Tempest - The 10th Anniversary Compilation

Year of Release: 1998
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA 9034-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:40:00

The most unimaginative thing about Tempest's 10th Anniversary Compilation, a disc of re-recorded versions of their most requested tracks, is the title. The concept behind it makes more sense than a "greatest hits" package, though for Tempest, it's probably the same. But for most bands, their greatest hits are the ones the labels and radio pushed the most. Ideally, the two would be alike, that the strongest tunes are pushed. Anyway, the selection here is a good one, one that fans would want. And serves as a good entry point for new fans.

The album cover is a bit misleading, as the expectation is that these are favourites performed live; here the live shots on the cover and in the book serve to emphasize that these are the tracks requested live. Maybe having used live renditions would have been more ideal, but I am not going to complain about a release this good.

Yes, "Bal An Tow" seems a little lackluster, like their hearts weren't totally in it. But, even still, it has enough oomph to get your feet moving, and it livens up toward the end.

The otherwise moving track "Montara Bay," written by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Leif Sorbye for his wife Patricia, is marred by what sounds to me as an out of tune guitar.

Everything else sparkles and gets your feet moving. Most of the tracks here are designed for that purpose, but even if you don't dance (or anything approaching it), you have to admire the fantastic interplay of the musicians. This can't be easy music to play.

Many of these tracks are based on traditional Celtic compositions, given a rock spin by the modern addition of electric guitar and keyboards of every variety. Keyboards (Hammond B3, piano, synthesizer) are supplied by the almost ubiquitous Robert Berry (at least ubiquitous on Magna Carta releases).

"Top Of The Hill" builds slowly (climbs slowly?), mixing various dance tunes together, into a rollicking, catchy display of this bands's dexterity. Gone from their last album is Robert Wullenjohn and Jay Nania; in their place on guitars and basses, respectively, are John Land and Dave Parnell - while each bring their own feel to the songs, they are still undeniably Tempest.

"The House Carpenter" is a very gloomy track compositionally and tragic contextually - it is the tale of "a ghost who comes in from the sea to steal the bride away from the House Carpenter."

This album his highly recommended not only for long time fans, but also to those for which this would be an introduction. It best represents all that Tempest are, one of the best Celtic Rock bands out there.

You Jacobites By Name (4:13) / Queen Of Argyll (4:18) / Milligan's Fancy (3:51) / Montara Bay (4:47) / Bal-An-Tow (4:16) / Top Of The Hill (6:44) / Captain Morgan (4:40) / A Kiss In The Morning Early (3:37) / Heather On The Moor (4:48) / Jenny Nettles (6:17) / The House Carpenter (7:19) / The Sleeping Highlander (3:51)

Leif Sorbye - lead vocals, acoustic and electric mandolins, octave mandolas, flute, pennywhistle, and bodhran
John Land - fretted and fretless bass, harmony vocals
Adolfo Lazo - drums
Dave Parnell - electric and acoustic guitars
Michael Mullen - acoustic fiddle, five string electric violin, and harmony vocals
Robert Berry - B3 Hammond, piano, accordion, synthesizer

Springdans (1987) (Lief Sorbye)
Bootleg (1991)
Serrated Edge (1992)
Sunken Treasures (1993)
Surfing to Mecca (1994)
Across The Borders (1994) (Sorbye)
Turn of the Wheel (1996)
To Cry You A Song - A Tribute To Jethro Tull (1996) (contrib. one track)
The Gravel Walk (1997)
Caliban (1998) (Sorbye & Michael Mullins)
10th Anniversary (1998)
1999 Live at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (1999) (only available through Tempest)
Balance (2001)
Shapeshifter (2003)
15th Anniversary Collection (2004)
The Double Cross (2006)
Lief's Birthday Bash (2007)
Prime Cuts (2008
Another Dawn (2010)

Live At Karfluki Fest 2006 (DVD) (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 10th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.tempestmusic.com
Hits: 1899
Language: english


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