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Blackmore's Night - Shadow of the Moon CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

3.23 | 112 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Who was that strolling minstrel?

This, the first album by Ritchie Blackmore and his wife Candice Night, is very much a showcase for the undoubted singing talents of the latter. Those hoping to hear "Smoke on the water" like riffs, or guitar solos such as on "Child in time" are going to be severely disappointed. There's nothing remotely like Deep Purple here. For those who approach the album with an open mind however, there is much to enjoy.

Blackmore's contribution is almost exclusively acoustic, only switching on the power very occasionally, such as on "No second chance". Even then, the solos are kept brief and played with the volume set to 1 or 2 (nowhere near 11!). The music has a strong medieval influence throughout, with Night's very pure and melodic vocals creating a warmth in the overall sound, which makes for a very pleasant and relaxing album.

There are occasional hints of the softer side of Blackmore's Rainbow such as appeared on their self titled debut album. The "Greensleeves" here though is the original folk song, not the "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" of Rainbow. The cover version of Renaissance's "Ocean Gypsy" is even better than the wonderful original. It suits Night's voice perfectly and is a definite high point of the album, as is the beautiful "Wish you were here" (no not the Pink Floyd song!). The distinctive flute of Ian Anderson (but not vocals) appears on one track, "Play minstrel play", emphasising further to the medieval feel.

The best way to approach this album is to forget who plays guitar on it. See it for what it is, a well performed, largely acoustic collection of melodic songs with a traditional feel. On that basis, it's a very good first album, with even better to come. (Prog it ain't!)

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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