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CLANNAD

Prog Folk • Ireland


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Clannad picture
Clannad biography
Founded in Gweedore, Donegal, Ireland in 1970 (as "Clann as Dobhar") - Hiatus from 1998-2006

For decades CLANNAD have embodied the spirit and dedication of the proverbial musical family, which just happens to be related by blood as well. While they have navigated a number of distinct phases and less distinct transitions, and are generally and correctly classified as a folk group, they have always been so much more.

In the 1970s they were more closely allied to traditional Irish music, but with eclectic influences from jazz to rock, surely among them the PENTANGLE. While their international popularity was limited at this time, they blazed the path for a revival in Irish folk music, along with the CHIEFTAINS before them and contemporaries PLANXTY and CHRISTY MOORE. Recommended albums from this period - "Clannad" and "Dulaman".

Surprisingly, the 1980s were their most progressive phase, in which they pioneered a blend of pop, folk, ambient, and new age music. They not only sold a lot of albums, but inspired artists in the progressive world and beyond, from LOREENA MCKENNITT to IONA to ENYA, herself a family member and brief band member, to KARNATAKA to CAPERCAILLIE, ALTAN, and numerous other successful and obscure acts. All albums from this period are recommended to prog folk fans, with the exception of "Cran Ull" from 1980 which was more allied to their earlier period.

In the 1990s they achieved their greatest international success including a Grammy award for best new age album for Landmarks. The music from this period was pretty but generally lacked what little edge they had sharpened before. After an extended hiatus in which lead singer Moya Brennan embarked on a successful solo career, they returned to the stage in the mid 2000s and to the studio in 2013 to produce Nadur, revealing that not much had changed.

Clannad belongs on progarchives for their influence on numerous prog acts and their appeal to many prog fans, but mostly for their 1980s period in which they combined eclectic influences into their own unique take on Irish prog folk.

