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Blackmore's Night: Dancer and the Moon

It's very easy indeed to take the piss out of Ritchie Blackmore and Blackmore's Night – yes the Renaissance was a long time ago and yes on occasions they do look shall we say, quirky but my word Blackmore's Night have released some magnificent albums over the last decade and a half. If you need examples let me guide you towards "Locked Within the Crystal Ball" from Secret Voyage or the excellent cover versions of the Kinks' "Celluloid Heroes" from Autumn Sky or Ralph McTell's "Streets of London" from Village Lanterne. There are more covers aplenty here on Dancer and the Moon but that's not because of a lack of inspiration, it's because Blackmore's Night are just one of those bands who make songs their own and if there's nothing here which is quite as fabulous as "Locked Within the Crystal Ball" it's OK because there remains loads of goodies within the confines of the album.

One of those pesky covers opens the album and personally I'd never thought that Randy Newman ever required a medieval makeover but "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" works really well as a Blackmore's Night song - which is probably one of the reasons that they chose it. One of the many excellent facets of Blackmore's Night is the voice of Candice Night. Her precise diction is only rivalled in popular music, I'd argue by ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog and it's always a total joy to listen to Ms Night because one can actually tell what she's singing at all times. That said, her pronunciation of "Troika" is quite amusing but it's a cracking song – one of many on this record.

In the same way that "God Save the Keg" leads into and links with "Locked Within the Crystal ball" on Secret Voyage, "Somewhere Over the Sea (The Moon Is Shining)" and "The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea)" combine together to make a potent late album force with "The Moon Is Shining" even embracing classic rock leanings which some may have thought that Mr Blackmore had given up on some time ago. Things finish with a lovely tribute from Blackmore to Jon Lord and it is entirely possible that this is the finest Blackmore's Night album thus far.

Track Listing:
1. I Think It's Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman Cover)
2. Troika
3. The Last Leaf
4. Lady in Black (Uriah Heep Cover)
5. Minstrels in The Hall
6. Temple of the King (Rainbow Cover)
7. Dancer and the Moon
8. Galliard
9. The Ashgrove
10. Somewhere Over the Sea (The Moon Is Shining)
11. The Moon Is Shining (Somewhere Over the Sea)
12. The Spinner's Tale
13. Carry On…Jon

Added: July 1st 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1609
Language: english

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