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on 3 January 2001
To clarify what I mean by the title line - CdeB writes according to a limited set of styles, but he is a master of each of those. In the early part of his recording career he predominantly wrote ballads and stories, living up to his reputation as a modern day minstrel - a teller of tales. More recently he has been influenced (for better or worse) by the more commercial soft rock genre. The last 6 or so albums have been smoothly produced collections to a steady formula. Of the early albums, however, Crusader stands out as a treat to the senses - passionate, raw, melancholy, but most of all evocative. Listening to this music, you are struck by an almost cinematic sense of the drama in each track. The track "Crusader" itself is one of his epic works, here, as so often, set in a pivotal and romantic point in history. He is not afraid to make good use of rich orchestral textures where appropriate - harpsichord and oboe featuring prominently in the track. "The Girl with April in her Eyes" is a beautifully crafted folk legend in the style of the Brothers Grimm. Again the setting is 100% appropriate - mostly solo guitar emphasising the folky nature of the story. "Old Fashioned People" tugs at the heartstrings, not by the use of overworked cliches, but by a recurring and dramatic musical device (falsetto jump of a sixth in a minor key, to be precise!).
I could go on, but you'll think I am obsessed. Suffice it to say that I agree with the previous contributor and that, although he rarely performs any of these songs live any more, this is perhaps my favourite single album of all time.
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on 2 April 2005
Once, there was a troubadour whose songs told stories about Country Churchyards and houses with Satin Green Shutters, about Lonesome Cowboys, Spacemen and Strippers, and about the devil cheating the Lord in a game of chess for the souls of humanity played on a Spanish Train. In those years, that troubadour's songs were simple, straightforward and enchanting, both musically and lyrically, and he published albums fittingly entitled "Far Beyond These Castle Walls," "Spanish Train and Other Stories" and "At the End of a Perfect Day."
Then, he was discovered. And while (initially) his lyrics at least maintained their poignancy (see "The Getaway"), his music suddenly joined the flood waves of overproduced pop. But just before that point, in 1979, he released what many to this day consider his masterpiece; the album most pointedly embodying the tradition in which, if interviews he gave at the time were to be believed, he saw himself. Supported by the better part Alan Parson's "Project" (minus Parsons himself and Eric Woolfson) - guitarist Ian Bairnson, bassist David Paton, drummer Stuart Elliott and keyboardists Mike Moran and Andrew Powell, the latter of whom also served as the album's producer and conductor - he put together a collection of 12 songs in turn seducing, stirring and soothing the listener's soul. There are soft songs of love and loss like "I Had the Love in My Eyes," "Something Else Again," "It's Such a Long Way Home" and "Quiet Moments." There is the heartrending fairy tale of the "Girl With April in Her Eyes." There is De Burgh's bow to the era's "save the earth" movement, the rallying cry of "Just in Time". There is the sequel to the ghastly game of chess in "Spanish Train" (to which the song's lyrics expressly make reference), the dramatic story of "The Devil's Eye" gazing back at you from your TV screen. And there is a troubadour's look at "Old-Fashioned People" wishing to be carried back to the times and places that they knew.
But the album's piece de resistance is its title track, an (especially considering the time of its release) epic, nine-minute long tale retelling the story of Richard the Lionheart's crusade; beginning quietly but rising to dramatic heights as the enemies face each other over Jerusalem, and yet, ending on a quiet, pensive note. True, the song's lyrics reflect enormous bias and are, at the very least, historically debatable; and the mere fact that the story is told from a crusader's point of view doesn't do anything to change this, for those who participated in the crusades knew better than to underestimate Saladin or put him down like this - the version we're getting here is the propaganda spread throughout Christian Europe in support of the campaign to "free" Jerusalem. But ultimately, I don't think this part of the song represents the point that Chris De Burgh wants to make. Rather, the song's most important lines are those of the last, reflective verses, which are well worth considering, particularly these days:
"What do I do now?" said the Wise man to the Fool,
"I have spent my whole life searching, to find the Golden Rule,
Though centuries have disappeared, the memory still remains,
Of those enemies together, could it be that way again?"
Then the Fool said "Oh you Wise men, you really make me laugh,
With your talk of vast persuasion and searching through the past,
There is only greed and evil in the men who fight today,
The song of the Crusader has long since gone away ..."
The album's last song, "You and Me," is a short, gentle farewell: "The time has come for me to take my bows and leave the stage," De Burgh sings, and promises to return and again take his audience "through the ancient halls and stories of the past, and the many ways of loving." Well, return he certainly did, but would that he had remembered the rest of his promise as well! Alas, that was not to be the case. But even for those of us who think he later sold out, there are still his first four albums - and particularly this one - to turn to for enchantment, comfort, and exceptional storytelling ...
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on 2 November 2008
Once, there was a troubadour whose songs told stories about Country Churchyards and houses with Satin Green Shutters, about Lonesome Cowboys, Spacemen and Strippers, and about the devil cheating the Lord in a game of chess for the souls of humanity played on a Spanish Train. In those years, that troubadour's songs were simple, straightforward and enchanting, both musically and lyrically, and he published albums fittingly entitled "Far Beyond These Castle Walls," "Spanish Train and Other Stories" and "At the End of a Perfect Day."