See also: WiKi

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Buy CLANNAD Music


Clannad: Greatest HitsClannad: Greatest Hits
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2000
$5.12
$1.82 (used)
NadurNadur
ARC Music 2013
$9.73
$5.00 (used)
Magical RingMagical Ring
Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
$4.94
$2.17 (used)
Crann UllCrann Ull
TARA MUSIC 2016
$10.34
$0.99 (used)
LegendLegend
Limited Edition · Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2011
$6.89
$2.42 (used)
DulamanDulaman
Shanchie Records 1990
$9.99
$6.00 (used)
The Essential ClannadThe Essential Clannad
Sony Legacy 2012
$10.88
$10.92 (used)
Clannad: Live at Christ Church CathedralClannad: Live at Christ Church Cathedral
Arc Music 2015
$21.34
$27.89 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Bono & Gavin Friday "In the Name of the Father" 7" Original UK U2 Clannad USD $26.99 Buy It Now
Clannad : Magical Ring CD USD $5.98 Buy It Now
Audio CD - CLANNAD - Banba - Last of the Mohicans USED Very Good (VG) WORLDWIDE USD $10.14 Buy It Now
Clannad-Legend CD NEW USD $12.86 Buy It Now
Clannad-Magical Ring CD NEW USD $14.15 Buy It Now
Clannad. Legend. Compact Disc. 1984. Made In Australia USD $11.28 Buy It Now
CLANNAD Macalla CD USD $7.48 Buy It Now
Clannad. Sirius. Compact Disc. 1987. Made In Australia USD $11.28 Buy It Now
Rogha: Best of Clannad Clannad MUSIC CD USD $5.48 Buy It Now
Clannad. Anam. Compact Disc. 1990. Made In Australia. USD $11.28 Buy It Now
Clannad past present vinyl album USD $6.72 [0 bids]
53m 29s
CLANNAD_Magical Ring_used CD_ ships from AUS!_zz45_A20 USD $9.02 Buy It Now 1h 14m
CLANNAD fuaim (original irish press & lyric insert) LP EX/EX TARA 3008 folk rock USD $21.93 Buy It Now 1h 16m
CLANNAD magical ring LP EX-/EX PL 70003 acoustic neofolk ambient 1983 rca USD $17.47 Buy It Now 1h 19m
CLANNAD: Maire Brennan newsprint POSTER/ Pin Up 16x12 inches USD $13.41 Buy It Now 1h 22m
Various - Pride and Passion (1996 2CD) Thin Lizzy Waterboys Orange Juice Clannad USD $6.74 Buy It Now 1h 22m
CLANNAD "MAGICAL RING" 1983 LP PL 70003 GERMAN PRESSING EXCELLENT CONDITION USD $6.72 Buy It Now 2h 48m
CLANNAD - Macalla - Excellent Condition LP Record USD $12.11 Buy It Now 3h 4m
CLANNAD fuaim (original irish press & lyric insert) LP EX/EX TARA 3008 folk rock USD $17.62 Buy It Now 3h 6m
CLANNAD magical ring LP EX-/EX PL 70003 acoustic neofolk ambient 1983 rca USD $17.49 Buy It Now 3h 14m
MOYA BRENNAN - The Voice of Clannad lovely colour tour poster (Excellent cond.) USD $4.03 [0 bids]
3h 30m
Clannad - Magical Ring (NEW VINYL LP) USD $26.94 Buy It Now 3h 35m
Clannad In Concert Clannad Vinyl Record USD $18.80 Buy It Now 3h 42m
Anam Clannad Vinyl Record USD $13.41 Buy It Now 3h 45m
CLANNAD . ALMOST SEEMS ( TOO LATE TO TURN ) 1985 . USD $8.07 Buy It Now 3h 47m
Macalla Clannad Vinyl Record USD $14.75 Buy It Now 4h 4m
Clannad - Macalla - RARE Israeli Press Israel Made Promo 1985 LP U2 Bono USD $11.99 Buy It Now 4h 26m
CLANNAD IN CONCERT ORIGINAL IRISH EDITION OGHAM PRIVATE LABEL LP USD $14.81 Buy It Now 4h 33m
Clannad Ultimate Collection CD USD $7.48 Buy It Now 4h 34m
Clannad - Theme From Harry's Game 7"- RCA 292 - Ex USD $4.70 Buy It Now 4h 56m
Rogha: The Best of Clannad by Clannad Music CD *New Case * Cleaned*1990 USD $5.59 Buy It Now 5h 13m
Clannad - Banba (1996) USD $1.33 Buy It Now 5h 28m
CLANNAD magical ring (original 1983 press) LP EX/EX PL 70003 acoustic ambient USD $17.49 Buy It Now 5h 36m
CLANNAD legend (original & inner) LP EX/EX PL 70188 folk rock neofolk ambient USD $17.49 Buy It Now 5h 46m
CLANNAD legend (1988 reissue) LP EX+/EX NL 71703 folk rock material USD $17.49 Buy It Now 5h 49m
FUAIM LP (CLANNAD) USD $10.77 [0 bids]
6h 29m
CLANNAD - SIRIUS - 1987 CD SAMPLER - 3 TRACK PROMO CD USD $4.03 Buy It Now 6h 38m
Almost Seems (Too Late To Turn) 7 : Clannad USD $4.04 Buy It Now 6h 57m
Robin (The Hooded Man) 7 : Clannad USD $4.72 Buy It Now 6h 57m
Clannad (with BONO from U2) - In a lifetime UK 12" USD $8.07 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Clannad - Something to believe in UK 12" USD $8.07 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Magical Ring Clannad Vinyl Record USD $18.80 Buy It Now 7h 4m
Magical Ring by Clannad (CD, 1983, RCA) USD $1.99 Buy It Now 7h 5m
CLANNAD magical ring (original 1983 press) LP EX/EX PL 70003 acoustic ambient USD $17.47 Buy It Now 7h 19m
