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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 30 October 2010
Chris has put a lot of effort into this album, his sixteenth (of new material, not counting a lot of compilations) in 36 years. Not a bad achievement to the man they love or hate who is now aged over 60. I've been buying his albums since the Eighties and I believe that his 2004 and 2006 albums (The Road to Freedom and The Storyman) are among his best work.

So what of this one? As you know, it's based on J. Meade Falkner's book of the same name. It's set in the village of Moonfleet in Dorset in the year 1758.

Can we call it a concept album? Does he believe that he is Fish? Gabriel? Waters? Well, not quite. It's an easily-followed story: the hero, 15 year old John, hunts for Blackbeard's treasure and gets caught up in the dangerous world of smuggling. Oh, and he falls for Grace from whom he is separated and eventually marries. It's so very Chris De Burgh doing what he probably does best, harking back to his notable album 'Spanish Train and Other Storys' from 1975: vintage Chris de Burgh before he made us all vomit about the lady wearing a particular garment of a particular colour in 1986. This would not work for Roger Waters, Fish or Peter Gabriel.
(If you haven't got the Spanish Train album, I thik you should invest in it.)

This album starts off with 'The Moonfleet Overture': a five-minute piece which builds on his tradition since The Road To Freedom album of starting off with an instrumental piece. This one would not sound out of place on Radio 3. It segues into the first of five brief narration passages which, in turn, segues into a brief re-working of 'Heart of Darkess' from the 'Power of Ten' album which was based on the same book. This is followed by a fairly rocky song called 'Have a Care' which is reprised a few more times than I would like and also features a jolly turn of 'What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?' (ok, the lyrics are adapted a bit) and this, in turn, is reprised a couple of times. Only ten minutes or so into the album and we have been presented with a fairly diverse set of musical styles: from rock to sea shanties. Of course, Chris manages to squeeze in his romantic, but effective and stirring, songs with full orchestral arrangements. However, the amount of reprises in the album made me wonder if my CD player was skipping tracks.

The Moonfleet story runs for about 45 minutes and then we get the 'other storys'. Pleasant enough.

An ambitious project, and largely successful.
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on 13 November 2010
Extremely beautiful CD and almost a chock and probably one of the most underestimated artists and composers of all time. This man can really create melodies and if you know Chris de Burgh just by his old hit "Lady In Red", this CD will show you a lot more and a wide talent! Backed up occasionally by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra he has made the CD of the year! It's difficult to mention one song before the others, this is filled with excellent ballads and pop songs, now and then with classical touch... Highly recommended!
Submitted by Rick in Sweden
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on 29 October 2010
A remarkable thirty-six years after his first release, Chris de Burgh's sixteenth album of new material shows that he remains a master of his craft. In fact, arguably the imaginative "Moonfleet and Other Stories" is one of his strongest.

Based around J. Meade Falkner's tale of eighteenth-century Devon smugglers, de Burgh's eighteen track suite sounds made to be performed in a theatre. At first I felt at a slight disadvantage having not read the book, but repeated listens heighten understanding of the basis of the story. In the true tradition of a musical, "Moonfleet" features narration and several recurring tunes. Perhaps the least memorable part is the slightly rambling orchestral overture, while gentle ballad "Go Where Your Heart Believes" and the stirring track which succeeds it, "Escape", are probably the highlights.

Released on its own, "Moonfleet" would represent good value. However, a further six tracks follow. Two - "One Life, One Love" and "Pure Joy" - are rather mundane, the former too reminiscent of "Love Of The Heart Divine" (from 1999's "Quiet Revolution"). However, the other four are much stronger, "Why Mona Lisa Smiled" featuring a particularly gorgeous melody. "People Of The World" is a typically uplifting finalé, made all the more poignant given the real-life story that inspired it, mentioned by an earlier reviewer.

It is a pity that sales of such a terrific addition to the de Burgh canon will probably be small. At this late stage in his career he is still able to write memorable melodies and is still finding intriguing settings in which to present them.
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on 29 October 2010
A remarkable thirty-six years after his first release, Chris de Burgh's sixteenth album of new material shows that he remains a master of his craft. In fact, arguably the imaginative "Moonfleet and Other Stories" is one of his strongest.

Based around J. Meade Falkner's tale of eighteenth-century Devon smugglers, de Burgh's eighteen track suite sounds made to be performed in a theatre. At first I felt at a slight disadvantage having not read the book, but repeated listens heighten understanding of the basis of the story. In the true tradition of a musical, "Moonfleet" features narration and several recurring tunes. Perhaps the least memorable part is the slightly rambling orchestral overture, while gentle ballad "Go Where Your Heart Believes" and the stirring track which succeeds it, "Escape", are probably the highlights.

Released on its own, "Moonfleet" would represent good value. However, a further six tracks follow. Two - "One Life, One Love" and "Pure Joy" - are rather mundane, the former too reminiscent of "Love Of The Heart Divine" (from 1999's "Quiet Revolution"). However, the other four are much stronger, "Why Mona Lisa Smiled" featuring a particularly gorgeous melody. "People Of The World" is a typically uplifting finalé, made all the more poignant given the real-life story that inspired it, mentioned by an earlier reviewer.

