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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 September 2005
Anyone who bought and loved their first CD 'Shadow of the Moon' might well have been hoping that 'Blackmore's Night' were heading into a really exciting area that could best be described as "modern medieval folk-rock". Love of this type of music did, after all, underpin so much of Ritchie's work with Purple and Rainbow - but there the emphasis was upon rock and the medieval origins of many of his ideas tended to be lost. With the first of the CD's from 'Blackmore's Night' it was clear that he now wanted to develop the type of music that must have been in his head for all those years. All the signs were there and it was a good recording, but their next two releases 'Under a velvet moon' and 'Fires at Midnight' didn't seem to move on. If anything, they showed signs of being rather vapid at times - full of light ethereal imagery and similar-sounding melodies, but with occasional highlights of belting rhythm or strength.
With this 4th release, the initial promise seems to be fulfilled. This is an excellent recording and is, I think, their best so far. There's a depth with occasional hints of darkness which were lacking in previous songs. The melodies are also more varied which is a very welcome relief - and is also to be applauded because Ritchie is working within the modes of medieval music and yet is now managing to expand these to encompass more modern ideas. There also seems to be more emphasis upon the use of medieval instrumentation. Candice's voice is stronger and less 'girly' and, as can clearly be seen on the band's brilliant DVD 'Castles and Dreams', she is a good rock singer as well.
For those of you who still hanker after a bit of 'Blistering Blackmore', there is 'Rainbow Blues' which shows that the rocker within him isn't dead yet .... so don't be fooled by the gentle intro.
The best thing to do is listen to the clips and judge for yourself. But for me, this is an album that I always hoped 'Blackmore's Night' would record ..... and as an added bonus, many of the tracks can be seen being performed on that DVD. My advice would be to buy them both.
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on 27 July 2014
I am very frugal with my 5 star ratings so this one surprised me.

I was a bit late getting into Blackmores Night, although aware of their existence I never gave them a serious thought. The trouble is I like a wide range of musical styles; prog rock, new age, folk, prog metal and I own albums by Rainbow. When I saw Ritchie Blackmore was playing medieval folk music, accompanied by his American wife on vocals, I thought "Surely they are taking the mickey, this is going to be a load of tosh" (polite version).
I read some reviews and my opinion was unaltered; foldee riddle, twiddly dee!

Why I didn't have a full listen to a track or two on the internet I don't know. Then, one day when I was really bored I clicked on the track 'Ghost of a Rose' on You Tube and sat enthralled; wonderful pure vocals and fantastic musicianship. I just had to have the album and when I did, more followed.

Mr Blackmore is obviously deadly earnest in his love of this folk music. His guitar playing, both acoustic and electric, is impeccable and for a folk group unique, lifting this bands style way above the 'elevator music' that some reviewers have labelled it. Candice Night writes most of the songs and they follow themes of traditional folk songs; '3 Black Crows' being similar to the traditional 'Twa Corbies'.

For folk fans there are elements of 'Amazing Blondel', early 'Albion Band' and a huge dollop of Welsh folk rockers 'BlueHorses.