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CLANNAD - Lore/Themes And Dreams (UK Ltd Ed 11 Tk CD Album/Bonus 6 Tk CD EP) USD $7.13 Buy It Now 7h 21m
Clannad - Pastpresent (1989) CD Album USD $6.74 Buy It Now 7h 22m
CLANNAD legend (1988 reissue) LP EX+/EX NL 71703 folk rock material USD $17.47 Buy It Now 7h 33m
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CD. Clannad - The Ultimate Collection.1997.BMG/RCA records. v.g.c USD $1.33 [0 bids]
7h 39m
Clannad 7" Single - White Fool / Many Roads USD $2.68 Buy It Now 7h 42m
Clannad - Anam (CD, Jul-1992, Atlantic (Label)) USD $2.63 Buy It Now 7h 57m
CLANNAD - MAGICAL RING - CASSETTE TAPE ALBUM USD $6.72 Buy It Now 8h 14m
Clannad - Anam - Album Cassette Tape Used Very good USD $3.37 Buy It Now 8h 51m
EX/EX- !! Clannad/Macalla/1986 RCA LP/Japanese Issue USD $8.07 Buy It Now 9h 21m
Clannad-Past Present (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $6.44 Buy It Now 9h 27m
Clannad ?- In A Lifetime PB 40535 VINYL LOOKS MINT USD $5.38 Buy It Now 9h 31m
Clannad ?- Theme From Harry's Game PB 68016 VINYL LOOKS MINT USD $1.33 Buy It Now 9h 31m
MAIRE BRENNAN (CLANNAD) - MISTY EYED ADVENTURES - 1994 RCA CD - BLUE NILE/LUNNY USD $5.39 Buy It Now 9h 34m
MAIRE BRENNAN (CLANNAD) - MAIRE - 1992 RCA CD - DONAL LUNNY USD $5.39 Buy It Now 9h 34m
CLANNAD CRANN ULL ex+ ex 1980 IRISH VINYL LP USD $8.08 [0 bids]
10h 8m
The Ultimate Collection, Clannad, Very Good Import USD $2.36 Buy It Now 10h 10m
Clannad, Clannad: The Collection, Excellent USD $5.08 Buy It Now 10h 45m
Clannad Greatest Hits Used CD (2000) BMG Studio USD $4.55 Buy It Now 11h 33m
CLANNAD SIRIUS GERMAN LP G/F P/S RCA PL71513 1987 FOLK IRISH GREENPEACE HORNSBY USD $3.36 Buy It Now 11h 38m
Clannad - The Collection - Cassette Tape album 1986 USD $1.35 [0 bids]
11h 58m
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12h
Collection [IMPORT] by Clannad (Jan-1992, Avant) USD $3.95 Buy It Now 12h 35m
Clannad - Greatest Hits (2000) USD $2.69 [0 bids]
12h 37m
GARDENING AUSTRALIA BLOOMS RARE CD! ABC TV VANGELIS HANDEL CLANNAD ENIGMA USD $22.55 Buy It Now 13h 22m
CLANNAD - BANBA - 1993 ATLANTIC - CD - VG+ CONDITION USD $5.00 Buy It Now 13h 33m
CLANNAD - PAST PRESENT, A 14-TRACK 12" VINYL LP, RCA RECORDS, PL74074 (1989) USD $11.12 Buy It Now 13h 38m
CLANNAD 2 CDs - GREATEST HITS 2000 and ANAM 1992 - BOTH IN VERY GOOD CONDITION USD $6.95 Buy It Now 13h 51m
Clannad ?- The Collection Label: K-Tel ?- KLP 215 UK Vinyl LP Album USD $20.17 [0 bids]
14h 23m
Clannad ?Hourglass / Theme From Harry's Game PB43075 UK 7 inch Vinyl 45 Single USD $19.92 [0 bids]
14h 24m
Clannad ?- Sirius. RCA ?- PL 71 513, Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold USD $4.04 [0 bids]
14h 33m
CLANNAD Wolverhampton Civic Hall 1989 Used Ticket Stub USD $13.41 Buy It Now 14h 38m
Past Present, Clannad, Very Good USD $2.36 Buy It Now 15h 2m
ATLANTIC REALM - LP - SOUNDTRACK BBC TV SERIES - CLANNAD USD $14.09 Buy It Now 15h 20m
Clannad - The Ultimate Collection - CD (Harry's Game, Robin, I Will Find You) USD $0.74 [0 bids]
15h 22m
Brennan,C. Clannad Live At Christ Church Cathedral vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $51.86 Buy It Now 15h 41m
RARE PROMO Clannad CD single I Will Find You LAST OF THE MOHICANS celtic Ireland USD $9.99 Buy It Now 15h 43m
Maire Brennan (Clannad) - Maire (CD 1992) USD $5.38 Buy It Now 16h 48m
CLANNAD ~ Dulaman ~ NM orig 1979 Shanachie folk LP USD $4.77 Buy It Now 16h 48m
RARE OOP Clannad CD Anam celtic U2 Bono Maire Brennan King Crimson IRELAND 1992 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 16h 51m
CLANNAD MAGICAL RING RECORD LP VINYL 12" USD $6.38 Buy It Now 17h 21m
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Fuaim by Clannad (CD, Mar-1993, Atlantic (Label)) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
18h 35m
Past Present, Clannad, Very Good Import USD $2.36 Buy It Now 19h
CLANNAD "THE ESSENTIAL CLANNAD" 2 CD NEW+ USD $17.29 Buy It Now 22h 11m
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Clannad. Macalla. Compact Disc. 1985. Made In Australia USD $11.28 Buy It Now 23h 28m
Clannad, Pastpresent CD USD $1.33 [0 bids]
1 day
Clannad: In A Lifetime 1989 Re-release UK 7" Single Vinyl Record USD $2.96 [0 bids]
1 day
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CLANNAD " MAGICAL RING " VINYL LP ALBUM. 1983. WITH " NEWGRANGE " LYRICS.TIMTOM USD $4.03 [0 bids]
1 day

