad - An Diolaim (1998) USD $1.32 Buy It Now 7h 8m
CLANNAD PAST PRESENT LP USD $6.66 Buy It Now 7h 13m
Clannad MAGICAL RING 12" vinyl 1983 PL70003 USD $3.33 [0 bids]
7h 16m
CLANNAD 2 (1988) RARE ORIGINAL ALBUM on CD - 11 Tracks Shanachie USD $11.32 Buy It Now 7h 33m
CLANNAD nr mint vinyl lp CLANNAD 2 with insert USD $8.23 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Clannad : Legend Ost Tv Series CD USD $4.39 Buy It Now 8h 23m
Clannad Legend Robin Of Sherwood Soundtrack LP Vinyl Record USD $3.98 [0 bids]
8h 53m
CLANNAD legend (original & inner) LP EX/EX PL 70188 folk rock ambient neofolk USD $17.33 Buy It Now 8h 58m
Clannad - Past Present Vinyl LP Picture/Lyric Inner Sleeve RCA PL74074 (1989) USD $5.31 Buy It Now 9h 43m
V RARE CLANNAD X2 IRELAND JOBLOT VINYL LP CRANN ULL PHILIPS NM IRISH FOLK ROCK USD $53.24 [0 bids]
9h 43m
clannad -legend rca label german 1984 cd USD $11.50 Buy It Now 9h 58m
Clannad - Celtic Themes - The Very Best Of (2008) USD $7.65 Buy It Now 10h 11m
Clannad - Macalla ( Made In Germany PD70894) (1985) USD $18.31 Buy It Now 10h 11m
Clannad - Sirius (1987) USD $7.65 Buy It Now 10h 11m
Clannad Past And Present CD USD $2.66 Buy It Now 10h 15m
Enya Shepherd Moon. 1991 Cd. Mint- Condition. Clannad. USD $5.98 [0 bids]
10h 23m
Clannad ?- Magical Ring LP USD $14.99 Buy It Now 10h 25m
Clannad Almost Seems (Too Late To Turn) 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK USD $16.56 Buy It Now 10h 32m
In Fortune's Hand Clannad 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK PT43972 RCA 1990 USD $15.91 Buy It Now 10h 39m
Clannad Something To Believe In UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) PT41544 RCA USD $18.56 Buy It Now 10h 39m
CLANNAD - THEMES CD USD $2.99 Buy It Now 10h 47m
Atlantic Realm Clannad vinyl LP album record UK REB727 BBC 1989 USD $18.57 Buy It Now 10h 50m
Clannad Banba Audio Cassette Tape USD $3.99 [0 bids]
10h 51m
Clannad ?- The Best Of Clannad - In A Lifetime CD USD $2.66 [0 bids]
11h 7m
Banba Clannad UK CD album (CDLP) 74321139612 BMG 1993 USD $16.63 Buy It Now 11h 11m
Clannad - Sirius (1992) USD $1.32 Buy It Now 11h 11m
Clannad Clannad vinyl LP album record Irish 6392013 PHILIPS 1973 USD $31.88 Buy It Now 11h 15m
Clannad The Hunter 7" vinyl single record UK PB42609 BMG 1989 USD $13.23 Buy It Now 11h 19m
Clannad Why Worry? CD single (CD5 / 5") UK PD44372 BMG 1991 USD $16.63 Buy It Now 11h 26m
Clannad Magical Ring Australian vinyl LP album record VPL17466 RCA 1983 USD $27.89 Buy It Now 11h 33m
Anam by Clannad (CD, Jul-1992,BMG) USD $1.25 Buy It Now 11h 48m
Banba by Clannad (CD, Jun-1993, Atlantic (Label)) USD $9.49 Buy It Now 11h 57m
P533 Clannad Same Irish Folk Rare old 1973 Philips LP 6392 013 USD $29.00 Buy It Now 12h 3m
CLANNAD something to believe in 7" u2 enya USD $1.32 [0 bids]
12h 3m
Clannad - Atlantic Realm. 1989 UK BBC Records LP USD $3.98 [0 bids]
12h 9m
CLANNAD PAST PRESENT CASSETTE TAPE**EXCELLENT** USD $1.32 [0 bids]
12h 24m
0035627147326 0035627147326 Magical Ring by Clannad (1995) - FAST POST CD USD $3.94 Buy It Now 12h 31m
Clannad - Sirius (1987) 10 TRACKS GERMANY RCA USD $1.32 [0 bids]
12h 34m
CLANNAD CELTIC VERY BEST SEALED CD NEW GREATEST HITS USD $5.58 Buy It Now 12h 48m
Fuaim by Clannad (CD, Mar-1993, Atlantic (Label)) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 12h 49m
Celtic / Irish CD Lot of 10; Chieftains, Clannad, Arkenstone USD $7.99 [0 bids]
12h 50m
CLANNAD - MACALLA - TAPE CASSETTE ALBUM USD $1.32 [0 bids]
12h 51m
Magical Ring - Clannad CD Brand New Sealed BMG Issue USD $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 29m
CLANNAD " LEGEND - MUSIC FROM THE TV SERIES ROBIN OF SHERWOOD " CASSETTE USD $4.33 [0 bids]
13h 30m
Rogha: The Best Of Clannad - Clannad Brand New Sealed CD BMG Issue USD $5.99 Buy It Now 13h 35m
Clannad & Paul Young Both Sides Now MCA Records ?MCS1546 UK 7" Vinyl 45 Single USD $6.64 Buy It Now 13h 49m
Clannad - Legend (2003) USD $2.00 [0 bids]
13h 54m
CLANNAD CELTIC COLLECTION USD $1.32 [0 bids]
13h 55m
Clannad - An Diolaim (1998) USD $1.32 [0 bids]
13h 55m
Enya Amarantine. 2005 Cd. Mint- Condition.Clannad. USD $5.98 [0 bids]
13h 56m
Clannad - Magical Ring (1995) USD $1.32 [0 bids]
13h 57m
Clannad - Legend (1988) USD $1.32 [0 bids]
13h 58m
CLANNAD - MACALLA 1985 UK Poster size Press ADVERT 16x12" USD $33.22 Buy It Now 14h 29m
2 Mary Black (1 & Clannad) - Access All Areas Laminated Pass - Two Irish Legends USD $6.66 [0 bids]
14h 44m
cd-album, Clannad - Celtic Collection,16 Tracks, Australia USD $3.74 Buy It Now 14h 47m
CLANNAD - LEGEND - 1984 - PL 70188 - RCA RECORDS - VINYL LP ALBUM RECORD USD $6.64 [0 bids]
15h 18m
Clannad - Pastpresent (1997) CD USD $2.00 [0 bids]
15h 32m
Clannad - past present music CD USD $1.66 [0 bids]
16h 21m
In A Lifetime/Indoor 7" : Clannad USD $3.99 Buy It Now 16h 21m
Clannad-Theme From Harry's Game/Strayed Away 7" Single.1982 RCA 292.Irish Folk. USD $3.31 Buy It Now 16h 31m
Clannad - Magical Ring CD Album USD $2.65 [0 bids]
16h 51m

