To The Moon and Back - 20 Years and Beyond
2017 / Minstrel Hall Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
To The Moon and Back - 20 Years and Beyond is a two-disc retrospective of the music of Blackmore’s Night, a group founded in 1997 by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and singer/multi-instrumentalist Candice Night. Not feeling at home in the last century, the two combined music from past eras with lyrics built around modern-day fairy tales. In the process, they created a genre all their own that allowed them “to dress as our spirits wanted, portray the dreams and visions we imagined within the realms of music.” (quoted from the liner notes) Ritchie Blackmore had already established a career in rock music, probably most notably as a founding member of Deep Purple, a British hard rock group with the dubious distinction of being recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the “globe’s loudest band” for a concert performed in London in 1972. Even though Blackmore’s Night’s emphasis is on music from medieval times, those rock roots bubble up to the surface fairly often, making this group one of a kind and one with no musical boundaries. To The Moon and Back - 20 Years and Beyond contains songs from the group’s most successful albums. With many gold records and a worldwide fanbase to their credit, Blackmore’s Night’s 20th anniversary is indeed a musical event!
Disc 1 contains thirteen tracks from various albums plus a nine-minute live version of “Home Again.” Disc 2 contains four never-before-released “2017 versions” of older favorites, two bonus tracks, and five of the group’s favorite instrumental tracks. Also included is the current single by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, “Land of Hope and Glory,” which is Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” arranged by Blackmore like you’ve never heard it before! There is a bonus video listed on the album, but it wasn’t included in my reviewer’s copy. With twenty-six songs and a total playing time of an hour and forty-nine minutes (without the video), this is a very generous package that will delight new and old fans alike.
To The Moon and Back - 20 Years and Beyond is a fascinating look at a band that has created a unique body of music over the past twenty years. I love it when albums are impossible to categorize and this is certainly one of those! It is available from Amazon and iTunes. Recommended!
August 29, 2017
Review by Michael Debbage