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CLANNAD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CLANNAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.41 | 11 ratings
Clannad
1973
3.92 | 5 ratings
Clannad 2
1975
4.75 | 12 ratings
Dúlamán
1976
3.12 | 7 ratings
Crann Ull
1980
4.48 | 8 ratings
Fuaim
1982
4.45 | 11 ratings
Magical Ring
1983
3.15 | 10 ratings
Legend (OST)
1984
4.32 | 15 ratings
Macalla
1985
2.63 | 10 ratings
Sirius
1987
3.00 | 3 ratings
Atlantic Realm (OST)
1989
3.91 | 3 ratings
The Angel And The Soldier Boy
1989
2.27 | 7 ratings
Anam
1990
3.12 | 7 ratings
Banba
1993
2.50 | 9 ratings
Lore
1996
3.92 | 5 ratings
Landmarks
1997
3.95 | 3 ratings
Nádúr
2013

CLANNAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Clannad in Concert
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Concert
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Christ Church Cathedral
2013

CLANNAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Pastpresent
1989
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Christchurch Cathedral
2013

CLANNAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Past Present
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
In a Lifetime - The Ultimate Collection
1997

CLANNAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Theme from Harry's Game
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Newgrange
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
I See Red
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
Robin /The Hooded Man)
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Almost Seems (Too Late to Turn)
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Closer to Your Heart
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
In a Lifetime
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Something to Believe In
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Why Worry?
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Seanchas
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Gleann
1998

CLANNAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Macalla by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.32 | 15 ratings

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Macalla
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Macalla came out at the height of Clannad's commercial success - hence Bono's appearance here on the duet In a Lifetime. That song is, to be honest, a bit of a clunker, Bono's vocal approach not really suiting the more ethereal atmosphere of Clannad's music, but the rest of the album is a decent bridge between the pop world and the Celtic New Age material they had become known for. Essentially, synth-heavy 1980s soft pop takes the place of folk in the Clannad formula this time around, but it's soaked in enough New Age atmosphere and ancient spirituality that the end result still feels satisfying.
 Magical Ring by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.45 | 11 ratings

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Magical Ring
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Clannad had a strange breakthrough when they were called on to provide a bespoke theme tune to Harry's Game. This was a miniseries on British television about the Troubles in Northern Ireland - a worthy and thoughtful enough bit of television, but to be honest it's the Clannad song everyone remembers about it, with its mournful passages sung over the closing titles adding a suitably sombre note to proceedings.

