Clannad

Clannad are a Celtic Irish folk-rock/New Age collective that was initially active as a recording entity between the early 1970s and late 1990s.

Members: Ciarán Ó Braonáin [Ciara Brennan] (bass, guitar, keyboards), Pól Ó Braonáin [Pól Brennan / Paul Brennan] (tin whistle, flute, guitar, keyboards, 1970-90, 2011-present), Pádraig Ó Dúgáin [Pat Duggan] (mandolin, harmonica, guitar, 1970-2016), Noel Ó Dúgáin [Noel Duggan] (guitar), Maire Ni Braonáin [Moya Brennan] (harp, vocals), Eithne Ó Braonáin [Enya / Enya Brennan] (keyboards, vocals, 1980-82)


Background

Clannad assembled in the late 1960s when three siblings of the nine-child Brennan brood — Máire (b. 1952), Ciarán (b. 1954), and Pól (b. 1956) — teamed with their young twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan (b. January 23, 1949). The two families grew up in Gweedore, a Northwest coastal town in Irish-speaking County Donegal.

The Brennan matriarch, Máire “Baba” Brennan (née Duggan), taught music. Their father, Leo Brennan, played saxophone and accordion in the Slieve Foy, a traveling Irish showband. With his brother-in-law, he opened Leo’s Tavern, a converted pub in the nearby Meenaleck village. The Brennan and Duggard children formed Leo’s in-house music act, comprised of Máire (harp, vocals), Ciarán and Pól (bass, bongos, vocals), and Noel and Pádraig (guitars). Their grandfather named the act Clann as Dobhar, Irish for “Family from Dore.”

In 1970, family elders spurred Clann as Dobhar into a music contest at the first Slógadh Youth Festival in Letterkenny. Despite their reluctance, the young members filed their entry form at the last minute. They won the competition, which awarded £500 and a Polydor contract that the members were too young to sign.

Clann as Dobhar honed their act on the Northwest folk circuit with a setlist comprised of Celt-rock originals and covers of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Joni Mitchell. Under the shortened name Clannad, they won another band competition at the 1973 Letterkenny folk festival. They signed with Philips Records and recorded their debut album.


Clannad

Clannad released their self-titled debut album in 1973 on Philips Ireland. Side One contains five Gaelic traditionals and one original (“Liza”) co-written by Padraig Duggan and Pól Brennan. Side Two contains a mix of Irish and English-titled traditionals and songs by Limerick folkie Mick Hanly (“An Pháirc”) and North American folkies Tim Rose and Bonnie Dobson (“Morning Dew”).

1. “Níl Sé Ina Lá (Níl Sé’n Lá)” (4:50)
2. “Thíos Cois na Trá Domh” (2:55)
3. “Brian Boru’s March” (3:50)
4. “Siúbhán Ní Dhuibhir” (4:30)
5. “An Mhaighdean Mhara” (2:10)
6. “Liza” (2:00)
7. “An tOileán Úr” (4:03)
8. “Mrs. McDermott” (3:03) is a piece by the blind Irish baroque harpist Turlough O’Carolan (1670–1738).
9. “The Pretty Maid” (2:40)
10. “An Pháirc” (3:00)
11. “Harvest Home” (1:40)
12. “Morning Dew” (3:45) was co-written by American singer–songwriter Tim Rose and Canadian folkie Bonnie Dobson. Rose premiered it on his 1967 debut album. Bonnie included a cover on her 1969 self-titled album (her sixth).

Recorded Eamonn Andrews Studios, Dublin, Ireland
Producer John Cunan


Clannad 2 (1974)

Gael Linn Records

1. “An Gabhar Bán (The White Goat)” (3:15)
2. “Eleanor Plunkett” (Turlough O’Carolan) (2:49)
3. “Coinleach Ghlas an Fhómhair” (5:46)
4. “Rince Philib a’ Cheoil” (1:51)
5. “By Chance It Was” (5:41)
6. “Rince Briotánach” (3:14)
7. “Dhéanainn Súgradh” (5:39)
8. “Gaoth Barra na dTonn” (2:33)
9. “Teidhir Abhaile Riú” (2:48)
10. “Fairly Shot of Her” (2:21)
11. “Chuaigh Mé ‘na Rosann” (6:18)

Recorded Eamonn Andrews Studios, Dublin, Ireland
Producer Dónal Lunny
Philip Begley – engineer

Ciarán Ó Braonáin – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Máire Ní Bhronáin – vocals, harp
Pól Ó Braonáin – flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
Noel Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals
Pádraig Ó Dúgáin – guitar, mandolin, vocals

Robbie Ó Braonáin – drums
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill – keyboards
Mícheál Ó Domhnaill – guitar, vocals
Dónal Lunny – synthesizer, guitar, percussion
Pádraig Ó Domhnaill – Vocals


Dúlamán (1976)

