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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

Clannad official website

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Buy CLANNAD Music


Legend LP (Vinyl Album) German RCA 1984Legend LP (Vinyl Album) German RCA 1984
RCA
Vinyl$14.99 (used)
BanbaBanba
Atlantic 1993
Audio CD$8.88
$1.25 (used)
NadurNadur
ARC Music 2013
Audio CD$8.75
$9.61 (used)
Crann UllCrann Ull
TARA MUSIC 2016
Audio CD$19.99
$1.14 (used)
Magical RingMagical Ring
Import · Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
Audio CD$5.53
$2.65 (used)
MacallaMacalla
Import · Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
Audio CD$5.26
$4.72 (used)
The Essential ClannadThe Essential Clannad
Sony Legacy 2012
Audio CD$10.88
$11.24 (used)
Dulaman [Vinyl]Dulaman [Vinyl]
Shanachie 1990
Vinyl$195.99
$10.00 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
CLANNAD theme from harry's game 7" vinyl record on rca in stereo RCA 292 USD $2.93 Buy It Now
Clannad ?- Fuaim (Box C283) USD $11.88 Buy It Now
CLANNAD - Macalla - vinyl LP record RCA PL 70894 EX / EX USD $11.22 Buy It Now
Clannad - Sirius A1/B1 1987 LP USD $13.97 Buy It Now
Clannad - In a Lifetime A1/B1 1989 12" single USD $13.97 Buy It Now
Clannad - An Diolaim (1998) USD $1.26 [0 bids]
Clannad - Anam - 1990 IMPORT LP + Lyrics EX LISTEN Irish Folk-Rock Maire Brennan USD $11.99 Buy It Now
Clannad - Pastpresent (1989) USD $1.40 [0 bids]
CLANNAD cassette tape album used no case LEGEND SOUNDTRACK USD $5.60 Buy It Now
Maire Brennan - Perfect Time - CD Album - 1998 - The Voice Of Clannad USD $5.60 Buy It Now
CLANNAD MACALLA - CASSETTE TAPE FULLY WORKING USD $6.95 Buy It Now
CLANNAD ATLANTIC REALM BBC - CASSETTE TAPE TESTED & FULLY WORKING USD $6.95 Buy It Now
Maire Brennan - Whisper To The Wild Water - CD Album - The Voice Of Clannad USD $16.84 Buy It Now
Rogha: Best of Clannad CD USD $4.73 Buy It Now
Clannad Macalla 1985 RCA NFL1-8063 Original US A-3/A-2 Press Townhouse Master VG USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Clannad - Legend - CD Album - 1984 - 10 Great Tracks - Enya USD $5.60 Buy It Now
Chicane featuring Maire Brennan of Clannad 'Saltwater' CD Single USD $0.01 [0 bids]
CLANNAD: LANDMARKS[Of This Land,The Bridge of Tears,Fado(Irish Gaelic)]FREE SHIP USD $9.98 Buy It Now
Clannad In A Lifetime 1985 RCA 100.7004 Orig Brazil Made A-2/A-1 U.K. Import VG USD $15.00 Buy It Now
CLANNAD - CONCERT FLYER - 2014 TOUR USD $2.79 Buy It Now
Clannad - Past Present (CD 1989) NEW USD $8.40 Buy It Now
CLANNAD - Banba (CD 1993) MINT BMG Direct D 183647 USD $5.99 Buy It Now
Clannad Closer To Your Heart UK 7" vinyl single record PB40357 RCA 1985 USD $14.66 Buy It Now
CLANNAD something to believe in PT 41544 uk rca 1987 12" PS EX+/EX USD $11.22 Buy It Now
Clannad Legend vinyl LP album record German PL70188 RCA 1984 USD $16.78 Buy It Now
Clannad Clannad 2 German vinyl LP album record INT160.058 INTERCORD 1976 USD $26.61 Buy It Now
Clannad Cran Ull vinyl LP album record German INT160.153 INTERCORD 1980 USD $26.61 Buy It Now