Indeed, the song's had something of an extensive life of its own after that - having appeared in other movies and adverts and been covered regularly enough to become something of a standard, and even spearheading the band's burst of popularity in the USA after a rerelease in 1992 ahead of the US issue of the Anam album.

But it's perhaps best appreciated here, at the start of Magical Ring, since it heralds the overall approach taken by the band following the departure of Enya and longtime producer Nicky Ryan - a delicious mixture of even more prominent New Age synthesiser work with Irish folk instrumentation and rhythms, creating an intoxicating, timeless mixture. The overall style had a brief run of popularity - Clannad were called on to do more television work for Robin of Sherwood which became the Legend album, for instance, and there'd even be a few imitators popping up here and there (such as Chameleon, TV music specialists who produced soundtrack material for the likes of The One Game and Summer's Lease), but I don't think it was ever captured better than it was here.

 Fuaim by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.48 | 8 ratings

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Fuaim
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nicky and Roma Ryan's managerial skills had helped Clannad build a solid foundation, and younger Brennan sister Enya had started becoming involved as of the preceding album; Fuaim is the sole album on which Enya was a full band member, and after its completion she and the Ryans would part ways from Clannad to pursue Enya's distinctive New Age musical vision. The creative tensions involved perhaps teased something a little special out of Clannad on Fuaim, with their well-established Irish folk stylings incorporating jazzy touches and tasty synthesisers like never before. The end result is an album which is often overshadowed by their later mega-successful 1980s output, but arguably was a necessary stepping stone along the way to that sound.
 In a Lifetime by CLANNAD album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1985
3.00 | 1 ratings

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In a Lifetime
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars The Irish Clannad was pretty popular in the eighties, and the album Macalla (1985) was, I believe, their biggest success. Today it seems to be the best known, and widely appreciated also. This single contains two songs from that album. 'In a Lifetime' is a duet with Bono (U2). From time to time one can still hear it on the radio, for it is a very beautiful and well done pop ballad, no doubt about that. Of course to some it may be syrupy, but I enjoy it. It has a melancholic and dreamy atmosphere, and Bono is a great choice to accompany Moira Brennan's ethereal vocals, there's a lot of passion in his performance.

'Indoor' is a more straight-forward pop song, a good example of the hollow (over-) production that Clannad were sometimes guilty of. Even though it's not really bad, apart from some phoney sax perhaps, I think it's clearly among the least interesting tracks on Macalla. It has cultivated time signatures and could have been much better than it is, with another kind of production. But anyway 'In a lifetime' is a pop classic of its time that deserves three stars.

 Clannad by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.41 | 11 ratings

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Clannad
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On this eponymous debut, Clannad present a brace of Irish-Celtic folk music with a few modernisations here and there influenced by the electric folk approach of the likes of Fairport Convention. The more placid, New Agey direction of some of their later work is more or less absent; what you do get in spades, even this early on in their career, is the semse of otherworldly majesty pervading the recording. With just barely enough psychedelic touches here and there to be regarded as mainstream enough for Phillips to release (despite the worries about the commercial viability of an album recorded entirely in Irish), this is an interesting early 1970s electric folk artifact.
 Legend (OST) by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.15 | 10 ratings

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Legend (OST)
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Robin of Sherwood was a TV series which brought together some really good ideas and a decent cast, but which I felt never lived up to its full potential. I kind of feel the same way about the soundtrack - it's pleasant and all, but it never quite catches fire. This brief album brings together most of the material that Clannad recorded for the show and reveals the main problem with the show's soundtrack: despite being rather gorgeous, it's also kind of repetitive (particularly on songs like Together We or Ancient Forest). This was more of a problem on the TV show than the album (they only had one snippet of fight music - Battles - which they used constantly so by the end of the series it got really tiresome), but even so it stops the album being a full-on classic.
 Macalla by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.32 | 15 ratings

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Macalla
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by CapnBearbossa

