Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Blackmore's Night - Castles And Dreams CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night

Prog Folk

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
5 stars This is something all of Blackmore's Night fans have been waiting for, a DVD of a live performance with interviews and all the extra goodies. It is all here on Castles & Dreams. I have completely enjoyed all of their studio work and I often wondered how it would be to watch them perform some of their best material live. Well now I know, Blackmore's Night is just as good live as they are in the studio. All of the appropriate visual effects are in place, the stage setting, and all the clothing everyone wears in the band. A lot of audience members dress for the occasion as well. It is very similar to a Renaissance Fair complete with a traveling minstrel show.

The two generous DVDs offer quite a selection of songs, spanning their career. The extras and behind the scenes material is quite interesting. Interviews with band members, Ritchie and Candace, and commentary from their manager Carole Stevens are included. One thing I found out was how long Ritchie and Candace have been together. I like many others, figured they started the band together and their relationship developed from there, this is not the case at all, they have been together for over 15 years now. So Candace was with him when he was with Rainbow and his brief stints with Deep Purple.

Since this band has so many loyal fans all over the world, the DVD is in several languages so everyone can enjoy it. They are all about their fans and this DVD is a perfect example of how they feel.

Some of the more amazing performances are impromptu takes inside a castle. It is an amazing thing to witness. Because of the acoustic instruments they play it's the perfect setting, the sounds resonate as the building serves as the amplifier. The Concert Burg Veldenstein offers only two tracks where Blackmore picks up the electric guitar, which surprised me. After hearing all of the studio albums you think I would be used to this by now. Even though I have enjoyed their entire output immensely, it still seems odd that most of the music he plays now is on an acoustic. It must be because I am such a big Rainbow and Deep Purple fan. This is definitely an entirely different phase of Blackmore's career and those days are nothing more than a memory and one he would rather not talk about. He prefers to focus on the here and now and where the music is going from this day forward. There is nothing commercial or flashy about this music and the way they present it, which the band prides itself on. I think that is why the band and their fans are such a closely-knit entity. This one thing allows them to stay under the commercial radar and continue making the music they truly enjoy. They are not concerned with making millions of dollars only in the quality of their music and that their fans enjoy it with them.

This band is so down to earth. There is some footage of them at a restaurant with people gathered around and they are talking and singing. It is all in the spirit of the music and the fellowship it encourages.

For me this really put everything into proper perspective regarding Blackmore's Night. It was like visiting with them for a while to get to know them better. If you are an ardent fan like me you will relish this set, it has everything you could possibly ask for.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Report this review (#51368)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this DVD as a Christmas present to myself, even as I'm not any 'fan' of the band. But yes, I was right: this is such a well-produced and luxorious double-DVD that even a non- fan has lots to enjoy. The second disc contains music videos (most of which can rely on the beauty of Candice Night - the two computer graphic animations were not up to my taste!), interviews, live numbers and nicely served bio- and discographies. Even before viewing the concert DVD itself I began to be charmed by the spirit of this band: a bunch of atavistic romantics wearing minstrel costumes and visiting old castles and starting to sing & play just like that, for the pleasure of it. Though the more cynical side of me thinks that it's an image, a brand, to be sold as well as any other. Nevertheless there's at least some true spirit in it. A heartly escape from the chaotic modern life.

Candice is a charismatic, warm-hearted performer, it's not just pretty face, body and voice. And Ritchie really doesn't have any overblown rock star personality. Can you think of any other hard rock guitar legends who could be so at home with this kind of stuff?

Before buying this I had heard only their debut, which I gave a relatively bad review here. Basically songs continue the same soft style but i think the songs have improved from some quite pretentious ones from the debut. Or maybe they work so much better live. Anyway, it's very nice to have one Deep Purple number too: 'Soldier of Fortune' is a highlight. All in all, Blackmore's Night may not be the cleverest music in ProgArchives - indeed it's rather naiive sometimes - but for those who wish some romantic take-offs from today's hurries, this beautiful DVD can be recommended.

Report this review (#110388)
Posted Friday, February 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars The times they are a changin'.. Ritchie's happy!

Candice Night is undoubtedly the best thing to happen to Ritchie Blackmore, and this DVD demonstrates that even more powerfully than the half a dozen albums they have released together. "Castles and dreams" is a wonderful double DVD presentation of Blackmore's Night live in concert, together with a wealth of additional material including videos documentaries, behind the scenes footage etc.

