Catalogue number 31453 7548-2 on the Polydor label with 10 tracks and a 4 page (8 side) front insert lyric booklet. It has the following tracks: 1> Star Of The County Down [2:41], 2> Irish Heartbeat [3:51], 3> To' Mo Chleanhnas Deanta [3:30], 4> Raglan Road [4:55], 5> She Moved Through The Fair [4:43], 6> I'll Tell Me Ma [2:28], 7> Carrickfergus [4:23], 8> Celtic Ray [3:39], 9> My Lagan Love [5:19], 10> Marie's Wedding [3:16].
It's not often mentioned as one of Van Morrison's signature performances, but the highpoint of this 1988 collaboration--a heartbreaking rendition of the traditional tune "Carrickfergus"--ranks with anything the man has done. Morrison delivers the deathbed lament with a mix of fervour and penitence that's utterly convincing as the Chieftains enshroud him in a Gaelic tapestry of sound. The remainder of this reissue of the 1988 collaboration between Ireland's finest ain't too shabby, either. On more upbeat selections such as "The Star of the County Down", Morrison sounds uncharacteristically frisky, as if he's delighted to share the burden with the Chieftains. Listeners are likely to find the alliance equally satisfying. --Steven Stolder