4 stars Clannad were heading onto new musical frontiers in 1985 with Macalla: Simply put, they were building the bridge over a chasm between the world of late twentieth century rock and pop music forms, and that of ancient celtic (Irish, to be specific) folk music. This disc boasts a couple of first-time collaborations, both with Bono (of U2) and also with Mel Collins (of Camel and King Crimson fame), and both of them are used to great effect. The partnering of Maire Brennan's usual vocals with those of guest Bono on "In A Lifetime" speaks to the group's heading more toward rock music than they had before, whereas their inclusion of Collins on various tracks indicates they were also making a stab in a proggy direction (even if somewhat in an 80's pop/synth idiom reminiscent of MARILLION's Misplaced Childhood , published the same year). Still other songs, such as "Closer To Your Heart" point in the direction of light-hearted pop music.

Although as an Irish folk group Clannad been around since the early 1970's and were already acclaimed in their own homeland of Ireland, they'd just recently garnered sudden, huge international attention for the beautiful, ethereal soundtrack tune "Theme From Harry's Game" . In a curious turn away from what their musical character had been heretofore, they then made Macalla with as close as they would ever get to a straight-ahead soft rock sound. It's worth noting that Clannad's previous albums had mostly been anchored in tasteful folk-rock arrangements of ancient Irish ballads and jigs, though they sometimes -- seemingly very cautiously -- could be caught approaching the world of jazz-rock jams and peppering their records with their own sprightly compositions at various points between.

We still get a bit of the traditional Irish angle on this record in songs such as "Caislean Oir" and "Buachaill On Eirne", with lead vocalist Maire Brennan singing in that almost-extinct, ancient Irish language still spoken by the band members (understandable since they are all part of the same extended family and live in the Gaeltacht). Meanwhile, we're serenaded variously by saxophone grooves, acoustic guitars or synth melodies, usually against atmospheric and gentle sonic backdrops. Elsewhere on this record there are frequent and sometimes brash leaps into the pop/synth territory, occasionally maybe sounding a little cheesier than one would like, despite good hooks and a constantly solid sense of melody. In any case however, Maire is an adept lead vocalist who brings the proceedings back to earth, even while sounding the whole time like an angel.

I've owned and loved this record almost since it came out, although I would interpolate its success among prospective fans in the PA community as likely conditional. The music certainly enjoyable by an audience tolerant of Celtic-edged pop and soft rock tendencies. But, if you're expecting anything approaching hard rock or edgey prog ... well, you might be better off leaving this alone. MOSTLY AUTUMN might be more your speed.

Clannad albums before this one are a bit more idiosyncratic (uneven in their production and style, though certainly even in terms of being very soulful, inspired, and very competently composed and performed). If you are looking where to go after or instead of Macalla ... Be advised that 1987's Sirius strayed briefly in a hard rock direction, trying out collaborations with already established stadium rock acts (Bruce Hornsby and Steve Perry of all people!); and then, with Anam and other efforts in the 1990's the band backed off again into the realm of introspective, mellow, but well-produced albums of airy Celtic ballads and soft jazz. Macalla, though, is probably the most accessible for someone sampling the work of Clannad especially if coming from outside of a familiarity with celtic-influenced rock.

 Christ Church Cathedral by CLANNAD album cover Live, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Christ Church Cathedral
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

— First review of this album —
4 stars It's a live album but it could be intended as the Clannad's definitive compilation. All the phases of their career are represented and the choice of the songs is I think the best possible. It seems that the time isn't passed for the band as they sound as fresh and clean as more than 30 years ago. So clean that if it wasn't for the applause at the end of each song I couldn't imagine that it's a live.

All their periods I was saying. Yes, but listening to the classics like Crann Ull or Eleanor Plunkett is like listening to new songs because the production is better than on some of the old albums. Thanks to the technology. Of course they play almost in the same way as before. The recording is really improved.

The only song which sounds very different is their biggest hit "In A Lifetime". Before this song I never thought that I would have missed Bono. I'm everything but a U2 fan, but his performance on the studio version of the song was so good that the guy who plays his part has a very hard job on which he doesn't succeed much. The melodic line and the choirs are identical to the studio version, so the difference is easy to hear. Luckily, this is a great song so even if the singer can't be compared to Bono, he does his job good enough.

