The Chieftains

~ Group


The Chieftains are a traditional Irish band formed in Dublin in November 1962, by Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy. The band had their first rehearsals at Moloney's house, with Tubridy, Martin Fay and David Fallon. Their sound, which is almost entirely instrumental and largely built around uilleann pipes, has become synonymous with traditional Irish music and they are regarded as having helped popularise Irish music across the world.

Paddy Moloney came out of Ceoltóirí Chualann, a group of musicians who specialised in instrumentals, and sought to form a new band. The group remained only semi-professional up until the 1970s, by then they had achieved great success in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In 1973, their popularity began to spread to the United States when their previous albums were released there by Island Records. They received further acclaim when they worked on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon, which triggered their transition to the mainstream in the US.

The group continued to release successful records throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and their work with Van Morrison in 1988 resulted in the critically acclaimed album Irish Heartbeat. They went on to collaborate with many other well-known musicians and singers; among them Luciano Pavarotti, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinéad O'Connor and Roger Daltrey. The band have won six Grammys during their career and they were given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002. Some music experts have credited The Chieftains with bringing traditional Irish music to a worldwide audience, so much so that the Irish government awarded them the honorary title of 'Ireland's Musical Ambassadors' in 1989. In 2012, they celebrated their 50th anniversary with the release of their most recent record Voice of Ages.

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Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1963 The Chieftains 1 The Chieftains 3
1969 The Chieftains 2 The Chieftains 3
1971 The Chieftains 3 The Chieftains 2
1974 The Chieftains 4 The Chieftains 2
1975 The Chieftains 5 The Chieftains 1
1976 The Chieftains 6: Bonaparte’s Retreat The Chieftains 2
1977 The Chieftains 7 The Chieftains 4
1978 The Chieftains 8 The Chieftains 4
1980 Boil the Breakfast Early The Chieftains 2
1981 The Chieftains 10: Cotton Eyed Joe The Chieftains 1
1985 The Chieftains in China The Chieftains 1
1987 Celtic Wedding The Chieftains 2
1987 In Ireland James Galway & The Chieftains 4
1988 Irish Heartbeat Van Morrison & The Chieftains 6
1989 A Chieftains Celebration The Chieftains 2
1990 Over the Sea to Skye: The Celtic Connection James Galway & The Chieftains 2
1991 The Bells of Dublin The Chieftains 2
1992 Another Country The Chieftains 1
1993 The Celtic Harp The Chieftains 2
1995 The Long Black Veil The Chieftains 3
1996 Film Cuts The Chieftains 1
1996 Santiago The Chieftains 1
1998 Fire in the Kitchen The Chieftains 1
1999 Tears of Stone The Chieftains 2
2000 Water From the Well The Chieftains 1
2002 Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions The Chieftains 1
2003 Further Down the Old Plank Road The Chieftains 1
2010 San Patricio The Chieftains feat. Ry Cooder 3
2012 Voice of Ages The Chieftains 4

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1991 Reel Music: The Film Scores Compilation The Chieftains 1
1992 The Best of the Chieftains Compilation The Chieftains 2
1992 The Magic of the Chieftains Compilation The Chieftains 1
1999 The Chieftains Collection: The Very Best of the Claddagh Years Compilation The Chieftains 2
2002 The Wide World Over Compilation The Chieftains 2
2006 The Essential Chieftains Compilation The Chieftains 4
Chieftains' Collection, Volume 2 Compilation The Chieftains 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1977 Live Live The Chieftains 3
1992 An Irish Evening Live The Chieftains 2
1996 Santiago (Pilgrimage To Santiago) Live The Chieftains 1
2005 Live From Dublin: A Tribute to Derek Bell Live The Chieftains 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1983 The Year of the French Soundtrack The Chieftains 1
1986 Ballad of the Irish Horse Soundtrack The Chieftains 2
The Grey Fox Soundtrack The Chieftains 1


Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1995 Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? The Chieftains with Van Morrison 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1989 The Collection The Chieftains 1
In the Beginning The Chieftains 1


Year Title Artist Rating Releases
The Tailor of Gloucester Soundtrack Meryl Streep & The Chieftains 1

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