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Irish Heartbeat Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued

80 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued, July 14, 1998
$68.25 $13.98

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Editorial Reviews

It's not often mentioned as one of Van Morrison's signature performances, but the highpoint of this 1988 collaboration--a heartbreaking rendition of the traditional tune "Carrickfergus"--ranks with anything the man has done. Morrison delivers the deathbed lament with a mix of fervor and penitence that's utterly convincing as the Chieftains enshroud him in a Gaelic tapestry of sound. The remainder of this reissue of the 1988 collaboration between Ireland's finest ain't too shabby, either. On more upbeat selections such as "The Star of the County Down," Morrison sounds uncharacteristically frisky, as if he's delighted to share the burden with the Chieftains. Listeners are likely to find the alliance equally satisfying. --Steven Stolder

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Star Of The County Down
  2. Irish Heartbeat
  3. Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta
  4. Raglan Road
  5. She Moved Through The Fair
  6. I'll Tell Me Ma
  7. Carrickfergus
  8. Celtic Ray
  9. My Lagan Love
  10. Marie's Wedding

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 14, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: 1988
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000009DDO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,401 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Gavin B. on May 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As funny man Jack Black once said in "High Fidelity", "It's ridiculous if you don't own this album." ....and that goes double for those who are fans of Van Morrison or Celtic music. "Irish Heartbeat" was a landmark album because it was the first attempt by Celtic traditionalists, The Chieftains, to collaborate with well known popular music singers. Contrary to the complaints of a few "critics", (aye, me friends, they are likely to be agents of the Royal Ulster Constabulary), Paddy and his lads from Dublin do some of their most inspired playing behind Van's soulful crooning. It is a snapshot of Van Morrison riding the crest of his longest wave of artistic success. Arguably the five year period between 1985 and 1990 was the most sustained upward arc of the long and frequently mercurial career of Morrison. The line-up of the Chieftains is also their most musically accomplished grouping in their long 40 plus year history. The six man Chieftain unit on "Irish Heartbeat" played together longer than all other editions of the group combined.
When I first purchased "Irish Heartbeat" in 1988, I confess I did so with a great deal of trepidation. I've never been a fan of collaborative albums by "superstar" musicians. Frequently these albums bring out the worst performance impulses of the musicians. Too often these collaborations becomes a game of musical brinkmanship where musicians play against each other for dominance; or even worse, in an attempt to accommodate each other, musicians play from a banal template, rather than risk being branded a "solo hog" or a "glory hound".
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This CD was my introduction to the Chieftains and to Celtic music. I had enjoyed listening to Van Morrison since the '60's but had grown tired of his music. When a friend introduced me to Irish Heartbeat I was totally enthralled by the rich folky tunes. It became my favorite CD and stayed as such for more than a year. When my daughter was born in 1990, I often sang her my favorite songs from this exquisite collection, "Star of the County Down" or "Marie's Wedding". She just turned 9 years old and she still requests them from time to time. It is the best of all The Chieftain CD's I have heard (over 10 in all). if you like The Chieftains, Van Morrison, World Music or Celtic Music... or if you want to hear something a hundred times better than your "Riverdance" CD, there is no better place to start than "Irish Heartbeat".
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Adam McClay on November 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
There is some absolutely gorgeous stuff on this album, and it's the kind of music you can listen to over and over again. The Chieftains are virtuoso musicians; by far the best at creating that haunting Celtic sound. And what I really like about this album in particular is that you can tell within two bars whether each song is a traditional Irish melody or a Van Morrison original. His songs have that definite sound that's unmistakable, whether being covered by Rod Stewart or Phoebe Snow. He's one of the greats, and so is this album.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael Heumann on September 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album when it came out in 1988. I think I had it on cassette. I remember working at a park in Northern California that summer and listening to this wonderful album over and over again. I loved it then and I love it now. In fact, I love it even more since my wife and I returned from a trip to Ireland earlier this year, having immersed ourselves in Irish music for a solid week.

I've always loved the traditional Irish music, not only for the melodies but also for the rich sense of history and community the lyrics convey. However, what makes this album stand out is Van Morrison. He is an incredible singer who knows these songs and their history in vivid detail. That he collaborates with the best group of traditional musicians in Ireland means that he can transform these famous songs into something enchanting, memorable: as good as any album you're likely to hear this year (or any year).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ed on March 12, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The gritty tenor of the Great One, combined with the mellifluous genteel instrumentation of the saintly Chieftains, presents an ethnic alchemy of timeless proportions. I simply cannot tire of this music.
The traditions, history, and natural beauty of Eire is certainly sufficient to lure tourism. But nothing viscerally CAPTURES Ireland the way this music does. The smell of peat and the flavor of stout emanates from this record. Which serves well the restless soul.
Every so often something comes along works so well that you wonder why it wasn't tried before (or since). Best to savor that rare moment in show business when art is created.
"Irish Heartbeat" will warm your heart the way it does when your daughter wears her Easter bonnet in the sunshine. "County Down" will beckon you to the nearest pub. And "Carrickfergus" will make a grown man cry. The ethereal "Lagan Love" will make you go to church. The various jigs will make you understand why the Irish are found the world over.
Salute, gentlemen. Long may you run.
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