Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem|
Ain't It Grand Boys
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Listen to Samples
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T'is A Pitty...
McYank | 08/31/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For twenty years I've been waiting for Columbia/Sony to come out with an anthology of "unisued gems" by the Clancys & Makem. Well, they finally did it, and man did the corporate people at Sony screw it up!Nearly every track on this CD is to be found in almost the identical format elsewhere in the CB & TM discography... except that the previously issued "gems" that made the original Columbia album cuts are far superior. These unissued gems, even though they are quite good,(how could they be otherwise?)are still the "factory Seconds" that did not make the final album cuts.Here is where Sony missed the boat. There must be hours and hours of tape from both live concerts and studio sessions with songs never released durring the Columbia years. I have a CB & TM Irish Songbook published in 1969 that has so many songs from their early Tradition Records years that they never got around to releasing for Columbia even though they perfomed them throughout the 60's. Songs like The Croppy Boy, Boulavogue and Bold Thady Quill come to mind. Also in that songbook are some rare songs like The Earl of Morray and The Lough Neagh Fishers that are considered "unreleased". And yet we all know that somewhere in the Sony archives those songs are lurking, hoping some day to see the light of day. I'd gladly volunteer to go through that mountain of material and ferret out the real "undiscovered gems" of the CB & TM.Instead, if you purchase this huge dissapointment you will get to hear for the thousandth time Roddy McCorley, Rising of the Moon, Isn't It Grand Boys, The Holy Ground and all the other standards merely performed in different settings which you previously have heard them in. Hardly unreleased gems!There are a few high notes for die hard fans. The American Folk Song Medley that starts the album is wonderful. So is the accapella version of The Old Tringle from the'62 Newport folk Festival. Pat Clancy's Carol of the Birds is especially touching in light of his sad passing last year and the presented version of Portlairge with the boys breaking into the Hebrew folk song Hava-Nagila is most entertaining. Oh yes and Liam's version of An Ould Man Came Courting that was cut from their debut album is truly great. To sum up, this project was a huge dissapointment. I do hope that Sony gives it another shot and next time releases SONGS that we've never heard before. We know they are out there somewhere. In the meantime, why don't they at least rerelease some of those early Columbia albums like Hearty & Hellish, The Boys Wont Leave The Girls Alone and The First Hurrah on CD instead. That would be far more desireable than this mis-guided project called Ain't It Grand. No, it ain't!"
Very Satisfying Indeed
McYank | Boston, Massachusetts | 03/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although these songs have in fact been issued before, the cuts on these disks are some of my favorites. The versions of "Johnson's Motor Car" and "The Irish Rover" are in my personal opinion the best I've ever heard. The sheer enthusiasm with which they plough through "Johnson's Motor Car" complete with the whoops and hollers gets me everytime. I also think this album has some of the most interesting between song banter so typical of the Clancys. And there rollicking version of "The Holy Ground" also ranks among the best I've heard. The highlights of the entire release in my opinion though are "The Royal Canal"... the harmonic cresendo which closes that cut leaves the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up, and "The West's Asleep"...the thunder of the last verse compared to the rest of the somber song is perfectly captured and gives me goosebumps everytime. A few of the cuts are stale I suppose... "The Rising of the Moon" just NEVER sounds any different but overall out of the 16 Clancy CD's I currently own, this is the one which comes with me in the car the most often, if for nothing else than it's sheer variety. Anyway, if you are a new fan... buy it... and if you can appreciate alternate versions of the same songs for their subtle differences... buy it. But if you absolutely HAVE to have something "brand new"... you might need to think about changing tastes. No offense, but traditional songs are traditional because they've ALL been done before."
If you have everything else, you don't need this.
J. Carroll | Island Heights,NJ | 03/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Clancy Brothers are one of the preeminent Irish bands and this CD purports to be a collection of unreleased "gems." Well the "gems" part is true but if you have read the other reviews you will see the problem with the "unrelesed" part. Still The CD has a number of worthwhile songs and is well-worth a buy if you are a casual fan. For the hard core fan you have these songs already. If there ever was a band that deserved a well-researched box it is the Clancy Brothers. Someday soon I hope."