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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Black 47

Fanatic Heart: The Story So Far of Black 47 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I've been a big fan of Black 47 since their Fire of Freedom album. I've followed their career from that point all the way to the end of the band - and even beyond. This new documentary sure taught me a lot of things I didn't know about the group.

Anyone who had ever heard Black 47 knew that their musical concept was built around the Irish American scene. I, and I'll bet a lot of others, didn't realize that it is more widely about the immigrant scene in general. Of course there has always been a lot of New York City in Black 47, too. They were described as "New York's house band."

This DVD enlightens and entertains through interview clips, live footage and much more. I think to me the biggest thrill was the look inside a lot of the lyrics of the band. I knew a lot of this stuff was based on real life. It comes alive in a different way when you hear the actual stories that brought so many of the words into being. It really lends a new appreciation to familiar songs.

All in all, if you are interested in Irish American music, you need to pick this up. If you've ever been a fan of Black 47 this is a mandatory purchase. You will not regret it. This is classy stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at

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