Blackmore’s Night return with their tenth studio album, the follow up to 2013’s Dancer and the Moon. Ritchie Blackmore, Candice Night, and their band of minstrels continue to perform their Renaissance inspired rock which made its debut on 1997’s Shadow of the Moon, this release arriving in a choice of formats; CD/LP, Deluxe Edition with DVD (which includes videos for All Our Yesterdays and Will O’ the Wisp plus an interview on the making of the album) and Limited Collector’s Edition Box Set (which includes CD/DVD, Vinyl, T-shirt [size ‘L’ only], poster and cover art lithograph).
It has been said that Blackmore’s Night is a true musical and spiritual collaboration between Candice and Ritchie. They have stated that these songs are theme chosen, focusing on the attitude of living in the present and looking to the future, which seems an odd statement considering that there are three cover versions and a reworking of an earlier work, Where Are We Going From Here, on this album, but more on that later.
The album opens with the title track All Our Yesterdays, a jaunty and light song which at times sounds as if it could be an entry for Eurovision. That is not meant to be in any way insulting, just to underline that it is very catchy and accessible. At times here, to me, Candice’s voice sounds a little like ’70s singer Mary Hopkin. Who remembers her I wonder. The track Darker Shade of Black has a great guitar solo which evokes memories of what Ritchie Blackmore is capable of and this is probably my favourite track on the album.
The inclusion of the three cover versions in the middle section of the album spoils the flow of the other compositions. Mike Oldfield’s Moonlight Shadow offers nothing new from the original version and Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe does not work for me. Probably the one that I believe works the best is Linda Ronstadt’s Long Long Time. Where Are We Going From Here is a reworking of the original that appeared on the Ghost of a Rose album, previously a ballad it tells the story of a travelling minstrel’s journey through life.
Having previously only heard limited material from Blackmore’s Night this is a good album; it is a pleasant, easy listen with some good song writing, continuing what they do well. I do feel it would have worked better as a whole by removing the cover versions to leave a more concise and cohesive album. Worth a purchase if you are a big Blackmore’s Night fan, but if that is the case you would most likely have this by now. Otherwise I don’t feel this release adds anything different that would drag in the new or occasional listener.
This review was completed from a download which, for me, felt a little flat and cold with no distinction between the varied instruments used. Although I’m sure that this would not be the case with a CD or vinyl copy, All Our Yesterdays has not done enough to encourage me to get hold of any of the other formats.
01. All Our Yesterdays (4:08)
02. Allan Yn n Fan (3:36)
03. Darker Shade Of Black (6:16)
04. Long Long Time (4:20)
05. Moonlight Shadow (4:22)
06. I Got You Babe (4:08)
07. The Other Side (3:25)
08. Queen’s Lament (2:13)
09. Where Are We Going From Here (5:53)
10. Will O’ Wisp (4:40)
11. Earth Wind And Sky (3:48)
12. Coming Home (3:43)
Total time – 50:32
Ritchie Blackmore – Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Mandola, Hurdy Gurdy, Nickelharpe
Candice Night – Vocals, Chanter, Cornamuse, Shawms, Rauschpfeife
Bard David of Larchmont – Keyboards
Earl Grey of Chimay – Bass & Rhythm Guitar
Lady Lynn – Harmony Vocals, Shawm, Flute, Recorder
Troubadour of Aberdeen – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records
Year Of Release: 2015