Search - Planxty :: Planxty

Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

In 1972, Christy Moore brought together uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn, Dónal Lunny and Andy Irvine and formed Planxty (the name is a term for a song composed for a paying client). This, their first album, was a watershed for...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Planxty
Title: Planxty
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Shanachie
Release Date: 12/12/1989
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016351790927, 016351790910, 016351790941, 669910094952

In 1972, Christy Moore brought together uilleann piper Liam O'Flynn, Dónal Lunny and Andy Irvine and formed Planxty (the name is a term for a song composed for a paying client). This, their first album, was a watershed for the coming boon in "Celtic" music, with its use of harmonies and its blend of songs, ballads and instrumental tunes. Their mix of bouzouki (now almost considered a traditional instrument, then viewed as an aberration!), bagpipes, guitars, and fiddles, along with the gritty, unadorned singing of Moore and Irvine, still stands the test of time. It was a brilliant act of faith, proclaiming that traditional Irish music could sound startlingly new without being bastardized. --Louis Gibson

CD Reviews

Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 06/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This incredibly talented quartet actually first recorded together on Christy Moore's album PROSPEROUS (also available thru amazon) -- this, their 'official' debut, has got to be one of the most stunning first albums ever released. Four of the greatest Irish musicians of our time -- Christy Moore (vocals, guitar, bodhran), Andy Irvine (vocals, mandolin, bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy), Donal Lunny (bouzouki, vocals) and Liam Og O Floinn (Uilleann pipes, whistle) unite to form an aboslute powerhouse of Irish music.Combining traditional jigs, reels, airs and songs with some of the best work of Ireland's fine folk-revival songwriters, Planxty gave the world living proof that 'folk' music could be every bit as exciting as rock and roll. Astoundingly talented, infinitely inventive and respectfully traditional -- Planxty was a deceptively powerful band. Looking at one of their album sleeves, reading the musician credits, many unitiated listeners were blown away by the sheer force of this music -- and captivated by its beauty as well.Their albums, as well as their live performances, were thoughtfully well-balanced -- showcasing their instrumental prowess appropriately and always with good taste, alternating with some of the most lovely, often stirring ballads and songs that Ireland has to offer.Blessed with two of the finest vocalists in Irish music, Christy Moore and Andy Irvine, Planxty was able to deliver songs from the entire spectrum of the Irish repertoire -- political ballads and revolutionary songs, love songs, songs of struggle -- and take it to a level most other performers could only aim at. 'Raggle taggle Gypsy' became one of their signature concert numbers -- it and 'The jolly beggar' are fine examples of traditional song on this cd. Andy Irvine's lovely composition 'The west coast of Clare' is one of the most hauntingly beautiful love songs I've ever heard. 'Arthur McBride' tells the story of a British recruiting sergeant who unwisely targets a couple of Irish lads with his promises of the glories of leading a soldier's life -- a lesson, of course, is offered in return, related with great humor and relish. 'Follow me up to Carlow' shows us that the Irish spirit of rebellion has existed long before the present-day 'troubles' -- and what spirit it embodies! 'Only our rivers' is excruciatingly poignant in expressing the yearning for freedom in the Irish heart.The instrumentals shine on the album as well -- Liam Og O Floinn is perhaps the finest living practitioner of the Uilleann pipes. His fingers are deft and expressive, flying one moment at breakneck speed, the next tenderly coaxing from the pipes a slow melody so achingly beautiful it could wring tears from stones. The interplay between Irvine and Lunny on mandolin and bouzoukis is intricate and impressive as well -- and Moore's guitar and bodhran add body and bottom to the mix. Listen to the amazing 'reel' with no title, tacked onto the end of 'The jolly beggar' -- 'Merrily kissed the Quaker', 'Si bheag, si mhor', and the Turlouch O Carolan composition 'Planxty Irwin' are all delightful. This is truly an example of four great musicians on the same wavelength, feeding off each other's energy and talent -- and having a blast!This disc, to me, is one of the trio of classic Planxty albums (although I must say they're all very good), with THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY and AFTER THE BREAK rounding out the triumvirate.I had the exceedingly good fortune to see this group perform live, in Scotland, in 1979 -- they were touring to support AFTER THE BREAK, and were joined by the great Matt Molloy on flute. Not knowing that they had reformed (they had split about 3 years earlier), stumbling across this show while on holiday was a wonderful surprise for me. They did not disappoint in the least -- all the things I had come to love about their music over the years of enjoying their recordings were there in person. The auditorium in Edinburgh was filled to capacity -- the crowd spanned several generations, all there together, united in their love of this music.All the members of the band are still active, and the work they have done since Planxty's demise is all first-rate. Andy Irvine has gone on to record with Paul Brady and Davy Spillane, as well as releasing several fine solo albums and being a member of Irish super-group Patrick Street. Christy Moore and Liam Og O Floinn each have several outstanding recordings to their credit. And Donal Lunny -- well, Donal Lunny seems to have a Midas touch (in quality if not in sales). You can pretty much count on anything he is associated with to be of the highest imaginable quality. He was a founding member of The Bothy Band, and the mastermind behind the amazingly innovative Moving Hearts (which also included Christy Moore on a couple of albums)....but, as they say, there ain't nothin' like the original. If you think you know Irish traditional music, but have never heard Planxty...are you in for a treat!"
A Celtic Classic!
Larry L. Looney | 08/12/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Planxty's title album is a standard by which the Celtic Music movement can be measured. Its opening arrangement of "The Jolly Beggar," driving as hard as any rock tune, segues into the haunting "Tabhair Dam Do Lamh," successfully transitioning from sharp irony to yearning. "Arthur McBride" is a traditional anti-recruiting song from the days when Ireland was an English colony. Its spirit is similar to the anti-draft songs of Viet Nam-era American folk-music. In fact the whole album is an example of the best of folk music: story telling and tasty arrangements featuring acoustical instruments. Unlike any American folk music, though Planxty features the Celtic uileann pipes, traditional bohdran and tin whistle, and bouzouki to go with the ubiquitous guitar. While Liam O'Flynn's uileann pipes are not so fluid and effortless as those of Paddy Maloney (The Chieftians), there is no denying my feet the urge to dance during his energy-infected "Planxty Irwin," the "Reel" that follows "The Jolly Beggar" and "Merrily Kissed the Quaker." Ancient enmity is the theme in the pipe medely of O'Carolan's lyrical "Si Bheag, Si Mhor," a battle between fairies, which flows into a duel between Irish and English in the blood-ballad "Follow Me Up to Carlow." The vocals are clean and unpretentious, letting the words carry the story with few vocal flourishes or elaboration. The whole effect of the album is that of having a core experience of "reel" Irish traditional music. Planxty's first album is a classic, a standard against which any folk album, Celtic or otherwise, can be measured, a standard hard to beat!"
PAUL DEVINE | Bangor, Co Down United Kingdom | 04/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)