Steeleye Span

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These are good albums by the group Steeleye Span:

Hark! The Village Wait
Please to See the King
Ten Man Mop
Parcel of Rogues

Are you a fan of the Span?

Should I bother with their later records?

trappist monkey, Saturday, 24 July 2004 01:28 (fifteen years ago) link

There was a programme on BBC 2 tonight about Martin Carthy.

I dug out these records (he's on King and Mop) and reminded myself
how much I love 'em. As good as Fairport in their way really.

trappist monkey, Saturday, 24 July 2004 01:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I wish I knew a little more about them. I remember taping "Where Are They Now" maybe 20 yrs ago. (I'm not sure if that's even the name of the track) and wonder if I still have it somewhere.

jim wentworth (wench), Saturday, 24 July 2004 01:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Well I don't know too much about them myself, except that people
kept leaving the group despite the fact that they were artistically and to an extent commercially succesful. These folkrockers -
serial leavers aren't they? Anyway they were an originally an
Ashley Hutchings project, before he left (after album 3 I think)
to form the Albion Band. But those first few albums, before all the
"All around my hat" shit - absolutely amazing.


trappist monkey, Saturday, 24 July 2004 03:00 (fifteen years ago) link

My parents were/are big fans, so I grew up listening to them. Of albums not mentioned in your list, Commoner's Crown is definitely worth looking for. It's all dark and menacing, great version of "Little Sir Hugh" that completely scared the pants off me as a kid (still does, really). Below the Salt is good, if for no other reason than "Gaudete." All Around My Hat was their most AOR move, touches of boogie throughout, a bunch of good tunes.

If I had to pick 3 overall, I'd take Hark!, Commoner's Crown and Parcel of Rogues. But really, I'll listen to almost anything with Maddy Prior on it.

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 24 July 2004 03:47 (fifteen years ago) link

(one interesting thing is that Commoner's Crown and All Around My Hat both came out in '75, but they're way different -- Crown is all traditionals but also really rocks in places; Hat has a bunch of original numbers and is a lot more consciously poppy.)

spittle (spittle), Saturday, 24 July 2004 03:50 (fifteen years ago) link

"below the salt" is a great album, my wife put it on the other day
and it had been years since i had listened to them, I saw them live twice and they were great, Maddy Prior has an awesome voice.

Tim Dixon, Saturday, 24 July 2004 22:19 (fifteen years ago) link

Yep, I second Below The Salt as a really great album. SS were the only folk rock band that actually *rocked*

The later albums are okay, some are quite ROCK in places, whilst still being folky, which is genuinly odd. Even though the quality varies in the later albums you have to give them kudos for not doing that wimpy ethereal shit that they so easily could have slipped into.

mzui, Sunday, 25 July 2004 00:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Hark! The Village Wait

I initially read that as Hark! The Village People

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 25 July 2004 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
i have been downloading steeleye span from emusic tonight. boy they're good. i grew up listening to this stuff, but it still sounds great. parcel of rogues really is essential. maddy prior is one of the greatest voices ever.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 06:46 (thirteen years ago) link

"Storm Force Ten" is a good album too

TS: Mick Ralphs vs. Ariel Bender (Dada), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 08:02 (thirteen years ago) link

There was a mid-priced compilation of earlier (Carthy/Hutchings-era) stuff, called Individually & Collectively, which still holds up well (eg. Carthy's "Famous Flower Of Serving Men"). Other than that, Below The Salt enthusiastically endorsed. Now We Are Six (featuring DAVID BOWIE ON SAX!!!)also has its moments.

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 08:23 (thirteen years ago) link

I find a lot of that era of Steeleye Span a bit annoying and worryingly Jethro Tull-like (I mean after "Below the Salt" and before "Storm Force Ten")

TS: Mick Ralphs vs. Ariel Bender (Dada), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 08:27 (thirteen years ago) link

If you like Maddy Prior's singing, by all means check out the two albums she made with June Tabor: the rather uninvitingly titled "Silly Sisters" and the mind-blowingly great "No More to the Dance."

Dr Benway (dr benway), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 08:44 (thirteen years ago) link

I was just gonna mention Silly Sisters--an unbelievable pairing of talent

Roque Strew (RoqueStrew), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 13:03 (thirteen years ago) link

first 3 are the ones to own, they have been repackaged as a 2 cd set, can't remember the name

timmy tannin (pompous), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 13:11 (thirteen years ago) link

worryingly Jethro Tull-like

a little, yeah. all around my hat has some kind of corny pub-rock boogie on it (including the title track). but i still like it pretty well. i love the earlier, more consciously folky stuff too, but i think on parcel of rogues they hit a great folk-rock balance, like the way the electric guitar drones on "misty moisty morning" and the fuzzbox chorus of "alison gross."

