Christy Moore is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. In 2007, he was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards. The former lead-vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards and he has been a major inspiration to many modern Irish artists.
Traditional Irish music had little influence on Moore’s early music, trained in old-time pop tunes and religious music, Moore was inspired as a teenager by American Rock and Roll. Moore moved to Britain in the 1960s and began busking in the streets, whilst seamlessly extending his repertoire of traditional and folk songs. After returning to Ireland later in the decade, Moore released his debut album recorded with Dominic Behan in 1969, “Paddy On The Road”.
Whilst recording his album “Prosperous”, Moore assembled a band that evolved into Planxty. The group’s fusion of Celtic music and high-energy rock made Planxty one of Ireland’s most influential bands, and brought Moore together with fellow diverse and skilled musicians Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn and Andy Irvine. Although he left Planxty in 1974, Moore returned when the band’s original line-up reunited in 1979. He remained with Planxty until 1983, when it evolved into a new band, Moving Hearts; Moore served as front-man there until leaving to resume his solo career in 1985.
Prominent albums from Moore’s solo career for the following 20 years include “Ride On”, “Voyage”, “Smoke and Strong Whiskey”, “King Puck”, “Graffiti Tongue” and “Burning Times”. The excitement of Moore’s concerts have been documented on five live albums, “Live in Dublin”, and two “Live at the Point” concerts, as well as “Live at Vicar Street” and “Planxty Live”. His solo recordings between 1981 and 1991 were anthologised on the “Christy Moore Collection”, and “The Collection Part 2” followed in 1997. “They Never Came Home” is a song about the Stardust fire of 1981 where 48 people died. The song was recorded on the “Ordinary Man” album and was released as a single in 1985. The song achieved notoriety when Moore was hauled before the courts because the original song suggested that the fire exits being chained was the only reason for the disaster. Judge Barry Murphy ordered the “Ordinary Man” album to be withdrawn from the shops and costs were awarded against him.
Moore is best known for his political and social commentary which reflects a left-wing, Irish republican perspective, despite the fact that his mother was a Fine Gael county councillor and parliamentary candidate in Kildare. He supported the republican H-Block protestors with the albums “H-Block” in 1978, the launch of which was raided by the police, and “The Spirit of Freedom”. He has also recorded songs by the hunger striker Bobby Sands, including “Back Home in Derry” which is based on Gordon Lightfoot’s song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. He ceased supporting the military activities of the IRA in 1987 as a result of the Enniskillen bombing.
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