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Past Present
Past Present
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
This set covers the years during which Clannad went from being a popular Irish group singing in Gaelic to an international phenomenon, with genre-bending songs and duets with pop stars leading the way. "Theme from Harry's ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Clannad
Title: Past Present
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 5
Label: RCA
Original Release Date: 10/17/1989
Re-Release Date: 9/25/1989
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
Styles: British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles, Celtic New Age
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 078635991222, 035627407420, 078635991246, 743212898125, 078635991222

Synopsis essential recording
This set covers the years during which Clannad went from being a popular Irish group singing in Gaelic to an international phenomenon, with genre-bending songs and duets with pop stars leading the way. "Theme from Harry's Game" is here, of course (thanks to its massive popularity, the song was used to hook listeners into several of Clannad's regular releases, so it's only natural for it to be on the anthologies, too), as are duets with U2's Bono ("In a Lifetime"), Bruce Hornsby ("Something to Believe In"), country-rocker J.D. Souther ("Sirius"), and Journey's Steve Perry ("White Fool"). The collection isn't all about stunt-casting, though. There are some fine examples of the group's soundtrack work ("Robin (The Hooded Man)" and "Lady Marian" from the U.K. television series Robin of Sherwood), ethereal pop crossover pieces ("Newgrange," "Closer to Your Heart"), and a pair of previously unreleased songs ("The Hunter," "World of Difference"). --Daniel Durchholz

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CD Reviews

Clannad's Greatest Hits Gem
J. L. Shipp | Richmond, Virginia United States | 06/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"PastPresent, I believe is an excellent name for a milestone in the career of Clannad. This compilation of songs ranging from the album ýMagical Ringý to the later ýSirius,ý is a great way to get to know the beginning of Contemporary Irish Music.Clannad started off as a family ensemble that paid homage to its Irish Roots. They sought to preserve the enriched traditions of Irish song. However, destiny would have other plans for this talented group. In a monumental decision, Clannad changed direction in the early 80s by incorporating Pop elements into their music.I like to think of Clannad as the instigators of Irish Pop but in the most classic sense.While PastPresent fails to review the roots of Clannad, it still gives you an excellent indication of their charm and musical prowess. The first song that leads PastPresent is the ýTheme From Harryýs Game.ý This is the first song in Gaelic to ever reach Number #1 on British Music Charts. Quite an accomplishment to have wooed a country whose main language is English.Clannadýs PastPresent offers something for every kind of Irish Music Lover and also reflects a range of moods from the melancholic to the whimsical. Here is a brief review of each track:1) ýTheme from Harryýs Gameý ý a short track but potent in character. This song reflects seriousness understated by the protruding soft whisper of common hardship. 2) ýCloser to Your Heartý ý a song about the plight and wildness of love. Fun and excellent to drive your cares away. Excellent song to listen to while driving.3) ýAlmost Seems (Too Late to Turn)ý ý a classic representation of Irish melancholy. While you could never sink too deep, it reminds you of lifeýs enduring struggle.4) ýThe Hunterý ý a passionate plea about what one must do, even though wrong, in order to make something right. Very simple message but backed by Maireýs (pronounced Moya) angelic vocals and solid musical accompaniment.5) ýLady Marianý ý a charming instrumental and ode to the babe of Robin Hoodýs eye.6) ýSiriusý ý a song depicting manýs vices and the eternal hope of recovery. While a very saddening subject, the vocals and music compliment with a projection of light and uplifting hope.7) ýCoinleach Ghlas an Fhómhairý ý the title translates as ýThe Green Stubble-Field of Autumn.ý The song is a traditional song that speaks of the hidden love of two people. Maireýs vocals flesh out a story of swelling love and lingering passion. Her voice is finely matched by the touching guitar ebbing in response.8) ýSecond Natureý ý is a joyful chorus. Maire is joined by the backing vocals and musicianship of Bruce Hornsby. The song depicts the concept of how people seem destined or born do something. A friendly and uplifting melody backs her optimism.9) ýWorld of Differenceý ý an echoing and haunting melody.10) ýIn A Lifetimeý ý is a song that affirms the struggles of friendships and relationships. With Maire vocalizing the side of women and Bono the men. A somber song that speaks to the essence of humanity.11) ýRobin (The Hooded Man)ý ý a song depicts the nobility and righteousness of Robin Hood but yet still retains the rustic charm and earthy legends of Medieval England. A very simple song that is utterly charming from the chorus of the group to the skillful rhythm of their instruments.12) ýSomething To Believe Iný ý another melody shared with the talents of Bruce Hornsby. Their voices compliment each other very nicely. Tenderness and strength. The title spells out the message clearly. ýEverybody's rushing around, Trying to keep a hold/ On some piece of mind/All the time/And somebody's lookin' around/Tryin' to find /Something to believe in..ý13) ýNewgrangeý ý is a definite homage to the cultural legacy of Ireland and its mysteries such as that of the Druids and Celts. Clannad is gifted in the area of harmony and have practiced the timing of their music. This song, full of fairy tale charm, paints a vision that is very Tolkienesque ý Knights, Forgotten People, etc14) ýBuachaill An Eirneý ý a kind and willowy tune about love forlorn. The video shows Maire amongst the ruins of perhaps a church singing as if she remembered an old tale that her grandfather might have told her. 15) ýWhite Foolý ý a very strong song backed by vocals from Steve Perry. A song that depicts the blight and hardship faced by American Indians from the exploring English. This is how I interpreted the song but one might also compare it to the conquest of other places by the White Europeans. One cannot help to identify with the message. A rare socio-political protest from Clannad.16) ýStepping Stoneý ý Maireýs voice betrays a new beginning, a new strength. I suppose you could also call it conviction. A song whose message is about the power to move forward. ýThe young girl waiting / She's waiting there/With a suit case in her hand/ She won't look back on the land.ýI hope you find this review helpful. This CD is a great way to introduce yourself to Clannad if you are not familiar with their music."
NOT just another Clannad 'Greatest Hits' Collection!
L. Brooks | Great Falls, Virginia USA | 08/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"What more can I say after dialiom1's passionate review? (Amazing, by the way!) I too have been a Clannad fan for many, many years - and I have collected every album I could get my hands on, first on audiocassette, then later on C.D. Record companies (in Ireland, the UK, Europe, and the States) have released many "best of" Clannad collections over the years, and this one is probably the earliest still in circulation... even though they had a strong traditional Celtic music career in the 70s before they became more contemporary. There are two VERY important reasons to own this C.D. however: the additional tracks "the Hunter" and "World of Difference". They are two of the best Clannad tracks I have ever heard, and as far as I can tell, they exist ONLY on this C.D. Nowhere before or even after... yet they are worth the album price alone (even if you already own their 80s albums "Magical Ring", "Legend", "Macalla", and "Sirius" - the source for all of the other tracks)."