and i love those silly sisters records too. the june tabor thread was, indirectly, what made me go and revisit steeleye span.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 15:36 (thirteen years ago) link

I never got into this band when I was checking out this stuff, many years ago, always liked Fairport more and blanched at the 'rock music' graft but I think I am going to have to revisit this band again

Silly Sisters are great

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 18:03 (thirteen years ago) link

try "one misty moisty morning" or "cam ye o'er frae france." or the first two albums for the more straight folky stuff.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 18:10 (thirteen years ago) link

six months pass...
So I snagged a 1974 live-show-broadcast-on-New York radio set from these guys the other night and am giving it a listen. Charming, actually!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 16:32 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

RIP Tim Hart, the group's cofounder.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 28 December 2009 17:33 (nine years ago) link

ooh RIP. First four Span records are pretty essential imo. And the records I've heard past those are better than I expected as well! Ned, what's the radio broadcast you have? I don't have any Steeleye bootleg-type stuff ...

tylerw, Monday, 28 December 2009 17:37 (nine years ago) link

Not sure, I'll have to dig up the CDR.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 28 December 2009 18:20 (nine years ago) link

r.i.p.

i was thinking of them the other day cuz i just voted for a steeleye span album (the first one) in the alternative-'70s poll.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Monday, 28 December 2009 18:33 (nine years ago) link

rip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbzHqwc1MIg

velko, Monday, 28 December 2009 18:50 (nine years ago) link

i love the sound of his electric dulcimer, as here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGHYl7Kv50g

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Monday, 28 December 2009 18:55 (nine years ago) link

Sorry to hear the news. For whatever reason (I think it partly goes back to my sifting through the alternative 70s poll nominations list, actually), I've been feeling more in the mood for English and Celtic folk music lately. I can't fathom why I've never owned a copy (not even a taped copy or an mp3) of anything by Fairport Convention. I know I have liked some Steeleye Span in the past, but it's all a bit fuzzy to me now. "All Around My Hat" has a corny beat, but somehow the sing rescues it for me. (I think it might introduce some subtle rhythmic thing that offsets the main rhythm.)

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 28 December 2009 20:32 (nine years ago) link

Oh damn. I've been listening to early Steeleye Span albums over Christmas, they were the perfect accompaniment to snow and mulled wine and curtains drawn tight against the cold black nights etc. And "All Around my Hat" is from my childhood - I think one of my elder brothers, or my Dad had the 7" single - so I have a big soft spot for it.
RIP

― DavidM, Monday, 28 December 2009 10:47 (9 hours ago) Bookmark

DavidM, Monday, 28 December 2009 20:35 (nine years ago) link

If y'all haven't heard, the Kemps have a daughter named Rose who now has a really cool solo record out on One Little Indian. One of my favorite releases of 2008.

myspace.com/rosekemp

Nate Carson, Tuesday, 29 December 2009 20:58 (nine years ago) link

I like the noise guitar riff at the end of "Alison Gross" a lot.

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 29 December 2009 21:00 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

Love "Serving Girls Holiday":

http://grooveshark.com/#/search?q=maddy+prior+%26+tim+hart

clemenza, Tuesday, 20 September 2011 00:56 (eight years ago) link

four months pass...

so good.

omar little, Sunday, 5 February 2012 05:07 (seven years ago) link

first 3 albums are excellent. electric folk > folk rock

buzza, Sunday, 5 February 2012 07:38 (seven years ago) link

I got a cheap collection of the next five (or six) albums and even those are mostly very good (albeit none of this is a patch on Fairport, pre-78/79 Richard & Linda or maybe even Pentangle).

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Sunday, 5 February 2012 14:37 (seven years ago) link

been listening to the first one a lot lately -- Liege & Lief II, basically! even though i dig the drum-less thing later on, dave mattacks is pretty great on it. only issue i have is that i sort of expect some rad thompson-esque guitar solos to break out every now and then.

tylerw, Sunday, 5 February 2012 20:14 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

ok this is killer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q7RIwvvnNT0

tylerw, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:19 (five years ago) link

^^^^live tv performance from some medieval castle in 1974

tylerw, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:20 (five years ago) link

naturally

tylerw, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:20 (five years ago) link

I haven't checked that link but i think i have the program its from a 1974 bbc show. Interesting stuff, featuri.ng a morri.s side. An area that was being explored elsewhere by Hutchings who left after 3rd lp.
Those 1st 3 can be had as The Lark In The Morning a 2cd on Sanctuary. That stuff is really dark electric psych while being all traditional songs.

