Important: This is a historical and influential document of why Irish music captivated around the world.
As a curiosity, the vinyl of this LP weighs about 180g (!) It’s a very first edition, you can see it on Transatlantic labels.
The Dubliners released three albums on the Transatlantic label between 1964 and 1966, but it wasn't until they moved to Philip Solomon's new Major Minor label in 1967 that they had their first real success. A Drop of the Hard Stuff was released in the spring of 1967 followed by the rather unimaginatively titled More of the Hard Stuff later that year - both albums heavily promoted by Radio Caroline. Drinkin' & Courtin' was released in 1968, the year the original Radio Caroline went off the air, so had to rely more on the BBC for airplay.
The recordings for this album were made on digital equipment by NOS radio in Holland for the AVRO radio programme 'Folk live' at the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam on October 6, 1983. As founder member Luke Kelly tragically died only a few months after this concert those recordings are the very last Dubliners recordings with Luke. This album is as much a historical event as it is a musical highlight in the respectable career of one of Europe's finest musical groups: The Dubliners.
As good as they are on their records, the Dubliners are essentially performance artists who are at their best in front of an audience – in this case an extraordinarily large one, doing most of their best-known songs (many of which remain identified with them 40 years later). The sound is surprisingly good, and the spirits are overflowing, and the entire record makes a fine follow-up/companion to the mid-'60s In Concert album and the live Finnegan Wakes. It's the tracks off of this album, as much as the studio originals, that have filled up many a compilation on the Dubliners in the decades since.
The follow-up to A Drop of the Hard Stuff, released earlier the same year, is every bit as good, filled with great and spirited renditions of songs about rebellion, whiskey, and independence, plus a sea song or two. This was also the album on which the group introduced its de facto signature tune, "Whiskey in the Jar"." The high spirits and the ebullience of the performances almost mask the fact that these guys are virtuoso players and second-to-nobody as singers – as a result, the whole album rates multiple listens, even more so than its predecessor.
Residing somewhere between the Clancy Brothers and the Chieftains, but more raucous in their sensibilities than either of those outfits, the Dubliners have been Irish music's most uninhibited emissaries to the world since the mid-'60s. This album lives up to its title, offering some lusty renditions of drinking songs, rebel songs, reels, and just about every other subgenre upon which this group has built its reputation across the decades.
The Dubliners with Luke Kelly is the debut album by The Dubliners. It was produced by Nathan Joseph and released by Transatlantic Records in 1964. The line-up consisted of Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna, Luke Kelly and Ciaran Bourke. The original LP title was simply "The Dubliners". When Luke died and the magnitude of his contribution was realised, the record company changed it.
The Dubliners were instrumental in popularising Irish folk music in Europe, though they did not quite surpass the popularity of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the United States.