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Music : Iona - The River Flows Anthology Volume 1 (2002) (4CD Box Set)
 

Iona - The River Flows Anthology Volume 1 (2002) (4CD Box Set)

Iona - The River Flows Anthology Volume 1 (2002) (4CD Box Set)
EAC rip | 4CD | APE - Log - Cue | Booklet/SCANS | Release: 2002 | 1.48 GB
Genre: Rock, Folk, Progressive Rock | Label: Open Sky


I don't usually buy box sets - but I made an exception for this one as it had all 3 Iona albums I lacked on CD in it. I was not disappointed. The band have done a good job so we get not only the first three albums but plenty of background info and photos to track the early years (1990 - 1993) of this unique Folk-Prog-Jazz Band (they have now added Classical to their list). They have chosen to remain within the Christian music scene, but have always appeared too big for it. Right from the off there was something of the 70's supergroup about them. The regular line up changes, the wearing of silly headgear and badly fitting leather trousers, the windswept shots in wild locations, the member with a dodgy musical past who came and left as quickly (Nick Beggs, previously of Kajagoogoo). It is all lovingly presented here with some of the photos reproduced at almost LP cover size.
If the group had kept to founder members Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald's template there would have been no songs and its output would have consisted solely of 10 minute long Jazz rock indulgences. Then along came Joanne Hogg with her fine Northern Irish voice and the band became a much more interesting proposition. Iona now sounded like any (and every) prog rock band you can name.......crossed with Clannad.
First Album - Iona (1990) still has a freshness to it, not that anything here hadn't been done before, but there is a sense of creative juices flowing and the band being excited about the music they are creating. The relatively simple production allows David Fitzgerald's fine instrumental work on a range of wind instruments to shine through.
Second Album - Book of Kells (1992) is a masterpiece. The band had the vision and someone appears to have coughed up for a recording budget. The listener is treated to one rapt, atmospheric voyage into the beyond after another. The one disappointment is if you are expecting a conventional album. There are only 5 songs amongst the 14 tracks here.
Third Album - Beyond these Shores. It had to happen. Every supergroup must deal with its creative genius leaving. And so it was that multi instrumentalist David Fitzgerald and the rest of the band parted. It proved to be a rebirth. Beyond these shores is musically simpler, but it is also better focused and is full of real songs. As far as the music is concerned think Mike Oldfield's QE2 album taken to Celtic waters..
Fourth Album - Dunes - This is the `extra tracks' CD. Not as interesting as it could be, but the 20 minute soundtrack to the BBC's Realm of the Ravens is very well done, and rather better than Clannad's Robin Hood music. The rest of the disc has a few live tracks and a few unreleased studio tracks. All very nice, but there are no previously undiscovered treasures being unearthed here.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable set, not perfect, but deserving five stars. It captures the band in their early productive heyday. They came up with 3 studio albums in 3 years. It has taken them another 13 years to come up with another 3 studio albums, with their first for 6 years - The Circling Hour - being released in autumn 2006. I can pick this up, put on a CD, leaf through the pages, and remember seeing them play this live.....but what I really remember is their storming cover of `All Right Now' while Troy was tuning up his Bouzouki.

Track List:

CD 1
01. Turning Tide (2002 Version) (2:04)
02. Flight of the Wild Goose (6:13)
03. Island (5:15)
04. White Sands (3:36)
05. Dancing on the Wall (5:10)
06. A'machair (7:09)
07. Vision of Naran (6:09)
08. Beijing (5:15)
09. Iona (4:14)
10. Trilogy (8:54)
11. Here I Stand (2:36)
12. Columcille (3:22)
13. Kells Opening Theme (4:18)
CD 2
01. Revelation (4:37)
02. Matthew - The Man (11:54)
03. Chi-Rho (4:39)
04. Mark - The Lion (3:29)
05. River Flows (5:02)
06. Luke - The Calf (4:06)
07. Virgin and Child (3:12)
08. Temptation (4:34)
09. Arrest - Gethsemene (3:49)
10. Trinity - The Godhead (6:09)
11. John - The Eagle (4:14)
12. Kells (5:30)
13. Eternity - No Beginning, No End (6:50)
CD 3
01. Prayer on the Mountain (2:53)
02. Treasure (4:24)
03. Brendan's Voyage (Navigatio) (4:12)
04. Edge of the World (4:49)
05. Today (3:14)
06. View of the Islands (2:30)
07. Bird of Heaven (9:12)
08. Murlough Bay (4:11)
09. Burning Like Fire (4:57)
10. Adrift (3:48)
11. Beachy Head (5:46)
12. Machrie Moor (4:34)
13. Healing (4:48)
14. Brendan's Return (4:15)
15. Beyond These Shores (4:54)
CD 4
01. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Realm of the Ravens (1:53)
02. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Dunes (4:18)
03. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Macha (1:36)
04. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Dome of Harlech (3:46)
05. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Above the Clouds (1:21)
06. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Song of the Waves (3:17)
07. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Moondawn (3:34)
08. Snowdonia - Realm of the Ravens: Winter (2:11)
09. Jigs (Live) (6:01)
10. Hearthquake (Live) (6:03)
11. Castlerigg/Extended Reels (Live) (10:35)
12. I Will Give My Love an Apple (4:37)
13. Song of the Waves (Reprise) (2:10)
14. Final Journey (3:26)

Download links:


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