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on 17 February 2003
Alan Stivell is Britanny's finest musician and this is his finest album, although there are many others which could claim that title (e.g. 'Before Landing', 'A L'Olympia', 'Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp', etc.). This album is defiantly pan-Celtic with songs from Ireland ('Susy MacGuire'), Scotland ('Oidhche Mhaith') and Wales ('Can Y Melinydd') as well as Britanny.
Astounding musicianship from Stivell and his recruits. He's famous for his harp playing but check out the bombarde on 'An Dro Nevez' and the bagpipes on the storming 'Ian Morrisson Reel', truly one of Stivell's triumphs. Those who appreciate the strains of Celtic nationalism that pervade Stivell's work will enjoy the sentiments expressed here: "hep Brezhoneg Breizh ebet" - "without the Breton language there is no Britanny".
Traditional folk elements are augmented with an at times substantially heavy rock component. The two styles make for an album of great diversity, range of mood and tempo and the all-round virtuosity of Stivell makes this a must have.
My mate here beside me who has furnished us with the cultural information in this review has implored me to not be too snotty about the previous reviewer. However, we must point out that folk-rock was born some time earlier ('Liege & Lief' [1969] and 'Basket Of Light' [1969] can both claim to have invented the genre of traditional folk-rock), but in providing us with the pleasure that is 'Chemins De Terre' Stivell has simply done a sterling job of providing us with another indispensible artifact of this style of music.
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on 8 February 2014
I saw an Alan Stivell concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London when I was in school in the early to mid 70's. I was into Genesis at the time, but I was absolutely blown away by the experience, and it lives as one of the best concerts I ever went to. The happy songs touch that deep fresh inner joy that just make you want to celebrate being alive - they are just SO happy! The soulful songs are just that; soulful... haunting.
I bought this album all those years ago, but it disappeared along with the rest of my vinyl as I upgraded to cassette tapes. I am so pleased all these years later to have bought the CD again, like a long lost friend...a best friend! Sounds just as good now as it did then. Great musicianship is timeless and enjoyable. This is a truly great and uplifting album, whatever your musical preferences. Don't miss out on it!
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on 5 May 2002
In the sterility of today's music charts, it is astonishing to recall that this CD was voted "1974 album of the year" by the leading 1970s pop-music newspaper Melody Maker. But maybe it's not so surprising when you appreciate how little this record has dated. "Ian Morrison's Reel" remains a great dance track. "Suzy Macguire" and "Kimiad" are slow ballads of such mournful beauty that they make the "Titanic" film soundtrack sound crass and clumsy by comparison.
Alan Stivell is one of the very great impresarios of Celtic World music. This was the album that made him.
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on 7 May 2010
Forgive my gushing but I've been listening to this album since I first drew breath, it was a family favourite on vinyl, as children we would dance to it full blast by firelight. Alan's passionate vocals, the raw guitars and heavy drums mixed with the sweet celtic harp stir fires long forgotton. Personal favourites are the rousing Brezhoneg Raok, and the Ian Morrison reel- prepare to do some "riverdance" moves! I love this rendition of She moved through the fair, Alan's english is a little broken but the feeling is there. If you like Peatbog Faeries, Steeleye Span, Show of Hands or any folk, buy this too, it's his best album and a great mix of ballads and tunes to dance around a fire toxxx
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on 31 May 2010
Allan Stivell was one of my favourite folk musicians in the 70s! He took a leap forward with electric folk and gave it some edge! This album is a classic and especially Ian Morrison's Reel - As a Scot I believe that the use of electric bass with bagpipes is absolutely stunning!! The album is the best of electric folk of it's time and certainly worth a listen to! Alan Sitvell has many critics but please remember he was an important part of the folk revival in the 60s and 70s - brilliant!! Along with Fairport Convention - Stivell has established his part in folk music history!
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on 11 September 2015
It is unusual when an album shows no sign of ageing, whether by its recording style or by the content. This is one such record. Alan Stivell was very ground-breaking in his day, mixing all the best of traditional music with the power of modern instrumentation. I'm very glad to have this in my collection again after an absence of many years.
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on 26 January 2015
this was bought on request from a friend for his grandaughter, she really likes this and he is very pleased with perchase
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on 7 October 2014
Had this on vinyl years ago. Still a very good album.
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on 27 November 2014
Great early Stivell
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on 14 July 2010
This is a superb album by an under-recognised musical genius. The blend of Breton folk, jazz, prog and world music elements in this and other Alan Stivell far surpasses the British folk rockers of the same era in my opinion.

However, anyone sent here by the "guide to Kate Bush" listmania needs to be aware that KATE BUSH IS NOT ON THIS ALBUM, but sings on the version of "Kimiad" that appears on Stivell's 1993 album Again, in which he performs new versions of his classic tracks accompanied by Kate, Shane McGowan and others.
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