Alan Stivell appreciation thread - The man who singlehandedly invented Celtic Rock

RichardMongler

kiwifarms.net
Before all those kitschy Irish-American bands sullied the entire genre, this gentleman pioneered a sound that's just as enduringly powerful when it was first cut to wax:

Alan Stivell is a Breton and Celtic musician best known for being one of the earliest musicians to fuse Rock'n'Roll with Celtic Folk music. His first instrument was a harp, an instrument he learned to play at age nine under his father's tutelage. He would later expand his repertoire to include other instruments including bagpipes, the drum, tin whistle and the bombarde:

His landmark album would be a live album recorded at l'Olympia simply titled "À l'Olympia". The album was a massive success, selling over 2 million copies in a span of a few years in the early 1970s. To place this album in better context, the May 1968 student revolt had generated a "back to the earth" movement amongst the French youth and intelligensia with the ideal of uniting Celtic people. Alan Stivell was closely identified with these trends, even at times hailed as a champion of one or the other cause, but he was himself, as he often later claimed, uneasy about taking on the role of a musical freedom fighter. His deep fascination with cutting edge technology, fuelled by his early love of science fiction put him at odds with any "back to the earth" idealism. Despite the hopes he shared with many of his fellow Breton for a Celtic cultural revival and unity, he always sought to avoid being straight-jacketed by a narrow traditionalist outlook.

The album is divided into two sections: one of traditional Celtic Folk music and the other into what would be better known as Celtic Rock. "Pop Plinn" features the Hammond organ, drums, bass guitar and the distorted guitars all coalescing into something magical:
 
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Positron

Ready to explain photosynthesis to Bill Nye
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I haven't heard enough of Stivell to have a definite opinion; his music is not immediately catchy as other French Celtic acts like Tri Yann or Dan ar Braz. Stivell always has a tinge of jazz styling, which I often find odd, and his forays into generic electronic world music in the late 90s and early 00s did him no favors.
 
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