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Battlefield Band

The Battlefield Band has proven to be one of the longest running institutions of Scottish music. At their inception in 1969, they were one of the most adventurous young groups around, mixing traditional music with some rock and pop, and even in the time since, they've remained somewhat abreast of trends, although not as much as those who've followed in their footsteps and sometimes overtaken them. But that's fine, they have a comfortable niche and a dedicated following. During the '70s, Scots music was very much a live thing, restricted to the folk clubs, with not much thought of the recording studio. And the Battlefield Band, under the leadership of Brian McNeill, spent much of the decade finding their feet -- indeed, McNeill was growing by leaps and bounds as a songwriter, which found its first flower on "The Lads O' the Fair" on 1980's Home is Where the Van is, where subtle electric arrangements met a traditional sound. They followed that up with an even stronger disc, There's a Buzz, and then in 1984, Anthem for the Common Man, where some personnel changes brought in singer Alistair Russell and saw a more political tone creep into the lyrics -- a reaction to Margaret Thatcher.

More lineup changes followed, making it hard for the band to get a grasp on who they were and for the latter half of the '80s, they seemed to be adrift as is evident from the pleasant but unspectacular live disc Home Ground, released in 1989, and the problem became even more acute following the departure of McNeill in 1990 to an acclaimed solo career. However, his replacement, virtuoso fiddler and singer John McCusker brought a new energy to the band. Even so, it took several years for a new identity to assert itself, until 1997's superb Across the Borders, which found them once again at the height of their powers. There was still the basic Battlefield Band sound, but on albums like Rain, Hail or Shine they sounded confident and actually happy to be playing again. That has continued over several more albums into 2001's Happy Daze, where a slimmed-down lineup still satisfies, even if there aren't fireworks every time they pick up their instruments. 2002's Time and Tide brought back singer Pat Kilbride to the mix, after a 20-year abscence, who then stayed on for Out for the Night in 2004. ~ Chris Nickson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Gotta love those bagpipes!
firefly10332
Lovely. Simply lovely.
The Battlefield Band has been a staple for me for over thirty years. I have seen their live shows with a variety of players and they never disappoint
now this is music.
It seems even the pristine freshness and beauty of Celtic music cannot remain untouched by chain mail BS ...
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
woodsnwater1
Rare fine - simply outstanding!
this is very good music
My tastes in music are very diverse and mood dependent. Right now lively foot stomp'in Celtic is git'in it.
Aye it is
I saw them in concert a few times. I LOVE them. Best Celtic band I ever heard.
Beautiful!
missymoo777
Fabulous..ju s t found this group through Pandora - wonderful piece of music
americanpatr i o t 2
I love their music. Just recently started listening.
Great tune!
Someone wrote it is hard to get the music from this bad legally? Go to their website.... order from them... it's quite easy and legal.
Even with the frequent changes in line up recently, they continue to be a foot stamping grand example of Scottish folk music....a pleasure to listen to and if you're lucky enough to see their live concerts.
Wow.
slapshot1894
I hadn't heard these guys until I got Pandora. I'm certainly grateful!
I love these guys!!
I'm sure Pandora helps bands get a lot more exposure and new fans and sell more records.
i recommend getting the music legally, it helps the band...
j_senesy
I saw these guys play in the auditorium of the Hightstown Highschool in NJ in about 1988, and they were great!
This music is friggin' awesome. I was never really big on folk music, but I heard these guys randomly on independent radio and was instantly hooked. There is a wholesome and pure quality to the music that you just can't get in the mainstream music community. The only drawback to liking this group is that their music can be hard to get a hold of--at least illegally :P. If you happen to come across an album or song by these guys, I strongly recommend you give it a listen.
calvin000
Farewell Johnny Miner!!!

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