The gig itself, filmed in a castle in Germany, lasts for 2 hours. There is a feel good atmosphere throughout, due in no small part to the charming beauty of songstress Candice Night. The band are of course dressed in renaissance garb, as are the concert goers towards the front of the audience (a band policy). The 20 plus songs are taken from the vast catalogue built up over a number of years now. Candice makes it clear in an interview that it is Ritchie who chooses the set list, which changes night by night. Throughout though, the folk roots of the project are very much to the fore.

A couple of Deep Purple songs make guest appearances. "Soldier of fortune" co-written by Ritchie with David Coverdale is the first, with Night delivering a fine vocal on what for me is the best of the Coverdale/Hughes era material. While introducing the song, Night comments that Coverdale is in the audience, jokingly inviting him to come up and sing it. Blackmore does not seem so enthusiastic about this, while Coverdale remains out of sight of the camera!

One of the encores, there seem to be about half a dozen in all, is a rendition of "Black night" which actually works rather well and induces Ritchie to switch to lead guitar. The stage becomes rather crowded at times, especially when the supplementary musicians join in to swell the sound. Ritchie though is clearly in his element, thoroughly enjoying the party atmosphere which is palpable even on the DVD.

The concert occupies the bulk of the first disc, the second disc containing the rest of the material. The interviews here are interesting, with Ritchie maintaining that he is proud of his musical heritage, but came to feel that what he was doing had become "contrived". He needed to do something which he felt totally at ease with.

Candice is also the perfect foil for Blackmore; on stage she teases him, on one occasion jokingly observing that he "has power but he doesn't have tuning", on another she mutters "show off" after a burst of virtuoso playing by the legend. The fact that she also has a remarkable voice makes the pairing a match made in heaven.

The presentation of this DVD set is lavish and tasteful. For those who enjoy the music of Blackmore's Night, this is nothing short of an essential purchase.

Report this review (#125388)
Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Whether this is BN's first or second DVD (I seem to remember another with a purplish colour >> ooops sorry Ritchie ;o)), I have no idea, but most likely this one is more definitive one, being a double, with the first disc being a full concert and the second being a compilation of video clips, band historics, interviews and discography and little bonus stuffs. Never a major fan of BN, over the years I have grown used to Blackmood's turning his back on the rock industry and even accepted his will to live out his Black Knight fantasies with his Fair Lady, Renaissance Fairs and Dragons Slayed. The man paid his dues to the industry, let the man accomplish his will, no matter how a little quaint or ridiculous it might seem to outsiders.

So I rented the DVD for Christmas (the girlfriend actually likes this stuff), figuring to get some good nude wrestling with the partner out of it, a free meal in terms of a cheese fondue (always guaranteed with BN) and eventually a review to fatten up my grand total and keep evil knights like Gatot, McBeath and ZZ as far back as possible!! Away, you leaches!!! I shall not give up my throne without a fight!!!

The first disc being the object of attention, I can only notice that since the return to favor of Celtic music via The Corrs or to a lesser extent the Wyrd folk movement, BN's concerts seem better attended and they return it well by playing more clichéd jigs and stuff. Soooo, outside the jigs and "Hey Nonny Nonny" clichés, thick enough to enrobe you piece of baguette on your fork, the concert is a rather shallow affair, the group never really getting down to real business (as in Malicorne or Ougenweide stule). One irritation is that throughout many songs, Ritchie's guitar often is under mixed and we have to really pay attention to it. Because have no fear's the man's guitar playing is still intact as often brilliant, but irritatingly un-loud. And after all if we are there to ogle Candice (and the twin back-singers are also babelicious),, we're there to listen to his guitar, not the opposite. One of the cheesiest moments being the Monz Tanz/Child In Time medley where the twins babes (fresh meat for the band, I suppose, so Ritchie can keep his Candy to himself) come out of the shade and ridicule themselves by imitating Gillan's legendary yellings. Throughout the set are appearing a few guests with their instruments for a song or so and for the "encore ", they all come out again with Ritchie playing his Strat electric guitar, there is the usual sing-along and everyone on stage finale.

One of the better moments of the second disc (otherwise the usual self-gratification interviews and video clips) is when Ritchie hints at him being a dirty old man, searching to meet the young virgin Candice (the ages he gives are 11for her . and would you guess it.. 69). Apparently Ritchie hasn't lost his old tricks/practical jokes on the road still around. But overall this second disc, even with the usual praises, shows that the whole deal is to have a good time, rather to make a fortune and that their life on the road does seem to vary from the usual hotels. Hardly essential stuff, but most likely another compromise with the proghead's female partners in sight, provided you put a little water into your wine.

Report this review (#156662)
Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permalink

BLACKMORE'S NIGHT Castles And Dreams ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of BLACKMORE'S NIGHT Castles And Dreams

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.