Gael Linn Records

1. “Dúlamán” (4:34)
2. “Cumha Eoghain Rua Uí Néill” (4:09)
3. “Two Sisters” (4:13)
4. “Éirigh Suas a Stóirín” (5:14)
5. “The Galtee Hunt” (3:09)
6. “Éirigh Is Cuir Ort do Chuid Éadaigh” (4:12)
7. “Siúil a Rúin” (5:50)
8. “Mo Mháire” (2:43)
9. “dTigeas a Damhsa” (1:26)
10. “Cucanandy/The Jug of Brown Ale” (3:13)

Recorded Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales
Producer Nicky Ryan
Fritz Fryer – engineer

Ciarán Ó Braonáin – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals, piano (electric), mandolin
Máire Ní Bhronáin – vocals, harp
Pól Ó Braonáin – flute, guitar, percussion, bongos, vocals, whistles, human whistle
Noel Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals
Pádraig Ó Dúgáin – guitar, mandola, mandolin, vocals

Joachim Boske – sleeve design
Bill Doyle – photography
Manjit Jari – photography


Clannad in Concert (live, 1978)

Ogham (Ireland) Itercord (Germany)


Crann Ull (1980)

Tara Music

1. “Ar a Ghabháil ‘n a ‘Chuain Damh” (3:28)
2. “The Last Rose of Summer” (4:17)
3. “Crúiscín Lán” (2:34)
4. “Bacach Shíle Andaí” (2:33)
5. “Lá Coimhthíoch fán dTuath (A Strange Day in the Countryside)” (3:49)
6. “Crann Úll” (3:44)
7. “Gathering Mushrooms” (2:40)
8. “An Buinneán Buí” (4:17)
9. “Planxty Browne” (4:13)

Recorded Conny’s Studio, Köln, Germany
Engineers, Dave Hutchins, Conny Plank
Producer Nicky Ryan
Dave Hutchins – recording engineer
Conny Plank – recording engineer

Ciarán Ó Braonáin – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Máire Ní Bhraonáin – vocals, harp
Pól Ó Braonáin – flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
Noel Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals
Pádraig Ó Dúgáin – guitar, mandolin, vocals

Eithne Ní Bhraonáin (Enya) – percussion, keyboards, backing vocals


Fuaim (1982)

Tara Music

1. “Na Buachaillí Álainn” (2:57)
2. “Mheall Sí Lena Glórthaí Mé” (4:17)
3. “Bruach na Carraige Báine” (2:37)
4. “Lá Breá Fán dTuath” (0:45)
5. “An tÚll” (3:07)
6. “Strayed Away” (2:46)
7. “Ní Lá na Gaoithe Lá na Scoilb?” (6:11)
8. “Lish Young Buy-A-Broom” (3:30)
9. “Mhórag ‘s na Horo Gheallaidh” (1:43)
10. “The Green Fields of Gaothdobhair” (4:09)
11. “Buaireadh an Phósta” (2:52)

Recorded Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland
Producer Nicky Ryan
Brian Masterson – engineer
Pearce Dunne – assistant engineer

Ciarán Ó Braonáin – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Máire Ní Bhraonáin – vocals, harp
Pól Ó Braonáin – flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
Noel Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals
Pádraig Ó Dúgáin – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Eithne Ní Bhraonáin (Enya) – percussion, keyboards, vocals

Neil Buckley – clarinet, saxophones
Noel Bridgeman – percussion
Pat O’Farrell – electric guitar


Magical Ring (1983)

March 21, 1983, on RCA.

1. “Theme from Harry’s Game” (Pól Brennan, Ciarán Brennan) – 2:30
2. “Tower Hill” (P. Brennan) – 3:51
3. “Seachrán Charn tSiail” (Traditional) – 2:20
4. “Passing Time” (P. Brennan, C. Brennan) – 3:44
5. “Coinleach Ghlas an Fhómhair” (Traditional) – 5:57
6. “I See Red” (Jim Rafferty) – 4:23
7. “Tá ‘mé Mo Shuí” (Traditional) – 3:13
8. “Newgrange” (C. Brennan) – 4:03
9. “The Fairy Queen” (Traditional) – 2:40
10. “Thíos Fá’n Chósta” (P. Brennan, C. Brennan, Pádraig Duggan) – 3:16

Recorded Nova Studios, London, England and Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland
Producer Richard Dodd
Austin Ince – engineer

Ciarán Ó Braonáin – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Máire Ní Bhraonáin – vocals, harp
Pól Ó Braonáin – flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
Noel Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals
Pádraig Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals

Ed Deane – electric guitar
James Delaney – synthesizers, keyboards
Alan Dunn – accordion
Charlie Morgan – drums
Pádraig O’Donnell – vocals
Frank Ricotti – percussion

Gered Mankowitz – photography
Rob O’Connor – design

“Theme from Harry’s Game” reached No. 2 in Ireland and No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart.


