Sometimes a best-of CD can really make you reappraise an artist's body of work. That's certainly the case with this release, which draws from every phase of Clancy
's long career. To those who just saw him as a part of the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem
, or an occasional solo artist, this shows that he really does deserve a place in the pantheon of Irish music. Yes, there may be the carousing drink and Aran sweater of "The Wild Rover," but there are also his versions of "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "The Patriot Game" which show him completely in charge of quiet songs; in fact, he's at his best with them. He's a superb interpreter, making a song come alive with subtle little twists that open up a lyric and a tune. It's perhaps fair to say that this record is long overdue, but now that it's here, people will undoubtedly look anew at his whole catalog. Spread over a pair of discs, this is definitely the cream of the crop, with not a single mediocre cut, from "The Rocky Road to Dublin" to "The Dutchman." This is craft, but it's also art.