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27
4.6 out of 5 stars
Legend
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Maybe it's impossible for me to write a balanced review of this album, being as the music on it - and Robin Of Sherwood, the TV series it was written for - played such a important part in shaping my listening tastes as an adolescent way back in 1984/85. In my mind's eye, a gritty medieval world of sorcery, rampaging Normans and heroic derring-do are effortlessly conjured up by any of the tracks on this album.
That said, on the down side, it sounds dated in that way that Eighties studio production techniques did more so than say, those of the Seventies or even earlier. There's an over-reliance on milky washes of synth sound to convey a mystical, lost time when there are perfectly good medieval instruments that could have done the job more effectively - and the crisp, dry production so beloved of the time shows them up to great disadvantage.
However, Clannad were/are never about faithful reproduction of old folk/medieval/irish music. What you do get on this disc are beautiful, catchy tunes that managed to wrap themselves around the TV images to evoke a fanciful vision of Dark Age/Medieval England, with enough Eighties touches to keep a oft-told tale fresh and contemporary. And, like the series, the music has, on balance, held up well. Clannad were also canny enough to write self-contained, full-length pop songs, rather than musical cues and 'stings' for the TV series. This makes what is ostensibly a soundtrack album sound like a properly-rounded album of tunes rather than a series of disjointed, onomatapoeic cues inextricably linked to visual accompaniment. The music exists outside of the show perfectly well.
What really bothers me about this remastered reissue is that it's something of a lost opportunity, as it would have been nice if the rest of the music Clannad wrote for the TV series had been included (a good third or so of it has never been available) to extend the rather meagre running time... and the remix appended to this re-release, while nice enough if you like trancy dance music, adds nothing to the album and may well jar with the listening tastes of a large percentage of the kind of people who buy albums like these (you, perhaps?).
But - the reissue is cheap and the music is still excellent - it's only that I know there's plenty left in the can that costs this CD a star!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2006
When the Robin Hood series was launched in the 1980s I was captivated from the start. I particularly remember the haunting melodies which seemed to capture the spirit of adventure and magic so exactly. Now in my late 30s I recently bought this CD and have been enthralled anew. Listening to the tracks again brought the hairs up on the back of my neck and reminded me of the adventure and magic I had ambitions to include in my life back then. Some of you may be concerned about the use of synthesisers, but the feelings which the music evokes are timeless. Enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2008
"Legend" might well be the best soundtrack accompaniment to any TV or film feature EVER. Anyone complaining that Clannad "aren't using traditional instruments" is barking up the wrong tree; the ultra-tight, synthesised sound achieved by the group on the album fits the new-age influenced mystical / spiritual side of "Robin of Sherwood" absolutely perfectly.

I'll freely concede that you need to be into "Robin of Sherwood" to really get "Legend", but - hey! - it's a soundtrack. And with that proviso, there just isn't a duff track; it's flawless from beginning to end. The range of emotions achieved with such understatement beggars belief; this is a band at the absolute peak of their powers. (Album producer Tony Clarke deserves huge credit, which he never appears to get.)

So "Legend" itself is five stars all the way - my one complaint with this reissue is that, as an "extra", we get a throwaway rubbishy dub-and-bass-techno-ambient-jungle-hardcore remix of one of the tracks which my nephew could have done in 5 minutes on any PC. There remain 10 or 12 fantastic Clannad "Legend"-era tracks which were used in "Robin", but which didn't make the original album, lying dormant somewhere. Why didn't THESE make the reissue?

A clue to the hidden (lost?) bounty is to be found right at the end of "Scarlet Inside", where the band shake off the "quick hit" requirements of a TV soundtrack, and drums, synth and bass start improvising to fantastic effect. It sounds like it would have been worth listening to for another 10 minutes at least - but of course, it gets faded after about 30 seconds.

