The Chieftains | 1980s
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1980s

The Chieftains 10
‘The Chieftains 10′ sees further delving into the Celtic world, with Derek Bell having researched Manx harp music, as well as The Chieftains’ first foray into country music, influenced by their first visit to Texas, on the invitation of Chessley Millikan who had lined up six concerts all over the state. It was here they first came across the stomping ‘Cotton-eyed Joe’, which features in the album. A piano was found for Derek, and without rehearsals, this track was performed with Willie Nelson at the Oprey House. The following week the band returned to Dublin and went straight to studio and recorded it. The version appears in the album, in an Irish reel. Paddy remembers his grandmother singing a lullaby “Did you wash your father’s shirt”.

 

Track Listing

  1. The Christmas Reel
  2. Salut à la Compagnie
  3. Kiss me Kate, The Custom Gap, The Spindle Shank, My Love is in America
  4. Manx Music
  5. Master Crowley’s reels
  6. The Pride of Pimlico
  7. An Faire (The Gold Ring)
  8. Durzhunel (The Turtle Dove)
  9. Sir Arthur Shaen, Madam Cole
  10. Garech’s Wedding
  11. Cotton-eyed Joe
The Grey Fox
Soundtrack.
Paddy was commissioned to compose the score for the Canadian film ‘The Grey Fox’ by Philip Borsos. The film starred Richard Farnsworth and was the true story of Bill Miner, who after spending 33 years in San Quentin for robbing a stage coach at the end of the 19th century, gets the idea to rob a train when he sees’ The Great Train Robbery’ in the newly invented cinema. Paddy’s wonderful dance rhythms work brilliantly with the shots of old trains moving through the mountains in Canada. The Band won a Canadian ‘Genie’, equivalent of the Oscars, and a Grammy nomination for the score.

 

Track Listing

  1. The Big Ride
  2. Main titles
  3. Oyster Bed Sequence
  4. Nickleodeon Sequence
  5. The Oregon Robbery
  6. Ride through Colors
  7. Country Store Sequence
  8. Ride to Kamloops
  9. Ride to Kamloops
  10. A Golf Waltz
  11. Sweet Betsy From Pike (traditional)
    Richard Farnsworth, vocal
  12. The Big Ride
  13. The Grey Fox Theme
  14. Meeting Train at Ducks Siding
  15. Kate’s Waltz
  16. Miner’s Confession to Kate
  17. The Chase
  18. The Chase
  19. End Titles
  20. The Big Ride
The Chieftains in China

In 1980, the Chinese Embassy in London took a box at the Royal Albert Hall for ‘The Sense of Ireland’ festival, and the diplomats had enjoyed The Chieftains’ performance so much that they invited the band to visit China. When full diplomatic relations between Ireland and China were restored in 1981, Moloney decided to pursue the offer as part of an ambitious plan to become the first ever Western group to play on the Great Wall, and take The Chieftains to new heights of international recognition.

The trip was a huge success, with recordings and footage taken of their historic trip to The Great Wall, their performances with various Chinese folk orchestras, as well as more impromptu performances with local musicians along the way.

 

Track Listing

  1. Full of Joy
  2. In a Suzhow Garden
  3. If I had Maggie in the Garden
  4. The Reason for my Sorrow
  5. The Chieftains in China
  6. Planxty Irwin
  7. Off The Great Wall
  8. A Tribute to O’ Carolan
  9. The Wind from the South
  10. China to Hong Kong
The Ballad of the Irish Horse
Paddy had been commissioned to write the score of a National Geographic special on Irish horses, and began to jot down his inspiration for the score while on the US tour in 1984. There was 52 music sequences involved, and it took Moloney almost a year to compose.

 

Track Listing

  1. Ballad of the Irish Horse: Main Theme
  2. Going to the Fair (Hornpipe)
  3. The Birth of the Foals
  4. Galway Races
  5. Lady Hemphill
  6. Horses of Ireland: Part 1
  7. Chasing the Fox
  8. The Green Pastures (Jig)
  9. Scéal na gCapall: The Story of the Horse
  10. The Boyne Hunt, Mullingar Races, The Five Mile Chase (Reels)
  11. Horses of Ireland: Part 2
Celtic Wedding

The idea for this album came during a visit to Brittany, a place Paddy Moloney had come to love, and on the suggestion of fellow Celtic musician and friend, Polig Monjarret. The concept for the album was to musically recreate a 14th century Breton wedding ceremony, and became the first in the musical voyages tracing the influences of Celtic music around the world.