Clannad - Sirius GER LP 1987 FOC + Innerbag /3* USD $19.49 Buy It Now
The Collection Clannad Irish vinyl LP album record KLP215 K-TEL 1986 USD $19.59 Buy It Now
Clannad In A Lifetime UK 7" vinyl single record PB42873 BMG 1989 USD $14.66 Buy It Now
Clannad The Hunter CD single (CD5 / 5") German PD42610 RCA 1989 USD $14.03 Buy It Now
Clannad CD single (CD5 / 5") Why Worry? UK PD44372 BMG 1991 USD $17.54 Buy It Now
Clannad In A Lifetime 7" vinyl single record UK PB40535 R.C.A. 1985 USD $14.66 Buy It Now 33s
Clannad Macalla vinyl LP album record German PL70894 RCA 1985 USD $16.78 Buy It Now 3m 41s
Banba by Clannad Cassette Tape, 1993, Atlantic (Label) VG! #CT40 USD $5.60 Buy It Now 7m 39s
Clannad Both Sides Now CD single (CD5 / 5") UK MCSTD1546 M.C.A. 1991 USD $15.01 Buy It Now 17m
Clannad White Fool 7" vinyl single record UK PB41703 RCA 1987 USD $13.96 Buy It Now 17m 34s
The Angel And The Soldier Boy Clannad German vinyl LP album record PL74328 BMG USD $26.61 Buy It Now 21m 2s
Clannad vinyl LP album record Clannad 2 Irish CEF041 GAEL-LINN 1975 USD $33.63 Buy It Now 21m 4s
Clannad Clannad In Concert USA vinyl LP album record 79030 SHANACHIE 1982 USD $33.63 Buy It Now 21m 6s
Clannad Hourglass 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK PT43076 BMG 1989 USD $16.78 Buy It Now 21m 7s
Clannad Anam USA CD album (CDLP) 782409-2 ATLANTIC 1992 USD $25.96 Buy It Now 21m 49s
Clannad. Macalla. Original vinyl. PL 70894. RCA 1985 USD $9.13 Buy It Now 26m 6s
Clannad 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) The Hunter German PT42610 BMG 1989 USD $20.64 Buy It Now 47m 41s
Clannad - In Concert Germany LP 1978 /3* USD $19.49 Buy It Now 54m 38s
Clannad Macalla vinyl LP album record USA NFLI-8063 RCA 1985 USD $26.61 Buy It Now 55m 24s
Clannad Cran Ull Irish vinyl LP album record 6373016 PHILIPS 1981 USD $26.61 Buy It Now 59m 34s
CLANNAD MAGICAL RING LP 1983 USD $1.39 [1 bids]
1h 2m
CLANNAD SIRIUS LP 1988 USD $1.39 [1 bids]
1h 3m
Clannad - The Collection - Cassette Tape album 1986 USD $1.40 [0 bids]
1h 13m
MOYA BRENNAN - The Voice of Clannad lovely colour tour poster (Excellent cond.) USD $4.20 [0 bids]
1h 58m
CLANNAD - Legend - Vinyl LP RCA PL70188 USD $4.20 [0 bids]
2h 23m
Clannad Macalla vinyl LP album record RCA PL 70894 USD $7.01 [0 bids]
2h 23m
Clannad - Atlantic Realm. 1989 UK BBC Records LP USD $4.20 [0 bids]
2h 23m
CD Clannad Celtic Collection USD $3.65 [0 bids]
2h 35m
CLANNAD - PAST PRESENT - CD ALBUM - USD $1.39 Buy It Now 2h 45m
Clannad - Magical Ring - RCA CD - exc USD $2.99 Buy It Now 3h 16m
EX/EX! BONO (U2) AND CLANNAD 1989 IN LIFETIME 7" VINYL PICTURE PIC DISC USD $39.30 Buy It Now 3h 31m
Clannad-Almost Seems (Too Late To Turn)/Journey's End 7" Single.1985 RCA PB40469 USD $5.60 Buy It Now 4h 48m
CLANNAD--LEGEND---UK LP VINYL---1984---PL70188 USD $2.79 [0 bids]
4h 49m
Clannad Past Present CD USD $2.11 [0 bids]
5h 56m
Nádúr by Clannad (Vinyl, Oct-2013, Music on Vinyl) USD $34.13 Buy It Now 6h
Clannad - Best of (In a Lifetime, 2003) USD $2.09 [0 bids]
6h 9m
Clannad - An Diolaim (1998) USD $3.50 Buy It Now 6h 24m
