26 Songs, 1 Hour 47 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

CandiceMichelle1 ,

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

Blackmore’s Night is a British/American duo comprised of Ritchie Blackmore (founding member of the hard rock band Deep Purple) and his wife, Candice Night. Having recorded ten studio albums since 1997, To the Moon and Back compiles some of their finest work over the past 20 years onto a double album of 26 tracks, which totals nearly two hours of wonderful music. Described as a kind of renaissance folk-rock, the duo was initially inspired by artists such as Enya and Mike Oldfield, having founded Blackmore’s Night with a goal in mind of creating a type of fantasy-themed music that blended both ancient and modern elements. Rightfully heralded as one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Ritchie plays a variety of guitars (both acoustic and electric) as well as guitar-playing styles throughout. The album also incorporates classical strings, a chanter, hurdy-gurdy (a stringed folk instrument), keyboards and percussion – all topped-off by Candice’s lovely vocals, which possess a beautifully feminine tone that is gentle yet expressive. With compositions ranging from festive folk rock to enchanting ethereal ballads, subtle comparisons in both essence and style may be variably drawn to Loreena McKennitt, Mediaeval Baebes and Mike Oldfield.

Some of the album’s highlights include “Shadow of the Moon”, which opens disc one with a pristine arrangement of guitars, percussion and various instruments, as it moves at a moderate pace. Seemingly set inside the castle of an old East European town somewhere, Candice’s poetically lyrical melody effectively brings-to-mind that of an enchantress singing and dancing by the moonlight. Lively and whimsical, “Renaissance Faire” offers a fanciful escape, in which dancing couples dressed in traditional Renaissance garb enjoy outdoor festivities, food and drink. The fiery and focused “Spanish Nights” showcases passionate flamenco guitar paired with thundering percussion. Further complimenting its beautifully impressive and intricate guitar-work is Candice’s bewitching singing style, which pleasantly reminds me of Stevie Nicks. One of my favorite pieces on this set is “The Circle”, which seemingly evokes images of the ancient British Isles complete with ancient rituals, fire dances and robed druids at Stonehenge. Symphonic orchestration and a chorus of backing vocals lend to its theatrical sound, which are carried to the end by an enthralling electric guitar solo.

The second disc opens with a cover of Mike Oldfield’s “Moonlight Shadow” in the style of a Celtic folk ballad and features a lovely flute interlude. Another favorite is “Somewhere Over the Sea”, a most enchanting number with a nocturnal, winter theme. Haloed by ethereal vocals throughout, the piece’s electric guitar part recalls that of Mike Oldfield’s Celtic-inspired Voyager album. Finally, “Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus” and “Nur eine Minute” are two lovely instrumentals in a classical renaissance style.

Although a fan myself, I have yet to see Blackmore’s Night perform live. However, they’re well-known for their fantastically engaging concerts which attract many attendees who, like the band, are often dressed in Renaissance garb. Having amassed quite an enthusiastic and loyal following, it’s no surprise why, as their alluring musical offerings beckon the listener to step back in time and enter a world that’s filled with romantic enchantment and imagination!

german&american ,

I Surrender

This album blew me away! Love the remastered versions and how Candice's voice has matured since Autumn Sky! I Surrender is a good one!

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"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! Recommended!

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