Legend (tv soundtrack, 1984)

May 1984 on RCA. soundtrack album for the ITV television series Robin of Sherwood, April 1984 to June 1986, featuring actor Michael Praed as Robin of Sherwood

1. “Robin (The Hooded Man)” (Ciarán Brennan) – 2:48
2. “Now Is Here” (Pól Brennan) – 3:32
3. “Herne” (P. Brennan) – 5:08
4. “Together We” (P. Brennan) – 3:28
5. “Darkmere” (C. Brennan) – 1:59
6. “Strange Land” (P. Brennan) – 3:10
7. “Scarlet Inside” (P. Brennan) – 5:08
8. “Lady Marian” (C. Brennan) – 3:20
9. “Battles” (C. Brennan) – 1:01
10. “Ancient Forest” (P. Brennan, C. Brennan, Máire Brennan) – 2:59

Studio Windmill Lane, Dublin, Ireland
Trident, London
Producer Tony Clarke

Máire Brennan – lead vocal, harp
Pól Brennan – guitar, flute, tin whistle, keyboards, vocals
Ciarán Brennan – double bass, synthesisers, guitar, vocals
Pádraig Duggan – mandola, guitar, vocals
Noel Duggan – guitar, vocals

James Delaney – keyboards
Paul Moran – drums
Pat Farrell – electric guitar
Frank Ricotti – percussion


Macalla (1985)

RCA

1. “Caisleán Óir” (Ciarán Brennan, Máire Brennan) – 2:06
2. “The Wild Cry” (Pól Brennan) – 4:41
3. “Closer to Your Heart” (C. Brennan) – 3:29
4. “In a Lifetime” (a duet with Bono) (C. Brennan, P. Brennan) – 3:08
5. “Almost Seems (Too Late to Turn)” (P. Brennan) – 4:51
6. “Indoor” (P. Brennan) – 3:53
7. “Buachaill Ón Éirne” (Traditional) – 3:08
8. “Blackstairs” (P. Brennan) – 4:15
9. “Journey’s End” (Noel Duggan, Pádraig Duggan) – 2:42
10. “Northern Skyline” (C. Brennan, P. Brennan) – 4:58

Recorded: Power Play Studio, Zurich, Switzerland, Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey, England and Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland
Producer Steve Nye
Louis Austin – engineer

Ciarán Ó Braonáin – bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
Máire Ní Bhronáin – vocals, harp
Pól Ó Braonáin – flute, guitar, percussion, vocals
Noel Ó Dúgáin – guitar, vocals
Pádraig Ó Dúgáin – guitar, mandolin, vocals

Bono – vocals
Mel Collins – saxophone
Danny Cummings – percussion
James Delaney – keyboards, synthesizer
Anto Drennan – guitar, electric guitar
Paul Moran – drums
Steve Nye – keyboards

Anton Corbijn – photography
Jill Furmanovsky – photography

“Closer to Your Heart” (September 1985)
“Almost Seems (Too Late to Turn)” (November 1985)
“In a Lifetime” (January 1986)


Sirius (1987)

October 26, 1987, on RCA.

1. “In Search of a Heart” (Pól Brennan) – 3:53
2. “Second Nature” (Ciarán Brennan) – 3:20
3. “Turning Tide” (P. Brennan) – 4:39
4. “Skellig” (C. Brennan) – 4:46
5. “Stepping Stone” (P. Brennan) – 3:53
6. “White Fool” – feat. Steve Perry (P. Brennan) – 4:38
7. “Something to Believe In” – Duet with Bruce Hornsby (C. Brennan) – 4:47
8. “Live and Learn” (C. Brennan) – 3:32
9. “Many Roads” (C. Brennan) – 3:25
10. “Sirius” (P. Brennan) – 5:33

Recorded 25 April – 20 July 1987
Woodtown Manor (Dublin), Rockfield (Rockfield, Wales), Livingston (London, England), Angel (London, England)
Producer Greg Ladanyi and Russ Kunkel

guest artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Steve Perry and J.D. Souther

cover of Sirius shows a newly blonde Moya Brennan with the rest of Clannad standing beside a waterfall on the River Crolly in their hometown of Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair)


Atlantic Realm (1988)

soundtrack to the BBC television series The Natural World: Atlantic Realm, a documentary about the Atlantic Ocean.

1. “Atlantic Realm” – 3:49
2. “Predator” – 3:05
3. “Moving Thru” – 3:10
4. “The Berbers” – 1:17
5. “Signs of Life” – 2:04
6. “In Flight” – 3:07
7. “Ocean of Light” – 3:30
8. “Drifting” – 1:53
9. “Under Neptune’s Cape” – 3:19
10. “Voyager” – 3:19
11. “Primeval Sun” – 1:09
12. “Child of the Sea” – 2:40
13. “The Kirk Pride” – 1:19

Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin, Ireland and Real World Studios, Bath, England
Producer Pól Brennan and Ciarán Brennan


The Angel and the Soldier Boy (1989)


Anam (1990)


Discography:

  • Clannad (1973)
  • Clannad 2 (1974)
  • Dúlamán (1976)
  • Clannad in Concert (live, 1978)
  • Crann Ull (1980)
  • Fuaim (1982)
  • Magical Ring (1983)
  • Legend (tv soundtrack, 1984)
  • Macalla (1985)
  • Ring of Gold (1986)
  • Sirius (1987)
  • Atlantic Realm (1988)
  • The Angel and the Soldier Boy (1989)
  • Anam (1990)
  • Banba (1993)
  • Lore (1996)
  • Landmarks (1998)

Sources:

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