"The miracle of the Chieftains is not just that they have collaborated with so many popular musicians to bring Irish music where it might not otherwise have gone, but that they have been doing it for forty years -- a feat seldom equalled in any music genre. _The Wide World Over_ is a wonderful retrospective of this work, featuring collaborations with artists ranging from Joni Mitchell to the Chinese National Ensemble, as well as several new recordings. The album is also a fine tribute to Paddy Maloney's skill as a composer and arranger. In recent years a great many Celtic groups have explored the fusion of traditional music and tunes with "popular" genres, but Paddy Maloney was one of the first to do so, and remains one of the best and most effective arrangers in this area._The Wide World Over_ draws heavily from the Chieftains' work of the past ten years, and features more collaborations than it does traditional and traditionally arranged tunes and songs. As such, it may not appeal to Celtic music purists. This is not a CD that is going to stun the listener with the virtuosity of the players, an element that has come more and more to the forefront of the genre in recent years. In fact, in many of the tracks the band takes a back seat to the guest artist. What is conveyed, though, is a real joy in the music and an understanding that Celtic music is a living and changing tradition with relevance and parallels in many different global cultures. Good music is good music, no matter where it comes from or who plays it.You may not want to purchase this CD if you already own the entire Chieftains catalogue. However, if you don't and you want to add just one of their CDs to your collection, _The Wide World Over_ would be a good choice."
A collection that celebrates the Irish group's versatility
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 12/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On the one hand, I sure hope that the Chieftains aren't leaving their traditional roots, and on the other hand, I enjoy their explorations of different musical styles. These are all cuts from previous albums, so he who has all of their albums probably won't want this one. For the rest of us, there are some realy outstanding cuts. I especially enjoyed Sinead O'Connor's singing of the traditional "The Foggy Dew". That one's followed by The Corrs and "I Know My Love", another traditional with a fresh twist. Ricky Skaggs joining the group for "Cotton-Eyed Joe" was a real high point, spotlighting the relation of Irish traditional reels and jigs to bluegrass. Joni Mitchell is one of the greats, and hearing her own "The Magdalene Laundries" backed by the group is a real treat. And Van Morrison bares his soul in "Shenandoah", again highlighting the Irish influence on American music. I was a bit disappointed with Diana Krall & Art Garfunkel's "Morning Has Broken", which certainly doesn't compare with Cat Stevens. So you can't win them all. Sting didn't seem appropriate on "Mo Ghile Mear" either.However, I was pleasantly surprised by "Full Of Joy" with the Chinese Ensemble. That's one where it sounded everyone was having fun. And the closing rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" featuring Ziggy Marley was a winner.All in all, if you don't have most of these on other Chieftain albums, you'll want this one."
All that was promised from the Ambassadors of Celtic Music
Neal C. Reynolds | 03/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have never purchased a Chieftain's CD, this is the one to pick. If you have almost everything the group has ever recorded, this is still a good purchase.The CD includes a variety (17 tracks) of favorite Chieftain recordings from over the years. With only two new tracks, some might think this just a rehash. But, the tracks included include some great work by the Chieftains (Live from Malloy's Pub, The love theme from Barry Lyndon, etc.) as a group AND most of my favorite collaborations from over the years.The strength of the Chieftain's 40 years started with their amazing ability to reach back and preserve/refresh traditional old Irish tunes in danger of being forgotten. Not content to master the body of Celtic work from the past, they composed on their own and then moved on to work with world class artisans from other genres - bringing a Celtic sincerity and energy to each work. I love these guys and this CD is an excellent choice for anyone interested in reliving music history. You get to hear collaborations with The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, Sinead O'Connor, Ricky Skaggs, Sting, The Corrs, Van Morrison, Art Gunfunkel, etc. For pure star power alone, this is a good buy.The new cuts deliver all we have come to expect from a Chieftain's cut - fresh arrangements of Celtic themes impeccably adapted by the group.Let's all hope there is more "new stuff" from the Chieftains left in their bag of tricks."
We love this cd
Neal C. Reynolds | 12/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"listened to the entire thing over thanksgiving dinner, something for everyone... and the chieftans have outdone themselves if that is possible. a great intro to the chieftans if you know someone who doesn't like to explore on their own."
An excellent introduction to the Chieftains music
R. Kyle | USA | 08/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Throughout their long careers, the Chieftains continually surprised their fans with the collaborations they'd create. Everyone from the Rolling Stones doing a rollicking version of "Rocky Road to Dublin" to Ziggy Marley's version of his Dad's "Redemption Song" are here.
This collection's not all jollity. Of course, you've got the deeper more thoughtful songs like "Magdalene Laundries" by Joni Mitchell, which details the forced servitude of 'fallen women' controlled by the Catholic Church in Ireland. There's also the haunting "Foggy Dew" by Sinead O'Connor.
Probably my favorite song of the whole bunch, if it's possible to have one, is "Morning Has Broken" with Art Garfunkel. His pure voice intermixed with the strings is one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard.
If you don't own any Chieftains and want a good sampling of their work, this collection's a good start. If you're like me and do own a lot of their music, it's still good to have this collection to put on as a collection of varietal music.