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The Chieftains 9: Boil the Breakfast Early Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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It took Paddy Maloney 15 years and eight LPs to assemble the incarnation of the Chieftains that plays on Boil the Breakfast Early, the band's ninth release. When former Planxty and Bothy Band flautist Matt Malloy joined up, the Chieftains were finally able to perform with a stable roster. Ironically, this would be one of their last recordings of purely traditional material before they set off on the series of collaborations that was the hallmark of the band's recorded output in the 1980s and 1990s. But the collection of tunes here crackles with the sort of excitement that only the finest musicians can generate. The dance tunes are played with such verve and vivacity that even the most slothful listeners will start tapping their toes, while the slow airs fairly ache with a majestic melancholy. Boil the Breakfast Early shows the Chieftains at their unadulterated, traditional best. --Michael Simmons
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000060P2Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,974 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Amitai Adler on January 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is one of their best albums, if not actually the best. Each piece flows perfectly to the next, and the interplay-- the weaving of sound, especially bodhran, harp, and flute-- is richly complex and crystalline in its pure clarity. As Irish music will be at its best, the album is both lively and strong and yet also sweet and unexpectedly delicate in places. Most of the numbers are instrumental, the chiefest exception being "When A Man's In Love," which is single-voice a capella, making for a very interesting balance. I never get tired of hearing this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Before this, the albums were too eclectic and too studied, within a few years, they had become too celebrity studded and, in my opinion, too clever by half. This then is the Chieftains as clear as a mountain stream, tradition perfectly matched with enthusiasm.
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Format: Audio CD
Boil the Breakfast Early was a landmark in the career of the Chieftains. Two longstanding members had just left, but coming onboard is fiery flautist Matt Malloy, ready to breathe some new life into their typically staid traditional music. This album was also one of the last to feature only the band without all of the "special guest stars" that they would collaborate with over the next couple of decades (see The Chieftains: An Irish Evening for an example).
Legacy Recordings released this remastered version of Boil the Breakfast Early as part of their Sounds of Ireland series (along with Chieftains 7, Chieftains 8, and The Best of the Chieftains, which is primarily a compilation of tracks from 7, 8, and 9) and the sound has never been crisper. Not one instrument overpowers another, even though Kevin Conneff's bodhrán playing is often hearty.
Highlights are many on this album, but I especially enjoyed the tracks that feature guest appearances from cellist Jolyon Jackson on "Bealach An Doirin" and the Rathcoole Pipe Band Drum Corps on the "March from Oscar and Malvina," as well as Kevin Conneff's always beautiful voice in an a capella performance of "When a Man's in Love." My education of Celtic music is minimal so sometimes the instrumentals can run together, but this is a perfect background music album for the uninitiated--something to listen to in the kitchen while cooking or doing dishes. Put Boil the Breakfast Early on your changer with Lúnasa's Redwood for a taste of the older and newer generations of Celtic traditionalists.
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My DH and I bought this as an LP back in the 80s. We recorded it to cassette and played the hell out of it during drives up and down the coast.

I now own it on CD and still play it often. There isn't one song on it that I don't like. It's infectious and at it's most bouncing makes me wish I knew Irish dancing.

I never knew about the Chieftains until my DH introduced me to them. We saw them once in concert and it was grand! Since then, we enjoyed their collaborations with other groups and artists ranging from U.S Country to Spanish Gypsy, from orchestral to rock and roll. Under Paddy Maloney, they have blossomed to encompass more than traditional Irish music, but have never lost sight of the foundation of their work.

Though they have lost Derek Bell (my favourite) and I have lost my DH, I will continue to play this album, "The Long Black Veil" and others because the music is beautiful, well-played, embued with passion, and I often learn something about other cultures from hearing their music.
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I used to listen to this on an LP in college and finally broke down and bought the CD. WOW!!! My musical appreciation has grown over the years and these guys are first rate musicians by any standard! Every song is extremely well-crafted. The musicianship is impeccable. They experiment contstantly. And the work is never pedantic, but enjoyable. I'd compare this to the best chamber music for formal quality, but to a great footstomping band for fun. If you want a thrilling listening experience, this is a great way to go. I only wish they had more vocal performances. One is a capella, in the other the voice is more of an ensemble instrument than a soloist. To bad too. Great voices.
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Format: Audio CD
50 years but who's counting? Paddy Maloney is the man. This is one of the best Irish trad collections ever put to tape. It is their Led Zeppelin IV of albums. The first track is epic, from the opening bodhran to the scat lyrics at the end, they prove the Chieftains are the best Irish group ever. Even the cover is awesome. I used to listen to the cassette over and over. They truly are the most generous of performers as they share solos and work together as a cohesive band. No wonder every recording artist jumps at the chance to perform with them. Their place in history is secure even though I hope they go on forever. Erin-Go-Bra!
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The instrumental tracks on this are some of the best ever by the Chieftains.
I'm not a lover of the vocal tracks.
The body of work the Chieftains have accomplished over the years is truly outstanding.
While many say that Boil the Breakfast Early is them at their best?
I'm not so sure?
It is truly an all Irish music fest.
Without any of the vast array of other musicians who they have played with over the years.
But god bless the Chieftains and here's to the next fifty years
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