"Celtic Heartbeat Collection 2, The" - Various Artists

Compilation Album

U2 Related Content:

Full Track Listing:

  • Riverdance – Bill Whelan (5:44)
  • The Flower of Maherally – Anuna (3:42)
  • Compassion – The Spirit of Eden (5:10)
  • Eanair – Lunasa (5:31)
  • The Sky Road – Frances Black (4:27)
  • Patsy Denning Set – Luke Daniels (4:05)
  • Home – Sean Keane (3:55)
  • The Child Deidre – Mychael Danna & Jeff Danna (4:03)
  • North and South of the River – Christy Moore featuring Bono and the Edge (4:13)
  • Legend of Cuan – The Spirit of Eden (5:55)
  • Mna Na Heireann – Kate Bush (2:54)
  • Sean Deora – Kila (5:07)
  • He Moved Through the Fair (Live) – Sinead O’Connor (3:57)
    Alternate Tracks:
  • Aoife Ni Fhearraigh – Mo Ghra Thu (Salm 17)

Background Information

Celtic Heartbeat was a label set up by Paul McGuinness, and business partners Dave Kavanagh and Barbara Galavan. The initial idea of the label was to take authentic “celtic” music and bring it to the world. The label put together several compilations, and was also responsible for the release of Riverdance related music, which brought the label great success. The label started out under Atlantic, but moved to Universal, who published this CD. McGuinness explains a bit about the label “Doug [Morris] was able to pick up the deal at Universal. So the transition has been quite orderly. And it’s great to be back with Doug. They have had enormous success with analogous product on the Narada label and are able to get that product into what are sometimes called the “candle and sandal” stores. Celtic Heartbeat records tend to be in the category of non-perishable records. They’re less affected by fashion, style and the charts. Great records can sell for years quite steadily. The intention with Celtic Heartbeat is to build up a great brand and catalog and to make it available all over the world.” The Celtic Heartbeat folded after six years of operation due to overall poor performance despite the success of the Riverdance material.

This collection, “The Celtic Heartbeat Collection 2” was the second compilation of Irish music. It was the first to contain any content from U2. Available here on the compilation is the song “North and South of the River” recorded by Christy Moore and featuring Bono and the Edge. Christy Moore, Bono and The Edge collaborated on writing the song “North and South of the River”. Moore, an Irish folk singer, song writer and guitarist was one of the founding members of Irish groups Planxty and Moving Hearts. Moore had previously worked with Larry Mullen Jr, on the single “Make it Work” for the “Live for Ireland” campaign. Bono said of the recording, “If U2 sang that song at this point, it might be reason enough for the troubles to start up again. I’ve had enough bruises and scars not to want to take things on the head in the same way anymore. I think you’ve got to be smarter now.”

The song, “North and South of the River” was initially released as a single in October of 1995. The version released was Christy Moore singing the main parts of the song, and Bono and the Edge providing backing vocals. The single was released on cassette and CD in Ireland credited to “Christy Moore with Bono and The Edge”. It is that version which is collected here on “The Celtic Heartbeat Collection 2”.

In 1996, Christy Moore, re-recorded the song and released “North and South of the River” on his own album, “Graffiti Tongue”. This version no longer had any performance by Bono and the Edge, and is a much more stripped down acoustic version of the song. U2 themselves would record the song, without Christy Moore, when working on the “Pop” album. In the final days as U2 rushed to finish the album, Bono even proposed the song for inclusion as a b-side to the first single, but it was felt that it was too somber to be paired with “Discotheque”. The U2 version of the song would be released as the b-side to “Staring at the Sun” when the single was released as the second single from “Pop” in 1997. It also appeared on the collection, “The Best of 1990-2000 & The B Sides” in 2002.

Liner Notes

North and South of the River:
Written by Christy Moore, Bono and the Edge. Produced by Christy Moore and Steve Lillywhite. Bono and the Edge: Backing vocals. Christy Moore performs with Bono and the Edge for the first and only time on “North & South of the River”. Traditional music meets rock’n‘roll in their song which expresses hope for peace in Ireland.

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