The Wide World Over

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: RCA Victor
PERFORMER: The Chieftains and guests
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 63917 2

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The Chieftains’ ‘40 year celebration’ looks like a special session but has only two new tracks. Never mind, it works as a virtual party which starts with and regularly returns to straight Irish instrumentals, brings in other Irish singers – including the Corrs as you never heard them in the pop charts – and branches out first to America (Van Morrison), then Latin-ish (Linda Ronstadt), finally on to the eclectic (a Chinese ensemble – rather tentative) and the eccentric (symphony orchestras and the Rolling Stones).

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It is notably free of disasters: Van Morrison gets nearest. The new numbers feature Art Garfunkel and Diana Krall in a no-frills version of ‘Morning has Broken’, and Ziggy Marley singing over the Irish band in ‘Redemption Song’.