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CLANNAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CLANNAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.41 | 11 ratings
Clannad
1973
3.92 | 5 ratings
Clannad 2
1975
4.75 | 12 ratings
Dúlamán
1976
3.12 | 7 ratings
Crann Ull
1980
4.48 | 8 ratings
Fuaim
1982
4.45 | 11 ratings
Magical Ring
1983
3.15 | 10 ratings
Legend (OST)
1984
4.32 | 15 ratings
Macalla
1985
2.63 | 10 ratings
Sirius
1987
3.00 | 3 ratings
Atlantic Realm (OST)
1989
3.91 | 3 ratings
The Angel And The Soldier Boy
1989
2.27 | 7 ratings
Anam
1990
3.12 | 7 ratings
Banba
1993
2.50 | 9 ratings
Lore
1996
3.92 | 5 ratings
Landmarks
1997
3.95 | 3 ratings
Nádúr
2013

CLANNAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Clannad in Concert
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Concert
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Christ Church Cathedral
2013

CLANNAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Pastpresent
1989
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Christchurch Cathedral
2013

CLANNAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Past Present
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
In a Lifetime - The Ultimate Collection
1997

CLANNAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Theme from Harry's Game
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Newgrange
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
I See Red
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
Robin /The Hooded Man)
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Almost Seems (Too Late to Turn)
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Closer to Your Heart
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
In a Lifetime
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Something to Believe In
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Why Worry?
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Seanchas
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Gleann
1998

CLANNAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Macalla by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.32 | 15 ratings

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Macalla
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Macalla came out at the height of Clannad's commercial success - hence Bono's appearance here on the duet In a Lifetime. That song is, to be honest, a bit of a clunker, Bono's vocal approach not really suiting the more ethereal atmosphere of Clannad's music, but the rest of the album is a decent bridge between the pop world and the Celtic New Age material they had become known for. Essentially, synth-heavy 1980s soft pop takes the place of folk in the Clannad formula this time around, but it's soaked in enough New Age atmosphere and ancient spirituality that the end result still feels satisfying.
 Magical Ring by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.45 | 11 ratings

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Magical Ring
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Clannad had a strange breakthrough when they were called on to provide a bespoke theme tune to Harry's Game. This was a miniseries on British television about the Troubles in Northern Ireland - a worthy and thoughtful enough bit of television, but to be honest it's the Clannad song everyone remembers about it, with its mournful passages sung over the closing titles adding a suitably sombre note to proceedings.

Indeed, the song's had something of an extensive life of its own after that - having appeared in other movies and adverts and been covered regularly enough to become something of a standard, and even spearheading the band's burst of popularity in the USA after a rerelease in 1992 ahead of the US issue of the Anam album.

But it's perhaps best appreciated here, at the start of Magical Ring, since it heralds the overall approach taken by the band following the departure of Enya and longtime producer Nicky Ryan - a delicious mixture of even more prominent New Age synthesiser work with Irish folk instrumentation and rhythms, creating an intoxicating, timeless mixture. The overall style had a brief run of popularity - Clannad were called on to do more television work for Robin of Sherwood which became the Legend album, for instance, and there'd even be a few imitators popping up here and there (such as Chameleon, TV music specialists who produced soundtrack material for the likes of The One Game and Summer's Lease), but I don't think it was ever captured better than it was here.

 Fuaim by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.48 | 8 ratings

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Fuaim
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nicky and Roma Ryan's managerial skills had helped Clannad build a solid foundation, and younger Brennan sister Enya had started becoming involved as of the preceding album; Fuaim is the sole album on which Enya was a full band member, and after its completion she and the Ryans would part ways from Clannad to pursue Enya's distinctive New Age musical vision. The creative tensions involved perhaps teased something a little special out of Clannad on Fuaim, with their well-established Irish folk stylings incorporating jazzy touches and tasty synthesisers like never before. The end result is an album which is often overshadowed by their later mega-successful 1980s output, but arguably was a necessary stepping stone along the way to that sound.
 In a Lifetime by CLANNAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1985
3.00 | 1 ratings

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In a Lifetime
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars The Irish Clannad was pretty popular in the eighties, and the album Macalla (1985) was, I believe, their biggest success. Today it seems to be the best known, and widely appreciated also. This single contains two songs from that album. 'In a Lifetime' is a duet with Bono (U2). From time to time one can still hear it on the radio, for it is a very beautiful and well done pop ballad, no doubt about that. Of course to some it may be syrupy, but I enjoy it. It has a melancholic and dreamy atmosphere, and Bono is a great choice to accompany Moira Brennan's ethereal vocals, there's a lot of passion in his performance.

'Indoor' is a more straight-forward pop song, a good example of the hollow (over-) production that Clannad were sometimes guilty of. Even though it's not really bad, apart from some phoney sax perhaps, I think it's clearly among the least interesting tracks on Macalla. It has cultivated time signatures and could have been much better than it is, with another kind of production. But anyway 'In a lifetime' is a pop classic of its time that deserves three stars.

 Clannad by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.41 | 11 ratings

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Clannad
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On this eponymous debut, Clannad present a brace of Irish-Celtic folk music with a few modernisations here and there influenced by the electric folk approach of the likes of Fairport Convention. The more placid, New Agey direction of some of their later work is more or less absent; what you do get in spades, even this early on in their career, is the semse of otherworldly majesty pervading the recording. With just barely enough psychedelic touches here and there to be regarded as mainstream enough for Phillips to release (despite the worries about the commercial viability of an album recorded entirely in Irish), this is an interesting early 1970s electric folk artifact.
 Legend (OST) by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.15 | 10 ratings

