Pastpresent is an anthology spanning five Clannad albums from 1982 to 1989. The full range of the band's styles are presented here, from the gorgeous a cappella song that opens the album, to slick pop/rock, acoustic guitar ballads, Irish folk strains, and sophisticated power pop crunch. Along the way, we are treated to a lyrical harp and flute instrumental, several songs sung in Gaelic, and two new pieces (recorded, in part, at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios), designed to make this retrospective a collector's item. Pastpresent, clocking in at 65 minutes, succeeds in offering an overview of the many faces of this seminal Irish group.
This box-set combines three of the Celtic folk-rock/new age act's albums, Sirius (1987), Anam (1990) & Banba (1994). 31 tracks. Three standard jewelcases with individual artwork housed together in a slipcase.
1985's Macalla is one of Clannad's strongest albums. The songs are mainly mid-tempo or slower, and combine the poignant beauty of Irish balladry with the immediacy of a rock band line-up.
Clannad started out like many traditional folk bands of Ireland; its early material for Gael-Linn Records could be considered traditional Irish folk, and most of the lyrics were in Irish. However, the band's signing to RCA Records and its 1982 hit "Theme From Harry's Game" catapulted it to the top of the UK pop charts. Most importantly, Clannad was one of the first Irish bands to truly delve into ambient music, an idiom that may be the modern counterpart to the traditional slow air.
This is one of Clannad's traditional music recordings. The liner notes include a brief paragraph on each of the songs and instrumentals.
Dúlamán is both the name of the recording and the title of the first song. The word is Irish Gaelic for "seaweed". In Ireland certain men made their livings by collecting and selling different types of seaweed, and were frequently nicknamed for the particular types in which they dealt. Dúlamán gaelach is a seaweed used in dying cloth, while dúlamán maorach is an edible variety. The song, sung by the band in Gaelic, records a conversation between two seaweed collectors. Dúlamán Gaelach has a beautiful daughter whom Dúlamán Maorach wishes to marry. Gaelach is not exactly thrilled with the idea of having Maorach as a son-in-law, but Maorach elopes with his daughter anyway.