It is a pity that sales of such a terrific addition to the de Burgh canon will probably be small. At this late stage in his career he is still able to write memorable melodies and is still finding intriguing settings in which to present them.
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on 17 May 2013
The notion of turning any novel into a `concept album' is ambitious. So much of the original book must, of necessity, be left out. `Moonfleet', J. Meade Falkner's `classic' novel, is organised around half a dozen highly dramatic episodes which must help any adaptation. On the whole, this concept album works well, with Chris as `narrator' linking events and songs at certain points. Not surprisingly, it helps if you know the original Falkner story. I re-read it after listening to the CD and it's fascinating which images and words Chris includes from the book. Particularly successful is a refrain repeated at strategic points in the CD: `Have a care, have a care, `twas evilly come by and no good will you find there, have a care, have a care'. The words echo Grace Maskew's warning to John Trenchard in the novel before the finding of Blackbeard's treasure. Chris' strong voice drives home the message that the treasure is tainted. Not in Falkner's novel, but successful in the album, are repeated variants of the sea shanty `What shall we do with a drunken sailor? Each successfully catches the novel's dark side: `What shall we do with the boy who's hiding?'/'What shall we do with the boy who's stealing?'/`What shall we do with the boy who's drowning, early in the morning?' Such repetition helps give coherence to the story that Chris is telling.

I think that the 15 Chris de Burgh CDs that I own prove that I'm a big fan of the singer. None of the songs on `Moonfleet & Other Stories' is among Chris' best. The music and the lyrics aren't memorable enough. Too much echoes parts of other songs on other, more successful, albums. The inclusion of `other stories' surprised me. Wasn't there enough substance in Falkner's novel to have all the tracks relate to `Moonfleet'? For example, why not have a song about the pivotal episode in the novel when Elzevir Block and Magistrate Maskew bid against each other for the lease of the Why not? Inn? In Falkner's novel, the sum offered increases dramatically till the pin inserted into a tallow candle falls. A moment before, Maskew has capped Elzevir's bid and secured the inn's lease, making Elzevir and John homeless in consequence. Surely such a dramatic episode would have suited Chris' `big' voice?

Overall, however, the album captures the essence of the book. The novel is the quintessential smuggling story but, more significantly, celebrates enduring love. Falkner tells his story at terrific pace and with strong drama. Forgetting about the `other stories', Chris de Burgh's adaptation has all that and more. The story is highly moralistic. As Chris puts it, `Have a care, have a care, `twas evilly come by and no good will you find there, have a care, have a care.' Chris' voice makes that message abundantly clear.

Stewart Robertson
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on 20 October 2010
Moonfleet & Other Stories by Chris de Burgh is a musical journey inspired by the book 'Moonfleet' - J Meade Falkner.
Taking us on this musical journey, Chris is joined by his Band, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a Narrator.
Vocals, music and narration all run smoothly, each enhancing the other to make a very powerful combination.

The listener is immediately captured, and held fast, for the duration of the Story, which incorporates an Overture, 11 songs and a Finale.
There is a balanced mix of toe tapping melodies, spine tingling orchestrated songs and narration to make this Album quite unique.

Following the Moonfleet 'story' the listener is treated to a further 6 songs about Guardian Angels, Lovers, Painters, The Joy of Llife, culminating in the final song, People Of The World, written for an innocent young woman called Neda, who was shot and killed at a demonstration in Iran.
I can not rate this Album highly enough and, in my opinion, one of his finest. Definitely 5*.
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on 20 October 2010
Another brilliant album from master storyteller Chris de Burgh. The first 18 tracks (including 5 beautiful narrations) tell J Meade Faulkener's tale of Moonfleet. The music is theatrical, orchestral, stirring and moving. You will be singing along to the sea shanty tunes, and crying both with sadness and joy near the end of the story.
The "Other Stories" include the catchy "Everywhere I Go" which is currently receiving a lot of radio airtime. There are 6 other quirky mini-stories told in these songs, and I particularly like "Why Mona Lisa Smiled". Chris has a great imagination and a lovely voice.
A must for all Chris de Burgh fans, and a great introduction for anyone yet to become a fan!
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on 7 December 2010
having been a fan of his since within these castle walls and having all his albums, this one is possibly his best.
he really paints a picture in versce and song and makes it seem that you are there, having played the album i had to go out and buy the book that the album relates to.
just like agood wine chris gets better with age can't wait till the next album!!
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on 2 February 2011
I hoped this would be as good as the spanish trian album but it isn't it still good so i think chris has lost his spark of greatness from the mid 70's of been a story teller song writer that he once was. spainish trian part 2 may not be a bad idea so.
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on 15 January 2012
This is a brilliant CD. Personally, I think this is some of the best work Chris de Burgh has done. The Music is wonderful and the story is beautifully woven (so much so I am inspired to read the book). Delivery was quick too, we ordered in the evening and it arrived two mornings later!
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