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Clannad Sirius album cover
2.53 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In Search Of A Heart (3:53)
2. Second Nature (3:20)
3. Turning Tide (4:39)
4. Skellig (4:46)
5. Stepping Stone (3:53)
6. White Fool (4:38)
7. Something To Believe In (4:46)
8. Live And Learn (3:32)
9. Many Roads (3:25)
10. Sirius (5:33)

Total Time 42:25

Bonus tracks on 2003 remaster:
11. The Hunter (4:08)
12. World Of Difference (4:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- Máire Brennan / lead vocals, harp
- Noel Duggan / guitar, vocals
- Pádraig Duggan / mandolin, guitar, vocals
- Pól Brennan / flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
- Ciarán Brennan / double bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals

- Bruce Hornsby / vocals & piano (2,7), accordion (2)
- Steve Perry / harmony vocals (6)
- J.D. Souther / vocals (10)
- Robbie Blunt / guitar (1-3,6,8,10)
- Philip Donnelly / acoustic (3) & electric (5,7) guitars
- Peter-John Vettese / keyboards, bass (4,5), flute (3)
- Jai Winding / keyboards (1,3,7)
- Wells Christie / Synclavier (3,4)
- Mel Collins / saxophone (2,8,9,11,12)
- Richie Cannata / saxophone (8)
- Tommy Keane / Uillean pipes (2,4)
- Russ Kunkel / drums, percussion (5,6,9), co-producer
- Richard Niles / string arrangements (3)
- Ian Parker / keyboards (11,12)
- Paul Ridout / programming (11,12)
- Arran Ahmun / drums (11,12)

Releases information

Artwork: Mainartery with Walter Mayr (photo)

LP RCA ‎- PL 71513 (1987, Ireland)

CD RCA ‎- PD 71513 (1987, Europe)
CD RCA ‎- 82876 545012 (2003, Europe) Remastered by Ian Cooper with 2 bonus tracks, new cover

Thanks to kenethlevine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy CLANNAD Sirius Music

RCA 1990
$1.68 (used)
Sirius LP (Vinyl Album) German RCA 1987Sirius LP (Vinyl Album) German RCA 1987
$20.00 (used)

More places to buy CLANNAD music online Buy CLANNAD & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

CLANNAD Sirius ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CLANNAD Sirius reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
2 stars A nice surprise to see CLANNAD here! Personally I wouldn't even had the guts to suggest the inclusion, having listened mostly to their later, more commercially produced pop output since my teens, without any thoughts of prog connections. It's naturally the acoustic early era which is the most noteworthy from the prog's point of view.

This was my first Clannad album, bought as a new vinyl at the time of release (sold away some years later). I don't remember had I already heard Macalla (1985), the one before Sirius, which is better known and appreciated -- and better in my view too. My self-made Clannad compilation CD contains only half of the Sirius tracks, so I turned to Youtube to refresh my memory. Yeah, exactly as I remembered: most of the rest are weak songs with a clinical production, and the very synthetic opening track 'In Search of a Heart' is the worst example. Programmed drums, uugh! 'Second Nature' is better both for composition and arrangement featuring some Celtic colour.

'Stepping Stone' would be a decent song but it's marred by the programmed sound. 'Live and Learn' is quite similar, nothing but middle-of-the-road 80's pop with saxes typical for the time. The electric guitar solo sounds nice. It must be pointed out that the guest list on this uneven and partially overproduced album is twice as long as the core line-up. Some familiar prog-releted names such as saxophonist Mel Collins and Peter-John Vettese (early 80's Jethro Tull)...

Five songs are good. 'Turning Tide' has a powerful and mysterious atmosphere, and the chorus ("woh-hoo-ow-ow, ye-hee-eeh-eeh... soul of a proud man drowns") is alluring, not to speak of the instrumental section with a fast flute solo, and a grand orchestral passage. Also 'Skellig' has that mysterious flavour.

'White Fool' is perhaps the least "commercially safe" track with its tribal themes but the production is slightly too clinical for it. 'Something to Believe in' features Bruce Hornsby in an essential guest role and it's a superb, emotionally strong pop song. Lovely, in a word. The acoustic-guitar centred 'Many Roads' is a light ballad, perhaps quite harmless but needed where it is, before the grandiose title track.

So, this is an extremely uneven album, a tough one to rate. In a pop context I'd give three stars, but here two stars feels more accurate.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Regarded by many as a major misstep, "Sirius" is notable for being the only CLANNAD album that actually rocks with any consistency. It was recorded in LA and includes guest spots by some of its era's biggest names - STEVE PERRY, BRUCE HORNSBY, and RUSS KUNKEL among them. The attempt to Americanize the band's style was ill advised, and the album saw dwindling sales everywhere. Yet somehow the band's overall popularity remained intact, with the subsequent compilation "Past Present" rocketing to number 5 in the UK charts in spite of the predominance of selections from "Sirius".

My own perspective is that this is half of a great album. the first 4 tracks are all well composed and arranged, and among the most prog oriented efforts of their career. "In Search of a Heart" overcomes its programmed percussion through Maire's supreme adaptation to the rock idiom. "Second Nature" is even better, with a more adventurous arrangement on accordion and fiddle, both traditional instruments not normally part of the Clannad arsenal, but again in an affirming rock context. The next two songs, "Turning Tide" and "Skellig", represent the peak of "Sirius", a creative and haunting blend of their old and new styles. Both are nautically themed, one symbolically, the other historically, emanating from Eire's jagged shores so distant from the studio. If the whole album had been in this vein it might have not been a one-off. Unfortunately, most of the rest is just bland AOR. except for the spiritual yearning of "Something to Believe in", which is sublime AOR. Songs like "Stepping Stone", "Live and Learn", "Many Roads", and the title cut are lacking in subtlety and creativity, and weak melodically, while "White Fool" is lyrically and musically transparent to a flaw.

Certainly the weakest album of Clannad's rock period, "Sirius" remains of interest simply because it is their only effort of this kind; however, half of it is like so many other offerings of this musically barren era that you would do almost as well to seek out the others and leave this one to the fans. The other half is brilliant, so recommended to those who might be fantasizing about Clannad as a rock group. Seriously.

Latest members reviews

2 stars No idea why they made such an album. It is unworthy of Clannad. It's not easy to imagine that the authors of Theme From Harry's Game, Newgrange, Tower Hill, Caislean Oir and The Wild Cry could fall so low. Most of the tracks from Sirius would be OK for a FM radio, provided all who's near are bus ... (read more)

Report this review (#1953863) | Posted by proghaven | Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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