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Parallel Lines

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Jun. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Appleseed
  • ASIN: B000005BPE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,294 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Some of the folk music "insiders" will know about this album, but I want to bring it to the attention of everybody, because it's so wonderful. Andy and Dick are famous for other works; this album is up there with the best of them.

It was recorded in 1981 and has probably sold very few copies; if you can find it now, you'll want to keep it!

The songs are mostly trad Irish and Scottish, along with Dylan's "My Back Pages". The two of them are in marvellous voice throughout, and the musicianship and arrangements are outstanding. (Here I must happily record that I saw Andy performing in 2005 and his voice and playing were as good as ever, though he's in his mid-60s.)

I'll cite two songs in particular:

Andy's version of "Captain Colston" is just about the most beautifully arranged folk recording I've ever heard, and his singing is the sweetest ever. It really tugs at the heartstrings, even though the story (Irish emigrant ship attacked by pirates) involves some viciousness and a sort-of happy ending.

Then Dick does his version of "The Floo'ers o' the Forest", a song I first heard on the 1970 album Full House by Fairport Convention with the great Richard Thompson on electric guitar. And Dick takes out his electric guitar here and produces a fantastic, moving solo.

Side-note: Dick's electric guitar solo reminds me of none other than New York rock guitarist Tom Verlaine (Television, Patti Smith Group, etc.). In particular, I'm reminded of Verlaine's great horror-of-war song "Words From The Front" (1982). I have a hunch that Verlaine, whose father is Scottish, was listening to Gaughan...
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By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Certainly the peak of Blondie's career.

'Parallel Lines' is a nice and short album - backing up my firm belief that all the best music material comes in short packages. Every track plays like a single here, and there are four 'official' hits including two Number Ones; 'Picture This', 'Hangin' On The Telephone', 'Heart Of Glass' and 'Sunday Girl'. These included two singles that were released in a year (1978) that was the best-selling year for the 7" single in music history that went on to cause all sorts of manufacturing problems. The hit singles are well-placed on the original LP, and this was also released as a Limited Edition in clear Vinyl. The material on this album was so good, it could have easily spawned other singles - no problem!

'Blondie' had a world-wide appeal and there was no age barrier, since my father enjoyed some of their music - and had he been alive now, would have been 92!

Great stuff!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e1693f0) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea11438) out of 5 stars Mostly excellent.... 10 July 2007
By SWboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Many of the songs here rank with the best music of either man. Start first with "Andy Irvine and Paul Brady" and Gaughan's "Handful of Earth" though. (Both are available at Amazon.com).
In this collection, 'Captain Coulston' and 'Lads of the Fair' are the high points, but some of the ballads don't really hold my interest. They could be considered closer to 'art music' than folk, though its a matter of opinion... Gaughan plays acoustic guitar and dubs electric on one track, Irvine plays mandolin and bouzouki. Their rhythm is revolutionary in a way. They use riffs and melodic figures in the accompaniment, rather than only strummed chords. This virtuoso approach is a pleasure to hear (and examine if you play mandolin or guitar)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e70a630) out of 5 stars They should get together more often! 26 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a lovely collection of songs that should be enjoyable for any fan of Celtic music. And after hearing Dick Gaughan's "Flowers of the Forest", you'll be sold on him forever. It's simply one of the most beautiful, haunting pieces of music I've ever heard.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e3c82f4) out of 5 stars Unlikely, stunning mix of acoustic and electric virtuosity 5 Nov. 2001
By Bruce Boyes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was at first taken aback at the mixture of Dick Gaughan's traditional acoustic work and Andy Irvine's electric guitar. You might imagine that it would ruin both styles of music. In fact, this unlikely combination produces some of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I have ever heard (The Flowers of the Forest - for example). The juxtaposition of these two externally very different artists is is at times simply stunning. It may take more than one listen for the full depth and impact of these tunes to hit home, but it's an album of which you will not soon tire. Highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e785bdc) out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite songs 6 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We've owned the LP version of this for years, and I'm DELIGHTED that it's finally available on CD. Both Gaughan and Irvine are fine singers and musicians with distinctive styles and voices. But Dick Gaughan's "Lads O' the Fair" remains one of my all-time favorite songs (maybe tied with Bruce Cockburn's "Wondering Where the Lions Are" for #1). Outstanding. If you're a Celtic music fan of any sort, get this CD. Now.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e8eae94) out of 5 stars Great musicians, but it just seems off 28 May 2011
By Crabhain - Published on Amazon.com
I had this album way back when, on vinyl (they used to come that way). I admire Dick Gaughan, and Andy Irvine is among the finest instrumentalists I have ever heard (not to mention a fine singer). I really wanted to love this album. I still want to. I just don't.

The song choices just seem wrong in some way. The mood is wrong. While I love Andy's playing, and his singing, I have never liked his original songs. Maybe just me. This feels too much like Andy's original material (and I know it isn't, so don't bother). Including a Dylan song, "My Back Pages," is just bad icing on the mediocre cake. With one exception, these songs are just not enjoyable.

The one exception is the first song, "The Creggan White Hare." I assume it is a parody. There are many Irish/Scottish songs in praise of great horses, dogs, foxes, etc. In this case we have a rabbit, who's evasion of hunters is cast in great, heroic, even epic terms. Very funny. Assuming it is a parody. I hope it is.

Still, even with the above comments, I think the album is worth getting. I don't think the songs are bad in any absolute sense, they just don't work for me. The musicianship is, as one would only expect, astounding.
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