- Released: May 1, 1995
- Label: Green Linnet
Q - 8/95, p.1364 Stars
- Excellent - "...Their playing skills are legendary, but what makes them tick is the balance between the flailing fiddles and the sorrowful, stately ballads..."
NME (Magazine) - 7/15/95, p.498 (out of 10)
- "...Altan never tried hard to be cool, no new agey synths or gimmicks, but still turned heads. If you like blazing trad, then hear THE FIRST TEN YEARS....[a] breathtaking summation of their first five albums....artistically and emotionally sharp..."
- 1.Pretty Peg
- 2.Andy de Jarlis / Ingonish / Mrs. McGee
- 3.Ceol A'ph¡obaire
- 4.The Wedding Jig
- 5.D¢nal Agus M¢rag
- 6.Tommy Bhetty's Waltz
- 7.Fermanagh Highland
- 8.Feoch n, An
- 10.The Cat That Ate the Candle
- 11.Br¡d Og N¡ Mh ille
- 12.Harvest Storm
- 13.Cit¡ Na Gcumann
- 14.Tommy Peoples'
- 15.Dobbin's Flowery Vale
Altan: Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (vocals, fiddle); Mark Kelly (guitar, high strung guitar, background vocals); Daithi Sproule (guitar, background vocals); P.J. Curtis (high strung guitar); Ciaran Curran (guitar-bouzouki, bouzouki); Niall Toner (mandolin); Paul O'Shaughnessy (fiddle); Ciaran Tourish (fiddle, whistle, background vocals); Neil Martin (cello); Frankie Kennedy (flute, whistle, background vocals); Dermot Byrne (accordion); Donal Lunny (keyboards, bodhran, bass bodhran); Garvan Gallagher (acoustic bass); Anna Ni Mhaogaigh (background vocals).
Producers: P.J. Curtis, Brian Masterson, Altan, Donal Lunny, Phil Cunningham.
Compilation producer: Donal Lunny.
Engineers: Donal Lunny.
Recorded at Aigle Studios, Lansdowne Studio, Westland Studios and Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland. Includes liner notes by Donal Lunny.
Personnel: Mair‚ad N¡ Mhaonaigh (vocals, fiddle); Anna N¡ Mhaonaigh (vocals); Da¡th¡ Sproule, Mark Kelly (guitar, background vocals); Niall Toner (mandolin); Ciar n Tourish (fiddle, background vocals); Paul O'Shaughnessy (fiddle); Neil Martin (cello); Frankie Kennedy (flute, background vocals); Dermot Byrne (accordion); D¢nal Lunny (keyboards, bodhran); Garvan Gallagher (double bass).
Liner Note Author: D¢nal Lunny.
Recording information: Aigle Studios, Dublin, Ireland; Lansdowne Studios, Dublin, Ireland; Westland Studios, Dublin, Ireland; Windmill Lane Recording Studio, Dublin, Ireland.
Photographer: Colm Henry.
Translator: Proinsias O'Maonaigh.
Arrangers: Altan; P.J. Curtis.
Presenting excerpts from the group's tenure on the Green Linnet label, which is decisively its most productive period, Altan's first ten years are expertly captured here. Notably short on Maighread N¡ Mhaonaigh and Frankie Kennedy's earliest pre-Altan recordings, the disc starts and ends with the band's most fruitful albums, bridging 1987's Altan and 1993's Island Angel. As always, the tracks selected feature inspired playing and singing, with the emotional scope and inherent beauty of the music never failing to impress. And while it's hard to recommend this set emphatically over 1997's The Best of Altan retrospective (which strangely features virtually none of the same songs although it draws from the same period), the tracks selected here do well to cover the breadth of their exceptional career as arguably Ireland's greatest expositors of traditional song. Overall, an excellent introduction and an essential purchase for Celtic music fans. ~ Matt Fink