by Yuko Tanaka
Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan
From SIF SATELLITE 45, Fall 1996
Enya, U2, Elvis Costello, Sinead O'Connor. These are just a few of the
countless musical stars to come out of that green land, Ireland. In this
issue's column, we'll take a look at the Irish music scene by introducing
5 bands in chronological order.
Since their debut in 1963, the Chieftains have stuck to the path of traditional
Irish music. The band was formed out of a 1950s group called Sean O'Riada.
The traditional music the Cheiftains play on the fiddle, flute, harp,
and bodhran is a sound that touches something deep within us. Their albums
from the 1970s are their best.
De Dannan debuted in 1975. While of course they can play traditional Irish
dance music, they are well known for changing the Beatles' "Hey Jude",
with their own particular sensibility and technique, into a peppy instrumental
piece. They have also experimented with a fusion of Yiddish or gospel
music with Irish traditional sounds.
Phil Lynott, founder of Thin Lizzy, was the son of an Irish mother and
a Brazilian father. I believe we can say that they were the first band
to succeed (in 1973) on a global scale with rock music played in a traditional
Hot House Flowers
As European Blacks, they provide soul music that even rock fans can fully
enjoy. During the '80s, Irish music became not just a mixture of traditional
and rock styles, but rather became, unlike American or British music,
something which could be appreciated by a global audience. It also became
something that hilighted the individual musician's feeling, more than
simply an Irish feeling.
My Little Fun House
Entering the 90s, the generation that grew up listening to U2 took the
lead, and made Irish rock completely their own. From their perspective,
the Irish dialect fits together well with music, and simplicity, youth,
and a bit of "outlaw" spirit live well in the music.
Music Magazine July 1996
The Roots of Rock, Vol 2.
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