"The Woman I Loved So Well" is the fifth studio album by Planxty. Like their previous album, After The Break, the album was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios and released by Tara Records. Co-produced by band member Dónal Lunny and engineer Brian Masterson, the album was recorded in April and May of 1980 and released on LP in July of that year. It remains in print on CD and in digital form from Tara to date.
The album features a total of eight musicians, more than every other Planxty album. The core lineup of Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Liam O'Flynn are joined again by flautist Matt Molloy, who had left the band shortly after the release of After The Break to join The Chieftains full-time. Newcomer Bill Whelan joined the group in the studio to play keyboards, as did the concertina/fiddle duo of Noel Hill and Tony Linnane, who completed a short tour of Ireland with the group prior to the recording.
The album concludes with an epic eleven and a half minute rendition of the ballad "Little Musgrave", which Moore had previously recorded on his self-titled solo album, in 1976. Famously, Moore first found the song's lyrics on papers scattered on the floor of an Dublin auctioneers. The song has been one of the band's most covered recordings, with live and studio versions tackled by Joan Baez, Fairport Convention, Doc Watson, Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl, and others.
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