Stevolende, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:47 (five years ago) link

yeah it's a bbc thing! totally fun, devolves into a rambunctious morris dance party. well, not that rambunctious, but still.

tylerw, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:50 (five years ago) link

I would love to come across some original material that sounded like those early dark SS tracks. Still not found anything that resembles it very closely.
Do know things like Trees (who have a large feature in the new Flashback! btw), Spirogyra, Stone Angel, Spriguns, Caedmon and Carol Of Harvest but don't think they are too similar.

Stevolende, Saturday, 7 December 2013 10:18 (five years ago) link

mr fox, maybe? i do believe the peggs were at one point discussing plans with hutchings to form what would become steeleye span soon after (there's even a hutchings co-credit on one song from the first album i think)

no lime tangier, Saturday, 7 December 2013 13:59 (five years ago) link

four months pass...

damn, rocket cottage is pretty great! always kind of avoided it because of the ridiculous cover art, but it is mostly a super tight trad-folk-pop LP. great riffs, cool production.

tylerw, Friday, 25 April 2014 15:45 (five years ago) link

i've not heard that one and have been (un)fairly wary of anything beyond below the salt. maybe it's time for me to make a change?

It's Pablum Time with (NickB), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:00 (five years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGRbPYhHM64

^ enjoyed seeing this on tv the other day, which is michael chapman backed by 3 steeleye people iirc

It's Pablum Time with (NickB), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:02 (five years ago) link

SEVEN HUNDRED ELVES COME OUT DA WOOD

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

3 2 (pegrum & kemp) xp

It's Pablum Time with (NickB), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

I think all of their '70s studio albums are good-to-great!

christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

oh nice, never saw that chapman clip!
yeah, i'm finding that all of the 70s steeleye span records are pretty solid, though there's certainly a bit of filler throughout. just an interesting/weird band -- the more pop stuff is actually really successful to my ears.

tylerw, Friday, 25 April 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

i do remember enjoying the ridiculous guitar sound on parcel of rogues

It's Pablum Time with (NickB), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:09 (five years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_BXh6DL4lg

It's Pablum Time with (NickB), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:10 (five years ago) link

Love that ridiculous guitar -- so massive on "Alison Gross," e.g. Plus Rogues has "Cam Ye O'er Frae France," which is maybe my favorite Span song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL0A9bGQaZk

(Also has a fascinatin' backstory: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2010/03/great-moments-in-pop-music-history-steeleye-span-cam-ye-oer-frae-france/.)

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:19 (five years ago) link

argh i read that url as steeleye-span-cum-oer-yr-face

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:20 (five years ago) link

Ha.

I like or love everything through All Around My Hat, but I've never listened to Rocket Cottage. I should.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:20 (five years ago) link

lol
yeah the guitar! there are some heavy riffs. were steeleye heavier than sabbath?
rocket cottage also brings in some funky wah action too.

tylerw, Friday, 25 April 2014 16:21 (five years ago) link

the albionic hard rock thing was kind of underused IMO. but then Songs from the Wood is one of my favorite records of its decade so what do i know.

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Friday, 25 April 2014 16:23 (five years ago) link

'King Henry' flattening me rn with its tick tocking menace

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Friday, 25 April 2014 17:05 (five years ago) link

commoner's crown and storm force ten are pretty sweet lps

christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, 25 April 2014 17:55 (five years ago) link

I think all of their '70s studio albums are good-to-great!

― christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, April 25, 2014 9:06 AM

agree w/this

RSD-rolled (sleeve), Friday, 25 April 2014 18:16 (five years ago) link

(xp) "Storm Force Ten" is a favourite of mine

A frenzied geologist (Tom D.), Saturday, 26 April 2014 11:25 (five years ago) link

I've been listening to Below to Hat lately. Some weird pop crossover bits sure. Parcel is a particular fav.

One bad call from barely losing to (Alex in SF), Saturday, 26 April 2014 19:49 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

I find a lot of that era of Steeleye Span a bit annoying and worryingly Jethro Tull-like (I mean after "Below the Salt" and before "Storm Force Ten")
― TS: Mick Ralphs vs. Ariel Bender (Dada), Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:27 AM

a little, yeah. all around my hat has some kind of corny pub-rock boogie on it (including the title track). but i still like it pretty well.

― gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:36 PM (thirteen years ago)

Ian Anderson has production credits on Now We Are Six and Prior's Woman In The Wings. I actually started my Steeleye journey recently with Now We Are Six for this reason (from reading the books in the recent Tull reissues). But my first Prior thing was Silly Sisters with June Tabor.

I'm loving Now We Are Six. Her Americanized singing voice on the last track is wonderful.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 1 November 2019 22:33 (one week ago) link

Track order varies a lot in different releases. Mos versions include a shorter "Thomas the Rhymer", including mine, I think.

"Seven Hundred Elves" is great but I think "Drink Down The Moon" is the best thing on it, very lovely.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 8 November 2019 17:37 (four days ago) link


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