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Best of Bothy Band

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 5, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The Bothy Band, along with their contemporaries De Dannan and Planxty, helped define that oxymoronic beast, the modern traditional Irish band. The Best of the Bothy Band, which was released in 1983, four years after the band split up, is a superb introduction to their blend of tradition and innovation that still inspires Celtic musicians. From ancient ballads, sung by siblings Micheal O'Dhomhnaill and Triona ni Dhomhnaill, to driving sets of dance tunes, played by uilleann piper Paddy Keenan, flutist Matt Molloy, and fiddler Tommy Peoples (and later Kevin Burke), the Bothies could do it all. The rhythmic center of the band was Donal Lunny, who provided the heartbeat on bodhran, bouzouki, and guitar. The Bothy Band has been incorrectly described as playing with the intensity of a rock band. Just listen to the a cappella track "Fionnghuala" and you will hear a band that drank deeply from a more primal musical well. --Michael Simmons
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 5, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Green Linnet
  • ASIN: B000005CRR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you want to buy one Bothy Band album, this isn't a bad choice. But everything on it is on their other four albums, and if you're serious about Irish music you'll buy those instead rather than bothering with this one. Also, it doesn't include one of MY personal favorite tunes, "The Strayaway Child" from "Out of the Wind, Into the Sun" ...
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Format: Audio CD
Beginning in the early Eighties I made a conscious effort to broaden my musical horizons beyond the narrow scope of the American pop music I grew up on in the Sixties. During that time I went through a brief but intense period where I tried to absorb as much Celtic music as I could find. Among the bands that I discovered were Silly Wizard, Planxty, the Battlefield Band and--of course--the Chieftains. But the band that made the most intense impression on me was the Bothy Band.
Each band member is a gifted musician--I'm especially fond of Paddy Keenan's playing of the uilleann pipes--but even more astounding was the voice of Triona Ni Dhomhnaill on such songs as "Do You Love an Apple." Other highlights include the mouth music number "Fionnghuala," and the lovely ballad "The Death of Queen Jane."
While I would agree with the earlier reviewers that avid fans of this highly influential band should also seek out their complete studio albums--especially 1975: The First Album and Old Hag You Have Killed Me (their first and second album respectively)--they aren't always easy to find. So if you have to limit yourself to just one of their albums, The Best of the Bothy Band (first released on vinyl in 1980), is the album to have. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Comment 12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
This album is the perfect antidote to those endlessly boring "Celtic moods" albums which have flooded the market recently.
There are several medleys of fast-moving reels here, any one of which will get your blood flowing. There are some ballads too, to be sure, but they are moving rather than somnambulistic.
This is what Celtic music should be and usually was until someone got it into their head that it should be a cure for insomnia.
The only sad note here is that the group broke up some time back.
All in all, this is one of the most enjoyable collections of Irish music I've heard in a while.
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Format: Audio CD
I first learned of this marvelous album from a friend who was an Irish musician. I wanted to learn more about the music, and asked him to recommend a half dozen that he would urge more than any others. The first one he named was this one, adding, "Imagine a rock band that was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined. That's the Bothy Band in Celtic music." And I don't disagree with him in the least.
A second anecdote: I once worked in a bookstore where the employees had control of the sound system. Occasionally I would put this album on to play, and inevitably we would get a stream of people coming to the information desk to ask what was playing. There is no telling how many people bought this from hearing it in our bookstore.
You don't need to be a fan of Irish or Celtic music to love this album. It possesses universal appeal. It is simply irresistible, magnificently musical, with every single cut virtually perfect. The album begins with a couple of spectacular reels, and then moves immediately into a marvelous song. The rest of the album shifts seamlessly between reels, instrumentals, and songs such in various languages. Whether playing or sing, either a capella or with accompaniment, their virtuosity is simply astonishing. And as the album plays, you would swear the song playing couldn't be topped, and yet the next cut will do precisely that.
The Bothy Band was only together for a few years, and made only three studio albums, with a few live albums later being released. But this hardly indicates the massive impact they have had on the modern Irish folk music scene. The members of the band have gone on to work in a wide range of other projects, forming bands and partnerships with other musicians.
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1 Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I was surprised to notice that this CD wasn't available for some time on Amazon, and happy to see the 2008 re-release. I still have a 1993 version of the CD, and my review is based on that. I am presuming nothing has changed in terms of sound quality, but I encourage others to correct me if I'm wrong about that.

This collection is as good or better than everyone says. The music is very lively, and makes for great listening no matter whether you are into Irish traditional music or not. I am a big fan of Tommy Peoples, Kevin Burke and Matt Molloy, and I consider it a big plus to have them all represented on the same CD. Also great sounds from uileann pipes, accordion and bouzouki. I've never been sure whether Triona Ni Dhomhnaill is playing harpsicord, clavinet, or both, but she's got a great sound not matter which it is.

I like the quicker tunes best, and my favorite sets are The Salamanca/The Banshee/The Sailor's Bonnet and Leitrim Fancy/Round The World For Sport/Rip The Calico/Martin Wynne's/The Enchanted Lady/The Holy Land. For me the CD would be more than worth the price based on these tunes alone. There's also a very beautiful version of The Blackbird - air, set dance and reel. As compared to the tunes, I'm not as excited about the songs and vocals, but that's just my preference. Anyway, I recommend this as a CD you will listen to again and again.
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