The Morrigan's music is a lively mixture of traditional Celtic folk with prog rock, sometimes leaning heavily in either direction. Their sound is distinctly original and full of magic vocals, their music made up of warm melodies wrapped up in rich arrangements (sometimes of their own composition, sometimes re-arranged traditional folk songs). Imagine a heavier sounding Steeleye Span and then move them up a notch on the prog scale. The band originated in 1984 when Tom Foad, a guitarist from hard-rock/metal band The Avalanche, was looking for something a little more acoustic. Soon, singer/musician Cathy Alexander joined him, followed by bassist Cliff Eastabrook. However, Foad's commitments to his previous band proved to be too time consuming and so, he was replaced by guitarist/keyboardist Colin Masson (who, by the way, has done all the artwork for the band's albums). In addition to Alexander and Masson who are still with the band after two decades, two out of three excellent full-time musicians who feature on their latest album have since left.
Neil Diamond's five-decade career as a singer, songwriter, and performer has certainly been a successful one by any standard. He’s sold well over 115 million records worldwide to date and has had eight number one singles ("Cracklin Rosie," "Song Sung Blue," "Desiree," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "Love on the Rocks," "America," "Yesterday's Songs," and "Heartlight"), and if he hasn't always generated the kind of critical respect he probably deserves, he’s been a steady and dependable artist who has managed to keep his large core audience happy. This 23-track set surveys the whole of Diamond's recording career, collecting his key and signature sides, beginning with his first hits for Bang Records in the mid-'60s through his commercial peak for Uni/MCA between 1968 and 1972, cuts from 1980’s The Jazz Singer (a soundtrack album that went platinum five times over on Capitol Records), and ending with tracks from Diamond's two Rick Rubin-produced albums, 2005’s 12 Songs and 2008’s Home Before Dark, on Columbia Records.