To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Blackmore's Night, the band are releasing this 2CD compilation of some of their most beloved material, a few of them re-recorded, as well as a couple of new songs for good measure. For those who need a little history, legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore formed Blackmore's Night with his wife Candace after he had left Deep Purple for the very last time and given Rainbow one more go (well, that is until recently) to dive head first into mostly acoustic, Renaissance styled medieval/folk based music. Over the last twenty years the band have released numerous studio and live albums to plenty of acclaim, and this set collects many of the great songs from those albums.
While definitely a major change from his normal brand of hard rock with Deep Purple and Rainbow, Blackmore brought his superior musical skills on acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, and other instruments to Blackmore's Night, saddling up next to Candace's lovely, soaring vocals for an enchanting sound made even richer by the appearances of flute, violin, cello, bagpipe, pennywhistle, hurdy gurdy, keyboards, bass, drums, and percussion. The duo's near constant musical companions on this journey have included Earl Grey, Bard David, Scarlett Fiddler, Lady Lynn, and Troubadour of Aberdeen.
There are many winners here in this best of collection, including the Jethro Tull influenced "Play Minstrel Play", the gorgeous cuts "Shadow of the Moon" and "Under a Violet Moon", the Blackmore workout "Spanish Nights", and the more raucous "Home Again", the latter delivered in a lengthy & upbeat live recording with plenty of audience participation. Though he mostly utilizes acoustic instruments on these songs, Blackmore's masterful technique still comes across in a big way, opting more for majestic flights that bombast these days but no less impressive. He pulls out his trusty Fender Stratocaster for a lively interpretation of the Rainbow classic "I Surrender", with Candace doing a fine job tackling the lead vocals, and rips into some gritty riffing on the 2017 rendition of "Writing on the Wall". He also wows on a new take on "Land of Hope and Glory", his Stratocaster singing to the heavens over lush instrumentation. In the end though, it's his acoustic work that is the center of these songs, simply masterful on the instrumental jig "Coming Home" as he weaves around the soaring violin for a wonderful musical ride, and out front and center on the gorgeous classical strains of "Minstrel Hall", "Village Dance", and "Nur eine Minute".
If you've yet to explore the world of Blackmore's Night, To the Moon and Back-20 Years and Beyond is a great place to start your introduction.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01. Shadow Of The Moon
02. Spirit Of The Sea
03. Renaissance Faire
04. Play Minstrel Play
05. Under A Violet Moon
06. Spanish Nights
07. Fires At Midnight
08. Ghost Of A Rose
10. Village Lanterne
11. The Circle
12. 25 Years
13. Dandelion Wine
14. Home Again (live)
01. I Surrender (bonus track)
02. Moonlight Shadow (2017 version)
03. Somewhere Over The Sea (2017 version)
04. Writing On The Wall (2017 version)
05. Coming Home (2017 version)
06. Ghost Of John (bonus track)
07. Minstrel Hall
08. Possum Goes To Prague
09. Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus
10. Nur eine Minute
11. Village Dance
12. Land Of Hope And Glory (2017 single version)
13. Bonus Video