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Legend (OST)
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Robin of Sherwood was a TV series which brought together some really good ideas and a decent cast, but which I felt never lived up to its full potential. I kind of feel the same way about the soundtrack - it's pleasant and all, but it never quite catches fire. This brief album brings together most of the material that Clannad recorded for the show and reveals the main problem with the show's soundtrack: despite being rather gorgeous, it's also kind of repetitive (particularly on songs like Together We or Ancient Forest). This was more of a problem on the TV show than the album (they only had one snippet of fight music - Battles - which they used constantly so by the end of the series it got really tiresome), but even so it stops the album being a full-on classic.
 Macalla by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.32 | 15 ratings

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Macalla
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by CapnBearbossa

4 stars Clannad were heading onto new musical frontiers in 1985 with Macalla: Simply put, they were building the bridge over a chasm between the world of late twentieth century rock and pop music forms, and that of ancient celtic (Irish, to be specific) folk music. This disc boasts a couple of first-time collaborations, both with Bono (of U2) and also with Mel Collins (of Camel and King Crimson fame), and both of them are used to great effect. The partnering of Maire Brennan's usual vocals with those of guest Bono on "In A Lifetime" speaks to the group's heading more toward rock music than they had before, whereas their inclusion of Collins on various tracks indicates they were also making a stab in a proggy direction (even if somewhat in an 80's pop/synth idiom reminiscent of MARILLION's Misplaced Childhood , published the same year). Still other songs, such as "Closer To Your Heart" point in the direction of light-hearted pop music.

Although as an Irish folk group Clannad been around since the early 1970's and were already acclaimed in their own homeland of Ireland, they'd just recently garnered sudden, huge international attention for the beautiful, ethereal soundtrack tune "Theme From Harry's Game" . In a curious turn away from what their musical character had been heretofore, they then made Macalla with as close as they would ever get to a straight-ahead soft rock sound. It's worth noting that Clannad's previous albums had mostly been anchored in tasteful folk-rock arrangements of ancient Irish ballads and jigs, though they sometimes -- seemingly very cautiously -- could be caught approaching the world of jazz-rock jams and peppering their records with their own sprightly compositions at various points between.

We still get a bit of the traditional Irish angle on this record in songs such as "Caislean Oir" and "Buachaill On Eirne", with lead vocalist Maire Brennan singing in that almost-extinct, ancient Irish language still spoken by the band members (understandable since they are all part of the same extended family and live in the Gaeltacht). Meanwhile, we're serenaded variously by saxophone grooves, acoustic guitars or synth melodies, usually against atmospheric and gentle sonic backdrops. Elsewhere on this record there are frequent and sometimes brash leaps into the pop/synth territory, occasionally maybe sounding a little cheesier than one would like, despite good hooks and a constantly solid sense of melody. In any case however, Maire is an adept lead vocalist who brings the proceedings back to earth, even while sounding the whole time like an angel.

I've owned and loved this record almost since it came out, although I would interpolate its success among prospective fans in the PA community as likely conditional. The music certainly enjoyable by an audience tolerant of Celtic-edged pop and soft rock tendencies. But, if you're expecting anything approaching hard rock or edgey prog ... well, you might be better off leaving this alone. MOSTLY AUTUMN might be more your speed.

Clannad albums before this one are a bit more idiosyncratic (uneven in their production and style, though certainly even in terms of being very soulful, inspired, and very competently composed and performed). If you are looking where to go after or instead of Macalla ... Be advised that 1987's Sirius strayed briefly in a hard rock direction, trying out collaborations with already established stadium rock acts (Bruce Hornsby and Steve Perry of all people!); and then, with Anam and other efforts in the 1990's the band backed off again into the realm of introspective, mellow, but well-produced albums of airy Celtic ballads and soft jazz. Macalla, though, is probably the most accessible for someone sampling the work of Clannad especially if coming from outside of a familiarity with celtic-influenced rock.

 Christ Church Cathedral by CLANNAD album cover Live, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Christ Church Cathedral
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

— First review of this album —
4 stars It's a live album but it could be intended as the Clannad's definitive compilation. All the phases of their career are represented and the choice of the songs is I think the best possible. It seems that the time isn't passed for the band as they sound as fresh and clean as more than 30 years ago. So clean that if it wasn't for the applause at the end of each song I couldn't imagine that it's a live.

All their periods I was saying. Yes, but listening to the classics like Crann Ull or Eleanor Plunkett is like listening to new songs because the production is better than on some of the old albums. Thanks to the technology. Of course they play almost in the same way as before. The recording is really improved.

