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Audio CD, March 4, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Steadfast in its opposition to the war since before the invasion, Black 47 presents a dry-eyed view of life in combat on IRAQ its debut for new model indie, United For Opportunity. The band hits the campaign trail in February performing across the U.S. and culminating with a St. Patrick s Day release party on their home turf, New York City, at BB Kings.

Recorded at Coney Island s Cyclone Sound in July 2007, IRAQ includes a batch of new songs along with several composed by Larry Kirwan over the course of the war. Inspiration for the characters and stories are very personal, many coming from the point-of-view of fans that served in Iraq and shared their experiences with the band.

Black 47 rarely plays to the converted and their shows have often seethed over the last five years. Because of our background, we ve always had as strong a fan base of right wing cops, firemen and conservatives, as of left wing students, radicals, and the working disaffected; neither side has been afraid to vent its views, Kirwan dryly notes. We also take pride in keeping in touch with our fans, many of whom traditionally join the Service as a way to fund their college education or mortgage. Add to that the many who enlisted in response to 9/11, and it s easy to see why we have had no shortage of information from those actually doing the fighting in Iraq.

Stars and Stripes tells the story of two young men waiting for a chopper to rescue them from an ambush in Anbar Province, while Downtown Baghdad Blues has another serviceman wondering, what the hell am I doing here in the first place? Sadr City, is black-humored blues with the hero fearful that Moqtada Al Sadr s Mahdi Army has his number; and on Ramadi, a young man, despite his desperate situation, can t rid his mind that his girlfriend may be cruisin down Main Street hangin with your old squeeze.

The band employs an ever-broadening mélange of New York styles: rock, reggae, hip-hop, folk, Irish traditional, downtown noise and Jazz and have adopted a somewhat harder sound to reflect the nature of the war.

With a pedigree for controversy, Black 47 first raised its voice in protest to the political and economic systems in the North of Ireland in 1989. Led by Larry Kirwan (guitar/vocals), Black 47 is recognized as the premier Irish-American rock group who paved the way for the current Irish punk/roots explosion led by such bands as Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Stars and Stripes 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Downtown Baghdad Blues 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Sadr City 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Sunrise on Brooklyn 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. No Better Friend? 1:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Ballad of Cindy Sheehan 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. The Last One To Die 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. The Fighting 69th (on the road to the airport)0:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Basttle of Fallujah 5:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Ramadi 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Southside Chicago Waltz 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Whatever ? 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: UFO
  • ASIN: B0012IWI40
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,867 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura Vona on March 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have had several conversations with people who like Black47 but believe this album has too much of a political bent.
It's my thinking that those opinions are more based on the title and the cover than the actual album itself.
I love the fact that it's a concept album,
that all of the songs tie into one theme but, I am also very glad that the band does not press upon the listener to subscribe to any particular political agenda.
The songs, like all of Black47's songs through the years, are songs about people in a certain place at a certain time.
No matter what your personal thoughts are on the situation 'over there',these songs will connect and resonate.

Iraq is the masterpiece that this band has been building up to for years, not classically "Irish" per se, but classically "human" and highly reccomended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Carroll VINE VOICE on September 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's hard not to respect IRAQ. Black 47 is one of the few bands that are unabashedly political, willing to put their beliefs to music and let the chips fall where they may. The biggest problem that faces this CD's acceptance is the idea that this shouldn't be what music is for; forgetting all the great protests from musicians like Guthrie, Dylan, Young and all the others who refused to allow events to go by without comment. IRAQ gives us the story of the Iraq War from a variety of perspectives. The comradeship of men at arms, the confusion over what soldiers are fighting for, Cindy Sheehan's lonely struggle, and even the rampant consumerism of Americans at home while soldiers are fighting so far away are all subjects for Larry Kirwan's pen. While the CD occasionally errs on the side of seriousness, a few bits of levity creep in to lighten the mood and the stays true to its concept from beginning to end. The band writes that this "is an attempt to distill some of their (soldiers) stories and emotions into song." This they successfully do.
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Format: Audio CD
Unabashedly political? Yes, but these songs draw inspiration from the letters and experiences of Black 47 fans who were serving overseas. This album poignantly illustrates why war truly is hell.
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