‘Celtic Wedding’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1986.

 

Track Listing

  1. Dans Mod Koh a Vaod (Old fashioned Dance)
  2. A Breton Carol
  3. Dans Tro Fisel (Dance from the Fisel Country)
  4. Marches (From the Vannes Country)
  5. Dans Bro-Leon (Dance and Song from the Leon Country)
  6. Heuliadenn Tonioù Breizh-Izel (A Medley in which each member of the Band plays a Tune of his own Choice)
  7. Ev Chistr ‘Ta, Laou! (Cider Drinking Song)
  8. Jabadaw (Dance from Breton Cornwall)
  9. Celtic Wedding (A Medley of Song and Dance describing the Famous Ancient Breton Ceremony)
In Ireland
This album was the beginning of a new phase for The Chieftains which would see many musical collaborations with leading pop and classical musicians. It was accompanied by a documentary and video of the making of the album by the BBC, and followed by a US tour with James Galway, the Hollywood date of which was described as a triumph by ‘Variety’: “Celtic traditionalists The Chieftains and classical flautist James Galway…Galway blended beautifully with the group, participating more as a kind of seventh Chieftain than a featured soloist.”

 

Track Listing

  1. Roches Favourtite (Set Dance)
  2. Fanny Power, Mabel Kelly, O’ Carolan’s Concerto
  3. Carrickfergus (Air)
  4. Down by the Sally Gardens (Air)
  5. Give me your Hand
  6. She Moved through the Fair
  7. The Red Admiral Butterfly (Slip Jig)
  8. Danny Boy (Air)
  9. Crowley’s Reel
  10. Tristan and Isolde
  11. Alleluia
  12. When You and I were Young, Maggie
  13. The Humours of Kilfenora, The Independent (Hornpipes)
  14. Avondale (Air)
  15. Up and About (Kerry Slides)
Irish Heartbeat (Van Morrison and The Chieftains)

‘Irish Heartbeat’, a collaboration album with Van Morrison, was Van’s first attempt to reconcile his Celtic roots with his blues and soul music. It was also The Chieftains’ first full blown collaboration album. Although there were worries about working with a major rock star, the recording was a success, introducing elements of Van’s unique soul and jazz style singing to traditional songs and music. This was the beginning of an ongoing successful musical relationship between Van and The Chieftains.

‘Irish Heartbeat’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989, and there followed a tour of Europe and the UK

 

Track Listing

  1. Star of the County Down
  2. Irish Heartbeat
  3. Tá mo Chleamhnas Déanta
  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
The Tailor of Gloucester
The Chieftains made their first venture into the world of cartoons by doing the music for ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’, a classic English children’s story, narrated by Meryl Streep, with music composed by Paddy Moloney.

 

Track Listing

Side 1: Narration and Music

  1. Tailor of Gloucester

Side 2: Music only

  1. Theme for the Tailor of Gloucester
  2. The Tailor of Gloucester at Work (with friends)
  3. Simpkin the Cat/Mice to the Rescue
  4. Closing Theme Music
A Chieftains Celebration

‘A Chieftains Celebration’, released in recognition of their 25th anniversary, includes ‘The Millennium Celtic Suite’, a special piece composed by Paddy Moloney to celebrate Dublin’s 1,000 years, and recorded live at The Gaiety Theatre; it includes music from most of the Celtic countries. The Chieftains are joined on it by musicians, singers and dancers from Brittany and Galicia, and Scottish and Northumbrian bagpipes are also featured.

Van Morrison joins The Chieftains to perform one of his own instrumental compositions, ‘Boffyflow and Spike’, as a bonus track.

 

Track Listing

  1. O’ Mahoney’s Frolics
  2. Galicia
  3. Coolin Medley (with orchestra)
  4. Here’s a Health to the Company
  5. Planxty Browne, The William Davis’s, Lady Wrixon
  6. Boffyflow and Spike (with Van Morrison and his band)
  7. The Strayaway Child
  8. The Iron Man
    The Marquis of Tully Baratine
    The Forfeit O’Da Ship
  9. The Wexford Carol (with Nanci Griffith)
  10. Gaftaí Baile Buí
  11. Millennium Celtic Suite