The only song which sounds very different is their biggest hit "In A Lifetime". Before this song I never thought that I would have missed Bono. I'm everything but a U2 fan, but his performance on the studio version of the song was so good that the guy who plays his part has a very hard job on which he doesn't succeed much. The melodic line and the choirs are identical to the studio version, so the difference is easy to hear. Luckily, this is a great song so even if the singer can't be compared to Bono, he does his job good enough.

In any case the whole album is full of highlights. The other song from Macalla is "Caislean Oir" which I think is better in this version with the choir arranged differently in the second half of the song. There is space also for the other "hits" like "Theme from Harry's Game" and "Robin of Sherwood".

An excellent live album and a very good starting point for who wants to explore Clannad for the first time.

 Nádúr by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 3 ratings

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Nádúr
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Paul Brennan left CLANNAD after the uneven and atypical "Sirius" album from 1987. They released 4 studio records in the 1990s after his departure, before the whole band embarked on an extended hiatus of 16 years, concentrating on personal projects punctuated by live appearances. Since my favorite Clannad albums include Paul (a mere statement of fact without judgement) , I was most curious to see how his return would affect "Nadur".

It all begins auspiciously with their most progressive track since the 1980s, "Vellum"; a hypnotic number with trance like group vocals and atmospheric keyboards over economically strummed acoustic guitar. Suspenseful, dramatic and melodic, it's also their most accomplished original composition since those long gone days.

For the rest, while nothing approaches its hushed brilliance, what is refreshing is that, popular reviews to the contrary, the album sees Clannad pierce the hermetic bubble that often seems to encapsulate its members and shield them from every emerging trend. In "Rhapsody na Gcrann", I sense a mood akin to unbridled joy, at least in Clannad terms, ushered along by mandola and vocal harmonies. I can't help feel that Paul had a hand in "Turas Domhsa chon na Galldachd", which could have come right out of 1982's "Fuaim", as well as in "Brave Enough" with its anthem like chorus and Duke Special's voice. Then there is the most out of character boisterous commentary of "The Fishing Blues", which channels fellow Irish great CHRISTY MOORE, and guests Eamon Murray on harmonica. Luckily, for old fans, they can still deliver a "Maire" ballad, in the form of the reverent, near hymn like "Song in your heart".

A few missteps can be excused, mostly in the naively partisan lyrics and uninteresting melody of "A quiet town" and the soporific closing number. Free for so long from the pressure of meeting studio deadlines and commitments, "Nadur" finds Clannad revealing their inner nature again, their endearing timidity and fragility enveloping an unshakable sense of place and purpose.

 Landmarks by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Landmarks
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars It was third time lucky for CLANNAD with their album "Landmarks" finally anointing them a Grammy for best new age recording, although perhaps this may have had more to do not having to compete with ENYA that year. The title itself is somewhat misleading as it suggests compilation more than new studio release. I don't want to give the Grammy people too much credit for astuteness but this is a vast improvement on "Lore" in almost every way, and probably Clannad's crowning achievement of the 1990s.

Firstly, the track lengths are more appropriate to the group style, which more than compensate for the relatively short overall running time. In addition, lead guitar has been well incorporated into several songs including the mesmerizing opener "An Gleann" (almost improved upon in the trance like "Cantoma" mix version appearing as bonus track) and the romantic "Court to Love", which includes uillean pipes. The keyboards on the outstanding Gaelic number "A Mhuimin O" help propel the infectious rhythm, and here the group reaches a rapprochement with RUNRIG.

Instead of just contenting themselves with pretty and airy arrangements too frequently derailed by their own inertia, Clannad engages the audience with a surprising light jazz instrumental in "Golden Ball", reminiscent of early MOVING HEARTS and including jaunty sax by MEL COLLINS. Even when they return to ultra chill in "Bridge of Tears", a ringer for contemporaneous LOREENA MCKENNITT, they introduce a few vocal twists. "Autumn Leaves are Falling" compares to PENTANGLE at their best, with Collins again embellishing in style.

It has been said that it's all in the details with CLANNAD, and "Landmarks" seems to have included those omitted by "Lore". 3.5 stars rounded up for a release that almost lives up to its name, and remained their most recent album for almost 15 years.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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