This comprehensive Lindisfarne anthology is probably the best introduction to the much-loved English folk-rock band that scored a handful of Top Ten U.K. hits during the '70s. "Meet Me on the Corner," "Lady Eleanor," "Fog on the Tyne" (the title track from their top-selling British album of 1972, which remained on the British album charts for an astonishing 43 weeks), and "Run for Home" are all represented here. In March 2000, Castle Communications' Castle Pie imprint issued Run for Home, which mixed live and studio tracks from the group's Mercury and LMP years. In May 2000, just a few months later, 19 tracks were added to those 16 for this Castle Essential release (the new compilation is part of Castle's new remastered/repackaged reissuing campaign, adding liner notes and upping the quality level a notch or two). This impressive double-disc set covers the period from 1977-1994 during Lindisfarne's lengthy career, with a total of 35 tracks spread over the two lengthy discs. Disc one (clocking in at 70 minutes) features ten live tracks, all but one coming directly from Lindisfarne's Magic in the Air live album, which was recorded on Christmas Eve in 1977 but released in 1978. These performances have been resequenced to sound like a continuous concert; the only exception to this is the inclusion of a live performance of "Brand New Day" dating back to December 1983 (this was originally released on 1984's Lindisfarntastic! Two LP and on 1992's Caught in the Act CD). The remaining 25 tracks are spread over the rest of disc one, and overlap to disc two (which tops out at nearly 80 minutes). These studio tracks are evenly divided between Lindisfarne's six studio albums from 1978-1993 (four tracks from each), plus the "We Can Make It" single from 1994, all sequenced in chronological order. The sound quality is uniformly excellent, and the CD booklet folds out to a nice 12-panel sleeve with an interesting history of the band by British scribe Shaun Stallard. The cover photo is the original five members of the band in bed, a somewhat famous photo last seen on their 1972 "Meet Me on the Corner" single and also the band's Finest Hour, a compilation for the Charisma label. For fans who want even more of the band's complete story in one comprehensive tome, there's Fog on the Tyne: The Official History of Lindisfarne, written (with the band's full cooperation) by author Dave Ian Hill (Northdown Publishing, 1998). Founding member Alan Hull died in 1995.
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AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2