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The Essential Chieftains

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Album Review

RCA Legacy's The Essential Chieftains breaks the legendary Irish collective's career into two sections. The first disc focuses on 18 of the group's finest traditional works like "Boil the Breakfast Early," "The Wind That Shakes the Barley/The Reel with the Beryle," and "Donegal Set," while the second disc relies on 17 of the band's billion or so collaborations, such as "Mo Ghile Mear" with Sting, "Shenandoah" with Van Morrison, and "Foggy Dew" with Sinéad O'Connor. At this point in their long and storied career — 40 albums over 40 years — a truly comprehensive anthology would have required the box set to end all box sets, but this Essential collection is fair enough for purists and accessible enough for casual fans to fill the void until that time comes.

Customer Reviews

Irish Heartbeat??

ITunes, HOW can you NOT have _Irish Heartbeat_ in your Chieftains/Van Morrison catalogue? It's an amazing collaboration and a *must* for any fan of either of these musical giants! For shame!

Thanks again Itunes

Album only, album only, album only. No wonder everybody is going somewhere else to get music. The strategy of only being able to maybe or maybe not get the tracks you want on a album to get you to purchase the entire album has to be backfiring by now. Seriously iTunes I have spent hundreds if not up in the thousands of dollars of my hard earned money on you but I am done. Getting them cheaper or free somewhere else makes so much sense now. Maybe I don't want the whole album due to the fact most albums are full of fillers anyhow and it's not worth it. Bye bye iTunes, good luck trying to stay afloat.


Where the heck is James Galway and the Chieftains In Ireland?! Get with the program, iTunes...


Formed: 1963 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The original traditional Irish folk band, as far as anyone who came of age in the 1970s or '80s is concerned, is the Chieftains. Their sound, built largely on Paddy Moloney's pipes, is otherworldly, almost entirely instrumental, and seems as though it comes out of another age of man's history. That they became an international phenomenon in the '70s and '80s is testament to their virtuoso musicianship. The Chieftains were first formed in Dublin during 1963, as a semi-professional outfit, from the...
Full Bio