Sometimes it pays to make up your own mind and not be too influenced by other people putting bands down just because they don't like them. Ok, if I had purchased this expecting to play air guitar and do a bit of head banging as I did with 'Rainbow Rising' then I too would have slated it. These reviews are all subjective and I'm really glad I eventually put aside my preconceptions. If I hadn't then I would have missed out on a very special listening experience.
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on 9 July 2003
With the mixture of Candice's hauntingly beautiful voice, and the Brilliance of Blackmore on Guitar, this is a real must for all fans of good music.From the stunning opening track , Way to Mandalay ,to the final note of the last of 2 bonus tracks, The radio edit of Way to Mandalay, its all a wondrous journey thru sound. The title track oozes brilliance.
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on 7 March 2016
Plenty of good music here in this, their fourth (I believe) release. The Night - Blackmore tandem manage to keep up a consistently high level all round, singing, playing and producing thirteen of their own compositions, along with two covers: Joan Baez' Diamonds and Rust and Ian Anderson's Rainbow Blues. These two versions are very well executed, and help to provide more variety to the album. How original the other songs are I don't know, since they obviously draw on traditional melodies and riffs to some extent, but the final result makes for some very enjoyable songs. The title track, Ivory Tower, Way to Mandalay or Where are we going from here? are just some of the better tracks. The up-tempo All for One is fun, and Loreley is a spirited song, though for such woeful lyrics I would have preferred a slower ballad. Dandelion Wine is a more reflective song, of high quality, and a fitting end to the album. The cd boasts a video track which our copy doesn't reproduce (perhaps it needs a different system. No good on our computer, but the music needs no extra effects). The packaging is tastefully designed and the ten-leaf booklet containing the lyrics and the usual credits, etc. amply reflects the thought and effort put into the whole project. You can't go far wrong with this one.
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on 8 April 2016
WOW another great album for my collection, with a very nice inside album cover / sleeve from
Blackmore's Night with lots of great songs not to be missed...
Playing for the third time today. just fantastic old style folk music mediaeval minstrels
Just mind blowing in a fantastic way that Candice & Richie and the minstrels play this wonderful
music the way they do ...
Five Gold Stars for Blackmore's Night with this album... I can hear the fans cheering far and wide.. wicked
So many good tunes it's hard to say what is the best so I leave you to pick and enjoy
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on 30 June 2003
The music of Blackmores Night just keeps on improving. The opening track grabs your attention from the first note and continues throughout the album. The range in musicianship is there for all to hear from the gentle start on the title track which builds up into a crecendo to subtle and delicate touches on songs such as Dandelion Wine and Mid Winters Night.
Two other tracks that stick out are Queen for a day (part 2)) and Lorely which have an Irish Jig cum Robin Hood feel to it!
Do I recommend this album? Yes! Especially for the width of diversity in the music and to hear real musician play. Thank God there are still some of them around.
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on 12 December 2003
I absolutely loved 'Shadow of the Moon' when I first heard it and have bought the subsequent Blackmores Night CD's. I have to confess that I haven't played the second and third as much as the first, but when I put this one into the CD player, I knew that it would be getting quite a few spins! I loved Ritchie in his Purple/Rainbow days but I think it just shows what a really talented and versatile guitarist he really is (which wasn't always reflected very well in the aforementioned groups as he tended to play the same style with them). I love the style of these songs, particularly the more 'medieval' ones and I think Candice Night puts them across very well. Jimmy Page take note. Maybe it's time to say 'au revior' to Mr Plant (no disrespect Robert, you're still fab) and find yourself a talented female vocalist! Maybe you could call yourselves Page's Possum! But seriously, I think this is a great CD and will definitely be keeping it busy in the CD player! Keep up the good work Candice and Ritchie! I raise a tankard of ale to such fine minstrels!
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on 9 January 2004
I'm listening to Ritchie's music for more than three decades and there were only a few missed 'hits'. This record is simply astounding. A perfect match of old and new Music and SHE (Music I mean) is here the most important. Thank God there still true musicians around, playing on instruments not on computers... which can offer something new, something different from music-like noise.
Not to mention it's very important component - sweet, etheric but also - when needed - strong voice of Candice. On their first record her voice was perfectly suited to music, but sometimes I felt it a bit too week. But now... I'm really impresed.
What music can we expect in the future??? With such a big steps forward from Shadow??? I'll keep my fingers crossed for their imagination and hope for next, better record.
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2009
I'd never heard of Blackmore's Night, but found this on my recommendations having purchased the Mediaeval Baebes. I thought they looked interesting, so took potluck in listening to a few snippets here on good ol' Amazon.

The little that I heard was enough to entice me to purchase 'Ghost of a Rose' and I'm soooo glad I did. A lovely album to just kick off your shoes, lie back and be transported by Candice's soft, pure voice, and ethereal melodies.

Ghost of a rose, has a nice mix of ballads and more lively tracks. Hard to have a favourite, but the ones which stand out the most for me are: Ghost of a Rose, Queen for a day, Road to Mandalay and Dandelion Wine. However, this is an album I can listen to from start to finish - no problem.

As a result of this I have since purchased Secret Voyage.

Definitely a lucky find on Amazon:)
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on 10 January 2014
I've listened to Blackmore's Night snippets many times, and now decided to collect them all. I admire Ritchie Blackmore, his unique talent, musical visions and feels. I adore Candice' wonderful vocals which has similarities with ABBA's Agnetha and Anni-Frid, and then some Stevie Nicks.
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