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Blackmore's Night - Past Times With Good Company  CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

3.39 | 23 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Minstrels in the gallery

Overall appreciation of live recording quality - Past Times With Good Company is a good quality live recording covering material from the first three Blackmore's Night albums. My version has different cover art, a gayish pink one with flowers and crap rather than the tavern scene displayed here.

In comparison to the original studio tracks, the material here is generally played in a more acoustic fashion. This approach results quite lovely in songs originally acoustic, but not so good in the others. This does mean, however, that this show lacked energy throughout. Some differences worth noting: Shadow Of The Moon is an extended version with the beginning of Written in the Stars as opener. Play Minstrel Play is a good quality rendition of the studio version without Ian Anderson, whose absence is not felt, courtesy of a well orchestrated meddle section and finale. Fires At Midnight works well in the beginning, but there is no guitar solo (replaced by violin), and it features a boring extended middle section in the build-up to the end, which is quite climatic. Apart from their own songs, there is also space for covers. First, an acoustic one of Deep Purple's Soldier of Fortune. The electric guitar only appears in the second CD, right on the opener, a cover of Rainbow's 16th Century Greensleeves. Home Again is ok, featuring some minor improvisation, but not nearly as spectacular as one would expect it to be in a live setting. I Still Remember is guitarless and too drowsy, as if it was a vinyl record played in a slower rotation. Finally, we get some more electric guitar (yay!) on Writing On The Wall, which played live with a proper band and no studio gimmicks such as the awful drum machines featured in the album version, turns out quite better than the original. Choosing some definite highlights, I would have to go with Play Minstrel Play, 16th Century Greensleeves and, surprisingly, Writing On The Wall.

In conclusion, this live offering should be mostly of interest to fans of the band - but even for them this would might be a useless additon, given that there are two DVD's with similar playlist, and the importance of the visual component in a band like Blackmore's Night. Live musicianship is top quality, but most tracks are weaker than their studio counterparts. Also, and this is a personal issue, I find Candice Nigh extremely annoying live, too lovey-dovey for my tastes.

Kotro | 2/5 |


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