Various - Pride and Passion (1996 2CD) Thin Lizzy Waterboys Orange Juice Clannad USD $7.02 Buy It Now 6h 26m
Clannad - Pastpresent (1997) USD $1.61 [0 bids]
6h 32m
CLANNAD MACALLA ORIGINAL POSTER SIZE ADVERT 19 OCT 1985 USD $16.84 Buy It Now 6h 33m
CLANNAD LEGEND LP(1984 ILL PIC) USD $0.69 [0 bids]
6h 59m
Clannad - Best of [Paradise] (2003) FREEPOST CD USD $6.84 Buy It Now 7h 22m
Clannad - Essential Clannad (CD Used Like New) USD $11.61 Buy It Now 7h 56m
New CLANNAD Original Soundtrack PC Game Music CD from Japan USD $69.20 Buy It Now 9h 5m
Clannad: Greatest Hits by Clannad USD $4.03 Buy It Now 9h 35m
Maire Brennan - Whisper To The Wild Water - CD Album - The Voice Of Clannad USD $22.48 Buy It Now 9h 45m
Past Present by Clannad 1989 Audio CD USD $4.00 [0 bids]
USD $5.50 Buy It Now
10h 29m
CLANNAD - Best Of Clannad - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** USD $12.95 Buy It Now 10h 44m
Clannad - Live in Concert CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 10h 44m
Rogha: Best of Clannad Clannad MUSIC CD USD $5.48 Buy It Now 11h 36m
Bono & Gavin Friday "In the Name of the Father" 7" Original UK U2 Clannad USD $26.99 Buy It Now 13h 2m
Clannad : Magical Ring CD USD $5.98 Buy It Now 13h 37m
Audio CD - CLANNAD - Banba - Last of the Mohicans USED Very Good (VG) WORLDWIDE USD $10.14 Buy It Now 13h 40m
Clannad. Legend. Compact Disc. 1984. Made In Australia USD $11.89 Buy It Now 14h 16m
CLANNAD Macalla CD USD $7.88 Buy It Now 14h 20m
Clannad. Sirius. Compact Disc. 1987. Made In Australia USD $11.89 Buy It Now 14h 20m
CLANNAD - Magical Ring Vinyl (Original 1st press) TARA 3010 LP Near Mint USD $12.00 Buy It Now 14h 49m
Fuaim - Clannad cd USD $3.90 Buy It Now 14h 50m
Clannad. Anam. Compact Disc. 1990. Made In Australia. USD $11.89 Buy It Now 14h 57m
CLANNAD 4 CD LOT CELTIC MUSIC COLLECTION USD $16.49 Buy It Now 15h 11m
CLANNAD CELTIC COLLECTIONS THE ULTIMATE MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE CD IMPORT!!! USD $14.99 Buy It Now 15h 16m
CLANNAD - CRANN ULL - CD USD $5.55 Buy It Now 15h 29m
WEA SAMPLER #164 FEB93/CLANNAD/RAY CHARLES/TESTAMENT/SONIA DADA/IAN TYSON/BLEACH USD $6.38 Buy It Now 15h 47m
CLANNAD_Magical Ring_used CD_ ships from AUS!_zz45_A20 USD $9.51 Buy It Now 16h 33m
CLANNAD fuaim (original irish press & lyric insert) LP EX/EX TARA 3008 folk rock USD $36.86 Buy It Now 16h 36m
CLANNAD magical ring LP EX-/EX PL 70003 acoustic neofolk ambient 1983 rca USD $28.03 Buy It Now 16h 38m
CLANNAD: Maire Brennan newsprint POSTER/ Pin Up 16x12 inches USD $13.97 Buy It Now 16h 41m
CD ALBUM - CLANNAD - PastPresent USD $1.40 [0 bids]
17h 41m
CLANNAD. THEME FROM HARRYS GAME. 7" VINYL SINGLE. USD $2.11 [0 bids]
17h 42m
Clannad - Theme From Harry's Game 7"- RCA 292 - Ex USD $4.90 Buy It Now 17h 47m
Clannad - Macalla (PL 70 894 1985) Vinyl LP Record 33RPM USD $8.41 Buy It Now 18h 18m
CLANNAD - The Collection (great 13 track CD) The Best of Clannad USD $1.39 [0 bids]
18h 21m
CLANNAD - Macalla - Excellent Condition LP Record USD $12.62 Buy It Now 18h 23m

