5 – The Chieftains

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

5, by The Chieftains

  • Released in 1975, the fifth album for the group. There have been a total of 45 albums released by the band. The most recent, Voice of Ages, was released in 2012, the 50th anniversary of the group.
  • In the late 70’s, as I was expanding my interest in all types of music, I wanted to add traditional Irish music to my collection. The Chieftains were by far the most well known provider of that music at the time. The instruments they play are amazing – uilleann pipes, tin whistle, fiddle, bodhran, button accordian, bones, flute, and other obscure and fascinating-sounding instruments.
  • None of the songs on 5 received play on the radio. That’s generally true of all of the music by The Chieftains – except perhaps on Public Radio.
  • Despite the lack of exposure on the radio, the Chieftains unique sound and skill earned them great popularity. The have won 6 Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award. Their concerts have been well attended – they performed in the U.S. as recently as February and March, with 20 concerts on both coasts. In 1979, they played in a concert in Ireland for Pope John Paul II, with over 1 million people attending.
  • They have collaborated with many artists over the years across many genres. Some you have heard of – Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Ziggy Marley, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Sting, The Rolling Stones, and many more.
  • The album is one of four Chieftain albums in my collection.
  • Amazing what you find on YouTube. Here is the opening track to the album, called The Timpan Reel. This is really unique, I hope you like it!

1 thought on “5 – The Chieftains”

  1. A couple of my personal favorite that The Chieftains collaborated on is “The Foggy Dew” with Sinead O’Connor. Great write-up!

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