Clannad, if you're reading - whilst writing and recording "Legend", you were out of this world; why can't we have more of it?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Clannad are a family band made up of three siblings (the Brennans) and their two uncles (the Duggans). They grew up in Gaoth Dobhair, the Gaelteacht area of County Donegal that is also home to Altan. Enya, a sister, is also a former member - she featured on the band's 1982 release, "Fuaim".
"Legend" is the soundtrack to an old television series called "Robin of Sherwood", and it led to a BAFTA for the group. The show, which ran for three seasons, was based on the legends of Robin Hood and was first broadcast in 1984. (The album was forst released that same year). Michael Praed played Robin for the first two seasons, before moving to America to take a role in "Dynasty". (He also appeared on the slbum's original cover). Jason Connery, son of a well-known 007, took over the role for the third season. A fresh-faced Ray Winstone appeared as Will Scarlet, though it was Judi "Maid Marion" Trott that had me tuning in every week....
"Legend" is less traditional than much of Clannad's previous work - there's a greater use of 'modern' instruments and there are definite moves towards a more 'new age' sound. Although there isn't a great deal of singing on the album, this was the band's first release not to feature any vocals in Irish. Including a remix of "Together We", there are eleven tracks on the album. Most of them are around three minutes long - the exceptions being the remix of "Together We" and "Scarlet Inside" (both just over five minutes long) and "Battles" (which just makes it past the minute mark). Despite being so short, "Battles" is - for me - one of the better songs on the album - although the guitar features, the songs' focus is really on the percussion.
Aptly enough, given that Maid Marion was (ahem) my favourite character in the show, "Lady Marion" is my favourite track on the album. It's the closest in sound to a trad tune, a beautiful track featuring the harp and register. Two of the other tracks dedicated to individual characters also deserve special mentions. "Herne" is a great track, very gentle and relaxing. "Robin (The Hooded Man)", which served as the show's theme tune, is a little more acoustic and upbeat. Meanwhile, "Ancient Forest" and "Strange Land" both feature very enjoyable vocal performances.
The 'Cantoma Mix' of "Together We" stands apart from the rest of the album - it's entirely different to the original version of the song and it feels a little strange hearing something like this on a Clannad album. It is, however, very pleasant and relaxing (it's a gentle dance-type remix) and - of the song's two versions - this is the one I actually prefer.
I loved the album when it was first released and - although nostalgia may play a little part - I've been listening to it pretty often since I picked up this re-mastered version. Recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2006
I love this album. I always have, and the likelihood is that I always will. I was born in 1984, and my mother had the original Legend LP. This is the music I was raised on, and believe me, it gets under your skin in a way you cannot imagine. Once heard, never forgotten. The LP disappeared sometime when I was growing up, but the fantastic music from this album lingered on in my psyche for years. Until, in fact, I was able to hear it again when this CD was released.

The tracks are so beautiful. At once both haunting and rousing, they are highly evocative - of what is hard to describe. Of the excellent Robin of Sherwood itself, without question, but of a larger theme as well. Of an age that never was, perhaps. Of half-myth, half-reality (which is why the use of traditional sound and vocals with synthesizers works so amazingly well). Of unity, mystery, long-forgotten pagan gods, of hope, fear and love. I suppose the track titles speak for themselves - Strange land, Ancient Forest, Battles.

As well as being musically brilliant, this (like most of Clannad's superb repertoire) is the sort of album you can devote your full attention to enjoying, or simply play in the background. My favourite tracks are Ancient Forest, Together We and Strange Land, but there isn't a track on the album I dislike.

Buy it if you like Clannad, Robin of Sherwood, or astoundingly beautiful and stirring works of music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2012
I have this on cassette (from when I was 12), on 2 CDs (the original and the one with extra's) and now on my Kindle - the first album I have bought for it! Really relaxing for reading with, this album is the best (in my veiw) Clannad offering bearing in mind that all other Clannad albums are excellent! I bought Legend originally when I was 12 and madly into Robin of Sherwood (my first crush was on Jason Connery) and this introduced me to the wonders of Clannad. When i got married in 2007 at Thornbury Castle i had this album playing in the background for my guests and i entered the room to Lady Marion. Ironically the 5th (i think) track is called Battle and my new surname was Battle!!!! If you want somewhere to start your Clannad collection or just to bring back some memories of the 80's I would urge you to buy Legend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Legend, by Clannad, is a 1984 album that is the soundtrack for the television series Robin of Sherwood.
It is a great album with some haunting themes and songs as well as beautiful moments of instrumentation. The whole album has a very good atmosphere.
The album won the BAFTA award for best original television music/
"Robin the hooded man" the title theme was released as a single both in 1984 with series one and again in 1986. with series three Also the tracks , "Now Is Here" and "Scarlet Inside" were released as singles in their own right.

It is a good album despite the fact that not all of the music for the TV series is included.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I was a kid when Robin Hood aired in the 80s, and my Aunt bought the soundtrack on cassette, which i promptly stole and took with me to play on my walkman whenever we set out in the car. Something about this music just immerses you into another world, of mystery and magic. You can almost smell the trees of Sherwood Forest and feel the English early morning summer mist against your bare skin. "Lady Marian" is my personal favourite track, but all are brilliant.
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No need to go over the details of the original 10 tracks; they're just as awesome as they were back in the mid-eighties when they first appeared. Track 11 is worthy of mention though; it's a heavy upbeat busy sounding chill-out mix of Together We. If you like big sounds, there's little to compare. The bass (extraordinarily low frequency - you'll need a quality system to really get the best out of it) is truly inter-galactic yet firmly controlled and I absolutely love the crisply reverb-ed Kraftwerk (Man Machine) snare drum. Combined with beautifully produced full range percussion, this track takes chill to new levels of deep coolity.
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on 8 March 2014
Clannad were the perfect choice when it came to scoring the classic "Robin of Sherwood" every piece that was used fitted the moment it was used for, with the magic of "Herne the Hunter" the score needed a mystical quality that only Clannad with there ethereal sound had. I am so glad that it has now been released on a new format as I have worn my old tape away, now I can relax and listen to my favourite tracks over and over again!
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