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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
4.85 | 7 ratings
Fuaim
1982
4.76 | 10 ratings
Magical Ring
1983
3.15 | 10 ratings
Legend (OST)
1984
4.48 | 12 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
2.44 | 8 ratings
Lore
1996
3.92 | 5 ratings
Landmarks
1997
3.95 | 2 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
0.00 | 0 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
 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
4.48 | 12 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 | 2 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.

 Lore by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.44 | 8 ratings

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Lore
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars With the previous "Banba" being CLANNAD's top charting studio album in the UK, bolstered by the theme song from "Last of the Mohicans", the band decided to focus on the more meditative "mood music" aspect of their style in "Lore".

The production and harmonies are impeccable as always, and new songs like "A Bridge" and "Trail of Tears" show that the formula has aged well if not actually been upgraded. Unfortunately, over the course of 50 minutes, the net effect is one of diminishing returns. While "From your heart" and "Dealramh Go Deo" might be hailed as pearls of delicacy on an album of more varied material, here they mix unctuously into the impermeable atmosphere and barely elucidate even an embryonic new age consciousness.

The most telling and unfavorable characteristic of "Lore" can be gleaned from the track running lengths, in which by far the most vibrant song, "Alastair Macolla", with its swirling synths and call and response vocals, is relegated to two minutes while the moribund "Trathnona Beag Areir" drags on for six and a half. "Seanchas" is the only other offering that actually shirks the unwavering placidity that apparently pacified band, critics and fans alike.

"Lore" might just be the weakest Clannad album in terms of balance and impact, even though it does sound lovely. It also signaled the completion of their metamorphosis from folk rock elder statesmen to polite new age proponents. Not quite the stuff of legend.

 Live at Christchurch Cathedral by CLANNAD album cover DVD/Video, 2013
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Live at Christchurch Cathedral
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Theo Verstrael

— First review of this album —
5 stars An stunning live performance by one of the best folkrock bands around, performed in a serene environment. Maire Brennan is flawless as ever but it's not her briliant performance alone that makes that this dvd is farabove par. It is the interplay within the band, the unique atmospheric character of these traditional songs, the new arrangements of several songs, for instance with the addition of a children's choir and a string quartet and the utmost concentration by the musicians to perform the songs well that takes the viewer to higher grounds. Highly recommended because it shows this great yet underrated band perfectly well!
 Banba by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.12 | 7 ratings

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Banba
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars After the somewhat generic "Sirius" and the very timid "Anam", CLANNAD must have done some soul searching, as "Banba" marks something of a return to the style of their peak mid 1980s period. Unfortunately, it's still a bit too self conscious in its mellowness to approach prior classics, even as it gained the group a spate of accolades on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tracks like "Struggle", "Soul Searcher" and "Sunset Dreams" are tight lipped, slick, and wispy to a fault. Even "I will find you", popularized by its use in "Last of the Mohicans", is bailed out by its mesmerizing Native American chants and eerie electronic keys. The opener "Na Laethe Bhi" is so similar to "Harry's Game" that its gorgeous melody is partially annulled.

Luckily MEL COLLINS' saxes and flutes remain compelling and dominant, but the major upgrade is in the vocals. Most of the highlights, like "Banba Oir", "There for you" and "The Other Side", offer ensemble singing and a more full band backing that counteracts the group's at time overly fragile demeanor. Still, when it comes to interpreting traditional songs freshly and hauntingly, it's hard to beat Maire and her brethren on the otherworldly "Cad de sin don te sin". The well known Breton band TRI YANN interprets the same tune in "Korydwen et le Rouge" equally well yet differently, which proves how much can be achieved through the additive blessings of nature and nurture.

"Banba" showed that Clannad was still a work in progress in 1993, which is a compliment for a group that had been around for over 20 years, Even though it does not match the pioneering spirit and beguiling consistency of earlier releases, it's worth exploring if you enjoy spacey well produced Irish folk with exquisite harmonies.

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

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