Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem|
Luck of the Irish
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Where's the Rest of Their Catalogue?
Fred Wemyss (Actual Name) | Huntington, NY United States | 07/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chances are that those reading my review already have a concept of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. So, with a nod to the knowing, I'll begin: In the early 60s, more than one musical quartet from across the Atlantic got a boost from going on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. When this particular team did the show, the folk-music fans responded positively, but a demographic which had not yet been tapped also suddenly made its spending-power known. The vast Irish-American consumer block wended its way to the record store and Columbia had a fairly unlikely hit. Of course, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem had been playing clubs in Greenwich Village for three or four years and had recorded a lot of songs for a label Tom and Pat Clancy had founded, "Tradition." But, by the time they made their first record for Columbia, their singing had become incredibly forceful and distinct. From 1961 (or '62) until 1969, the team recorded at least ten full-length albums for Columbia, some live, many in the studio. Eric Weissberg (who had a hit in the early '70s with "Dueling Banjos") often played on the Columbia recordings and their first Columbia album featured him and Pete Seeger. In short, the Clancies and Makem were in top vocal form here and had the best musicians in the business backing them. Makem's tin whistle was of course at its hypnotic best. These were funny, exciting, moving albums. The bulk of them are NOT available on CD. THE LUCK OF THE IRISH has tracks from various times in the sixties, some of which made it to the albums and some which are either alternate takes or which were never used. "Home Boys Home" is marvelous and sounds like the exact recording on the unavailable-on-CD LP HOME BOYS HOME except that a rhythm guitar has been removed. Like other releases by Sony (which IS Columbia)
the booklet tells you very little about the Clancies progression in the sixties. Is there some taboo on telling the fans which albums came out when? It's as if some Soviet bureaucrat were given the keys to the Clancy vault and caused most of their recordings to vaporize before the wall came down. This is not only really good music, it's important to the Irish folk movement, and it's not on CD. Bob Dylan, thankfully, invited the Clancy Brothers to sing at the Madison Square Garden tribute to him in 1992, so people will, through that CD, run into the Clancy Brothers, but Sony otherwise seems to try to keep them hidden. A bunch of CDs of random tracks packaged for a Saint Patrick's Day audience does no justice to this seminal folk group. Here, off the top of my head is a list of their Columbia LPs. The boldfaced ones are the ones available on CD as of July, 2005:
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
Hearty and Hellish
The Boys Won't Leave The Girls Alone
The First Hurrah!
IN PERSON AT CARNEGIE HALL
Isn't It Grand, Boys (Not to be confused with the boxed set "Ain't It Grand")
Sing of the Sea
So, two, count 'em, two actual albums have made it to CD and the other CDs are culled from different albums with many, many tracks left off. May I also point out that at least three of these are concept albums. HEART AND HELLISH, for example, is a truly well recorded live nightclub performance and the audience, roaring with laughter and cheering and, at solemn moments, almost prayerfully quiet, is as much a part of the recording as the group. Did some manager throw this stuff in some legal hell-hole? It's as if only two stories from DUBLINERS were allowed to surface. What gives?
So, if you buy LUCK OF THE IRISH you'll like the songs. But they jump back and forth through the Clancies 60s career. Why not allow the CDs to reflect the albums, as is done with the Clancy Brothers' friend Bob Dylan? And if the answer is "The album's are short," MY answer will be, put two on one disc. But put them in order and let's hear them in their entirety!
Okay, but not great
music lover | 02/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"To echo another reviewers sentiments, RELEASE THE COMPLETE ALBUMS!!
This CD is okay because this is the only place to get some of these old tracks on CD. There are also some unreleased live tracks, but from who knows where because Columbia thought it too much trouble to provide the recording info in the liner notes. This CD is way too short, and most of the live tracks exist in better versions ON THE ORIGINAL LP'S!!! I was really hoping for some exciting new material, and I thought I would get just that when I saw "Wars of Germany" in the track listing. I had never seen or heard of the song before. What I got was one of the worst performances of a Clancy/Makem song EVER. This should never have made it out of the vault. Overall, an okay CD, but don't expect anything new."