In any case the whole album is full of highlights. The other song from Macalla is "Caislean Oir" which I think is better in this version with the choir arranged differently in the second half of the song. There is space also for the other "hits" like "Theme from Harry's Game" and "Robin of Sherwood".

An excellent live album and a very good starting point for who wants to explore Clannad for the first time.

 Nádúr by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.95 | 3 ratings

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Nádúr
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Paul Brennan left CLANNAD after the uneven and atypical "Sirius" album from 1987. They released 4 studio records in the 1990s after his departure, before the whole band embarked on an extended hiatus of 16 years, concentrating on personal projects punctuated by live appearances. Since my favorite Clannad albums include Paul (a mere statement of fact without judgement) , I was most curious to see how his return would affect "Nadur".

It all begins auspiciously with their most progressive track since the 1980s, "Vellum"; a hypnotic number with trance like group vocals and atmospheric keyboards over economically strummed acoustic guitar. Suspenseful, dramatic and melodic, it's also their most accomplished original composition since those long gone days.

For the rest, while nothing approaches its hushed brilliance, what is refreshing is that, popular reviews to the contrary, the album sees Clannad pierce the hermetic bubble that often seems to encapsulate its members and shield them from every emerging trend. In "Rhapsody na Gcrann", I sense a mood akin to unbridled joy, at least in Clannad terms, ushered along by mandola and vocal harmonies. I can't help feel that Paul had a hand in "Turas Domhsa chon na Galldachd", which could have come right out of 1982's "Fuaim", as well as in "Brave Enough" with its anthem like chorus and Duke Special's voice. Then there is the most out of character boisterous commentary of "The Fishing Blues", which channels fellow Irish great CHRISTY MOORE, and guests Eamon Murray on harmonica. Luckily, for old fans, they can still deliver a "Maire" ballad, in the form of the reverent, near hymn like "Song in your heart".

A few missteps can be excused, mostly in the naively partisan lyrics and uninteresting melody of "A quiet town" and the soporific closing number. Free for so long from the pressure of meeting studio deadlines and commitments, "Nadur" finds Clannad revealing their inner nature again, their endearing timidity and fragility enveloping an unshakable sense of place and purpose.

 Landmarks by CLANNAD album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.92 | 5 ratings

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Landmarks
Clannad Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars It was third time lucky for CLANNAD with their album "Landmarks" finally anointing them a Grammy for best new age recording, although perhaps this may have had more to do not having to compete with ENYA that year. The title itself is somewhat misleading as it suggests compilation more than new studio release. I don't want to give the Grammy people too much credit for astuteness but this is a vast improvement on "Lore" in almost every way, and probably Clannad's crowning achievement of the 1990s.

Firstly, the track lengths are more appropriate to the group style, which more than compensate for the relatively short overall running time. In addition, lead guitar has been well incorporated into several songs including the mesmerizing opener "An Gleann" (almost improved upon in the trance like "Cantoma" mix version appearing as bonus track) and the romantic "Court to Love", which includes uillean pipes. The keyboards on the outstanding Gaelic number "A Mhuimin O" help propel the infectious rhythm, and here the group reaches a rapprochement with RUNRIG.

Instead of just contenting themselves with pretty and airy arrangements too frequently derailed by their own inertia, Clannad engages the audience with a surprising light jazz instrumental in "Golden Ball", reminiscent of early MOVING HEARTS and including jaunty sax by MEL COLLINS. Even when they return to ultra chill in "Bridge of Tears", a ringer for contemporaneous LOREENA MCKENNITT, they introduce a few vocal twists. "Autumn Leaves are Falling" compares to PENTANGLE at their best, with Collins again embellishing in style.

It has been said that it's all in the details with CLANNAD, and "Landmarks" seems to have included those omitted by "Lore". 3.5 stars rounded up for a release that almost lives up to its name, and remained their most recent album for almost 15 years.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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