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Below the Salt Import


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Music

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Biography

Steeleye Span are an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. Along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat". They had 3 top 40 albums. They achieved a certified "gold" record ... Read more in Amazon's Steeleye Span Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Feb. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Shanachie
  • ASIN: B000000E75
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Spotted Cow 3:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Rose Bud In June 3:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Jigs: The Bride's Favorite, Tansey's Fancy 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sheep-Crook And Black Dog 4:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Royal Forester 4:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. King Henry 7:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Gaudette 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. John Barleycorn 4:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Saucy Sailor 5:47£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

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Amazon.co.uk

As Fleetwood Mac would several years later, Steeleye Span had lost its most celebrated members, Fairport Convention alumnus Ashley Hutchings and guitarist Martin Carthy, when they reconvened in a comparatively anonymous lineup that proved their most effective, making them among the most successful British folk rock bands. This 1972 album found vocalist Maddy Prior and guitarist Tim Hart (who'd worked as a duo prior to joining Steeleye) taking the reins, with violinist Peter Knight providing an instrumental foil for the then-drummerless quintet's electric and acoustic guitars. Prior's regal alto and a carefully chosen program of traditional songs (including a medieval Christmas hymn, "Gaudete," among the few extant rock songs boasting a Latin lyric) sustain the album's decidedly preindustrial mood. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. GODFREY on 16 Mar. 2000
Format: Audio CD
For me anyway, this is something close to perfection: in reaching into "rockier" realms after the departure of folk giant Martin Carthy and founder Ashley Hutchins, Steeleye hit upon a truly beautiful blend of all that is best in Folk and Rock in this wonderful album. Vingettes of traditional country life mix with religious mysticism and a sprinkling of sword and sorcery. Maddy's peerless vocals are well to the fore on most tracks, but the ensemble singing is also great and the musicianship throughout is superb. Highlights incude the irresistibly uplifting "Spotted Cow" and the breathtaking "Gaudette", but the whole album is simply beautiful. A timeless classic.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Oct. 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When we and the world and they were young, Steeleye Span were amazing: authentic folk music, timeless songs, but played NOW in a style that was exciting, dramatic, romantic, touching and sexy. The world has moved on; we are all a little (all right, nearly thirty years) older - but play this CD and the years drop away. The music that was right then is still right today; your feet will remember the dancing and your heart will remember all the words. Buy "Below the Salt". Now. Today. You can buy all the others tomorrow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Evans on 17 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This album tends to get shamelessly blasted out of my car stereo at full volume a lot. And whyever not? In my opinion it is the best Steeleye Span album and it never gets old.

The album has a medieval feel to it which it exudes from beginning to end: from the perfect instruments and voices in songs such as Royal Forester and Rosebud in June to the familiar Gaudete. However, the highlight for me above all others on the album is the rip-roaring, unaccompanied verse:

"Let never a man a wooing wend that lacketh things three:
A store of gold, an open heart and full of charity.
And this was seen of King Henry as he lay quite alone,
For it's taken him to a haunted hall, seven miles from the town....."

As soon as you hear this, you can tell that King Henry is a fantastic song. Over seven minutes long yet it never slows down. If you love Steeleye Span, you should have this album. If you're getting into them, get this album. It's an excellent place to start.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. W. Woodward on 25 Oct. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Having listened to Steeleye Span as a child (at my mother's knee) I hadn't listened to them for about 20 years until I picked up a "best of" album about 10 years ago and got back into them. Since then I have bought the first 7 albums and listened to them all a great deal, but Below the Salt stands out from the others as being their best effort. I think it is the most consistent in terms of quality of songs. It's not that I don't like the other albums, but they all have one or two tracks that shouldn't been put on the album. Below the Salt doesn't have one bad song on it. Finally, this album is probably also the last album they did before they went full on folk-rock with drums and what-have-you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. A. Loades on 18 April 2014
Format: Audio CD
If you are new the group Steeleye Span this is the album to buy, there are no weak tracks on this album, plus you hear the main diferent styles that Steeleye can play from Gaudete. From Piae Cantiones. (1582) this unaccompanied hymn of praise sung in Latin, was the first hit single for the group (Christmas 72), to jolly songs like Spotted Cow, and John Barleycorn which jog along to an Morris beat, plus a full folk rock beat on Royal Forester, to the haunting King Henry, there are other great tracks plus some great reels and jigs played on Pete's fiddle.... This albums a real Folk Rock Classic
Below the Salt, was a crucial album for Steeleye Span. This was the first album for a new group line up. With founder member Ashley Hutchings, (bass), leaving to form the Albion Band closely followed by Martin Carthy, choosing to follow a solo career, the group needed two new members quickly just at a time when their popularity was growing. They found bass player Rick Kemp, playing bass at the time with bluesman Mike Chapman and guitarist Bob Johnson.

Both new members had to fit into a successful folk group that was breaking into main stream popular music, by playing its traditional folk music on electric instruments. This path had been pioneered by Fairport Convention, but it was Steeleye Span, that took the music to a much wider audience.
This was upsetting many folk fan at the time who did not like traditional music being played on electric instruments, it was seen by some as all but antireligious. Today the augments may sound silly as any tradition has to adopt and change or die, but people really did get quite heated about it then.
This album firmly established Steeleye not only on the folk scene but the pop music scene too and firmly established the new group’s line-up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. J. H. Thorn VINE VOICE on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I listen to rock music more than anything else, but have dipped my toes into folk increasingly in recent years and 'Below The Salt' is one of my favourite albums in the genre. It does cross over to rock, but retains a predominantly traditional flavour.

I once heard Barabara Dickson comment that English folk songs are all about sex, which is an exaggeration, but you can see her point on this album. 'Spotted Cow', for instance, tells of a milkmaid who thanks a stranger 'in kind' for finding her missing charge; 'Rosebud In June' is a gentle song about couples 'lying in the grass'; and in 'Royal Forester', the title character talks of putting a girl 'on her back' in the opening verse. While the BBC banned 'Je T'Aime' for its heavy breathing and 'Roxanne' for the implication of the 'red light', they seemed oblivious to the explicit nature of this material. There again, I guess they knew young people didn't listen to it. It's a shame if you think it's just old-fashioned, morris dancing nonsense about nautical tragedies. There is a rich heritage here, songs that have taken shape over many generations and 'Below The Salt' contains some great examples.

There are also moments of musical beauty. Maddy Prior's delivery of 'Sheep Crook And Black Dog' sends a shiver through me. It's a song about status as well as love. The same is true of 'Saucy Sailor' which, despite the title, is a dignified song with a hypnotic, circular guitar melody running through it. The best-known track 'Gaudete' shows off the band's vocal prowess, although this is evident across most of the album.

The lengthy 'King Henry' is like two separate songs, the second of which is grisly and disturbing. 'John Barleycorn' is a jolly little celebration of beer.
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