Then, he was discovered. And while (initially) his lyrics at least maintained their poignancy (see "The Getaway"), his music suddenly joined the flood waves of overproduced pop. But just before that point, in 1979, he released what many to this day consider his masterpiece; the album most pointedly embodying the tradition in which, if interviews he gave at the time were to be believed, he saw himself. Supported by the better part Alan Parson's "Project" (minus Parsons himself and Eric Woolfson) -- guitarist Ian Bairnson, bassist David Paton, drummer Stuart Elliott and keyboardists Mike Moran and Andrew Powell, the latter of whom also served as the album's producer and conductor -- he put together a collection of 12 songs in turn seducing, stirring and soothing the listener's soul. There are soft songs of love and loss like "I Had the Love in My Eyes," "Something Else Again," "It's Such a Long Way Home" and "Quiet Moments." There is the heartrending fairy tale of the "Girl With April in Her Eyes." There is De Burgh's bow to the era's "save the earth" movement, the rallying cry of "Just in Time". There is the sequel to the ghastly game of chess in "Spanish Train" (to which the song's lyrics expressly make reference), the dramatic story of "The Devil's Eye" gazing back at you from your TV screen. And there is a troubadour's look at "Old-Fashioned People" wishing to be carried back to the times and places that they knew.

But the album's piece de resistance is its title track, an (especially considering the time of its release) epic, nine-minute long tale retelling the story of Richard the Lionheart's crusade; beginning quietly but rising to dramatic heights as the enemies face each other over Jerusalem, and yet, ending on a quiet, pensive note. True, the song's lyrics reflect enormous bias and are, at the very least, historically debatable; and the mere fact that the story is told from a crusader's point of view doesn't do anything to change this, for those who participated in the crusades knew better than to underestimate Saladin or put him down like this -- the version we're getting here is the propaganda spread throughout Christian Europe in support of the campaign to "free" Jerusalem. But ultimately, I don't think this part of the song represents the point that Chris De Burgh wants to make. Rather, the song's most important lines are those of the last, reflective verses, which are well worth considering, particularly these days:

"What do I do now?" said the Wise man to the Fool,
"I have spent my whole life searching, to find the Golden Rule,
Though centuries have disappeared, the memory still remains,
Of those enemies together, could it be that way again?"
Then the Fool said "Oh you Wise men, you really make me laugh,
With your talk of vast persuasion and searching through the past,
There is only greed and evil in the men who fight today,
The song of the Crusader has long since gone away ..."

The album's last song, "You and Me," is a short, gentle farewell: "The time has come for me to take my bows and leave the stage," De Burgh sings, and promises to return and again take his audience "through the ancient halls and stories of the past, and the many ways of loving." Well, return he certainly did, but would that he had remembered the rest of his promise as well! Alas, that was not to be the case. But even for those of us who think he later sold out, there are still his first four albums -- and particularly this one - to turn to for enchantment, comfort, and exceptional storytelling ...
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on 30 December 2000
Chris De Burgh is not only a singer, song writer, but a poet. His songs tell a story, and entertain at the same time. The crusader album is one of his best, the songs are imaginitive, and even make refrences to previous albums. For De Burgh fans, this is a must. And if you have'nt heard his music then this is the one to buy.
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on 9 February 2011
I only had this on tape, and it was getting stretched and scratchy. I was already hooked on this CD before I bought it. I have not been disappointed - vintage Chris de Burgh at his very best. What can you say about his music that hasn't been said before. There are no bad tracks on the CD - all well performed, well written, well backed and as I say no disappointment.
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on 13 January 2013
Superb album fron Chris,s glory days. The title track is awsome dramatic and brilliantly written. I love the album as a whole and think its better overall than spanish train. Id definately reccomend as Chris de Burgh,s best work.
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on 2 April 2007
This CD is definately one of CdB's best. "Carry on" is a really lovely song, a really great tune with really strong vocals, especially through the chorus. "I had the love in my eyes" is a song quite a few of us can relate to. The French Horn solo at the end of it is so so beautiful, although i may be a bit biased considering I too play the French Horn. "The Girl with April in her Eyes" is CdB at his best, telling a moving story and putting it to such a wonderful tune. "The Devil's Eye" is an amazing song, such a good idea and so original! It came off superbly as always! The only other really outstanding song is "Crusader". This tells the story of the crusades in about five tunes, all so different but all powerful.

My only complaint is that "Crusader" is historical b*llsh*t. He got it ALL wrong. Richard the Lionheart did not capture Jerusalem. And Saladin's men would not have been drinking, they were muslim and did not drink alcohol! And Saladin was famed for being much more civilised than Richard I! However, its a damn good song so i'll overlook that :P

BUY THIS ALBUM!
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on 5 May 2013
Yet another LP replacement, this 1979 album gave us the culmination of all his past releases. Power and pomp mixed with love and tenderness, intelligent songs and quality recording. Between a couple of low power songs you get six sentimental songs the menacing "Devils Eye" and the epic title track of almost 9 minutes add a couple of short 'reprise' tracks and you have a well balanced and enjoyable 44 minutes.
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on 25 May 2016
Wha a wonderful way of story telling, he takes yo places with hi songs, it's a time travel, wonderful work of art specially that "girl with April in her eyes ",one you have listened to him yo are bound to get more of his albums, I have each and every album from him, what a delight, you cannot go wrong, have a listen and just click buy
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on 1 July 2013
Early Chris De Burgh , he tells a story in every song finishing with the rousing epic "crusader" very good .
This CD is actually a replacement for a very old tape which was lost
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