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Favourite Irish albums of the CLUAS writers

Stephen McNulty's top 5 Irish albums of all time...

Power of Dreams 'Immigrants, Emigrants & Me'Act: Power of Dreams
Album: 'Immigrants, Emigrants and Me'
Everyone of us has loved a band, eulogised a band, then not listened to them for a while, until you have a flash of inspiration one evening while sat in your bedroom with a new girl that you desperately want to impress and you dig out the CD from the bottom of a dusty drawer under your porn mags. You clean the years of old crap off the disk, put it on and been greeted with some horrible cacophony that completely spoils your chances of getting your end away that evening. That won?t happen with Power of Dreams lovely debut album, an album written by a Dublin teenager called Craig Walker in the late 80s. It?s immature for sure and terribly produced but it has great heart and, in '100 Ways to Kill a Love', one of my favourite singles of all time.

Van Morrison 'Moondance'Act: Van Morrison
Album: 'Moondance'
In every way superior to its more lauded predecessor, Astral Weeks, Moondance showcases Van the Man at the peak of his powers. Soulful, melodic, jazzy, elegiac ? this album sounds so un-Irish that it seems totally out of time and place, even today. The music has a lovely earthy quality, the lyrics full of wonder at the world we live in. Hard to believe that this young man would become such an old curmudgeon! Special mention has to be give to the 5th track, Into The Mystic. All the reasons why Van is the greatest living Irishman are contained in this three and half minutes of distilled genius.

U2 "Achtung Baby"Act: U2
Album: 'Achtung Baby'
An obvious choice. But undeniably great. An album spawned from rupture and discourse, U2 threw away their musty old blues and country albums and explored Bowie (with a hint of Happy Mondays). The opening 30 seconds is a most thrilling explosion of guitar noise ? this is the album where Edge truly blossomed. As in my previous two choices, great albums walk hand in hand with great songs. U2 will never better 'One'. Somehow this song defined the 90s for me.

Sinead O'Connor 'Lion & the Cobra'Act: Sinead O?Connor
Album: 'The Lion and the Cobra'
A terrific debut album. Difficult, confusing, intelligent, confrontational ? Sinead?s music seems to describe her own personality better than words ever can. Ireland?s music scene was, and is, male dominated and it was so refreshing to find a young woman with such talent making music on her own terms. Straight off the bat she had her own sound and a voice so powerful that my hi-fi speakers at that time used to distort during Troy. Ah? happy memories.

Shane McGowan 'Snake'Act: Shane McGowan
Album: 'The Snake'
When I delved through my CD shelves to search for a lost Irish gem, the CD that gave me most pleasure when I rediscovered it was this 1995 effort from our most famous Irish heartthrob. A fabulously drunken affair, it is also more aggressive than his more famous Pogues efforts. There is a great assault on the Church (?Church of the Holy Spook?) and a lovely little ballad with Sinead called ?Haunted?. The language is genuinely shocking in places (surely a great Irish trait!) and the playing of the Popes is top drawer. A vastly under-rated album and one that I am unashamedly using this CLUAS poll to resurrect!

(bullet) Allen Conlan (bullet) Anthony Morrissey (bullet) Brano (bullet) Brian Farrelly (bullet) Brian Kelly (bullet) Celine O'Malley (bullet) Chris Ford (bullet) Ciaran Wrenn (bullet) Cormac Looney (bullet) Donal Griffin (bullet) Dromed (bullet) Gav Reilly (bullet) Hugh Tynan (bullet) Jimmy Murphy (bullet) Jules Jackson (bullet) Ollie O'Leary (bullet) Stephen McNulty (bullet)

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