To The Moon And Back: 20 Years And Beyond

Blackmore's Night

Minstrel Hall Of Fame, 2017

http://www.blackmoresnight.com/

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/02/2017

Who could have guessed 20 years ago that Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would find love and happiness as a front man for a Renaissance/rock fusion band, but here we are two decades later. He and his partner Candice Night are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Blackmore’s Night with a two-disc release titled nbtc__dv_250 To The Moon And Back: 20 Years And Beyond.

The first disc is basically a compilation of their better-known material. To my ear, the mix on some of the songs appears different. The sound level on Blackmore’s acoustic work on the mandolin and guitar has been turned up and it shares equal billing with Night’s vocals. This allows the listener to hear just how intricate many of the songs are and how good of a guitarist Blackmore is when everything is stripped to basics. There is also a nine minute version of “Home Again’ that presents the  band at its best.

Disc two moves in a number of directions. They have reimagined a number of their classic songs, and “Writing On The Wall,” “Coming Home,” and particularly the bonus track “I Surrender” emerge as hard rock classics. They are more akin to Blackmore’s work with Rainbow with a female vocalist. While they are outside the usual norm for Blackmore’s Night, they are an interesting turn for the band. Disc one is a fine introduction to their sound, while the second disc hints at possibly new directions.

Blackmore’s Night has carved a unique niche. To The Moon And Back: 20 Years And Beyond brings a period of their career to a close. Twenty years is a long journey in the world of music, but it is one worth taking with the band.

Rating: A-

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