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Wonderful collection from an Irish legend
on 9 November 2013
The word "legend" is often overused, however, in the case of Christy Moore, I would consider it to be completely justified as he truly is one of the giants of Irish folk music. He has written and interpreted songs which tell beautifully descriptive stories, battle against prejudice and injustices, speak of drinking, romancing, dancing, being caught in the working class trap and many other subjects, usually with a dash of likeable humour. It also documents life in Ireland over the past century, the highs, lows, the deadly serious and the trivial, all with Christy's very individual take on it.
Although this huge three-disc collection is labelled as a retrospective, there are two new tracks and the other forty-three tracks have all been re-recorded by Christy and long-time collaborator Declan Sinnott (amongst others), so this isn't your usual greatest hits package and will be of great interest to admirers of Moore's music. Indeed, there are some tracks that have been omitted that you will be surprised by, if you are a fan of Christy's, but there is a certain near-live (a couple of tracks are actually live) character to this massive collection, so listening to this album, from start to finish, is like sitting through one of Christy's wonderful live shows (something I did last month), albeit without his enjoyable ad-libs.
As this is such as massive collection, I simply cannot begin to talk about the merits of individual songs, otherwise I would be typing and enthusing all day - it's pretty much all fantastic stuff. One thing I will say to surmise the content of this album is that if I could put my finger on one defining characteristic of Christy's music, it would be his honesty. Whether singing about politics or matters of the heart, there is a fierce humanity in his lyrics and all of these songs chosen for this collection have been written by Moore himself (although some have been co-written, such as "North and South of the Border", with Bono and The Edge), so you get a wonderfully rich and broad taste of the man's work and words. This makes "Where I Come From" a rather good starting point for anybody curious soul wanting to find out what Christy's music is all about, however, this is far from a definitive compilation of his songs, so it leaves the listener with plenty of brilliant songs yet to discover.