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Storm Force Ten [Live]

Steeleye Span Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 42.95
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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 (9 Dec 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Bgo
  • ASIN: B0000011P1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,841 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Awake, Awake
2. Sweep, Chimney Sweep
3. The Wife Of The Soldier
4. The Victory
5. The Black Freighter (From 'The Threepenny Opera')
6. Some Rival
7. Treadmill Song
8. Seventeen Come Sunday

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steeleye's new sound 17 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
1977: Bob Johnson and Peter Knight had departed, so Steeleye Span drafted in former member and trad. folk giant Martin Carthy. Also on board was John Kirkpatrick, whose accordion (replacing Knight's fiddle) makes this the most "English" sounding version of Steeleye. The resultant studio album, "Storm Force Ten" is less commercial than its two immediate predecessors ("All Around My Hat" and "Rocket Cottage"), but boasts some of the bands most beautiful, poignant melodies allied to excellent vocal work.
Both these qualities are well in evidence on the opener, "Awake, Awake", the lyrics being a reworking of the Song of Solomon. The swell of the opening harmonies on this song are superb. "Sweep, Chimney Sweep" is unaccompnied, and once again has great harmony singing, although the song itself is a little overlong and wears a bit towards the end. The band broaden their horizons with two Brecht/Weill songs. The first is "Wife of the Soldier", which adapts well to their style. "The Black Freighter" (from "The Threepenny Opera") brings a touch of heavy Germanic drama, as a downtrodden hotel worker dreams of her revenge.
Bassist Rick Kemp contributed "The Victory", a powerful epic of star-crossed love set during the time of Nelson. Interestingly, the chorus is reminiscent of "All Around My Hat". Maddy Prior's vocals on "Some Rival" are excellent, and the arrangement is simple but effective. Likewise, Martin Carthy turns in a strong performance on "The Treadmill Song". "Seventeen Come Sunday" shows the lightest touch on the album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've seen this described as a more 'traditional' folk album than some others in Steeleye's catalogue, and it's true that there's a lot of accordion and acoustic guitar about the place. But it's all arranged in a distinctively un-traditional way: the way the instruments are used and combined is really unique to this album. There's mystery and menace in 'The Black Freighter', pastoral lyricism in 'Some Rival' and, a song I love to sing along with loudly when driving, a really tough rock guitar riff framing 'Seventeen Come Sunday'. Perhaps this is the most 'Fairport-like' Steeleye Span album, in any case it's definitely one of my favourites and one I recommend strongly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Span Force Ten 20 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD
Steeleye Span celebrated their tenth studio album with this truly great release from 1977. Steeleye Span had gradually built up a strong reputation and success over the early seventies This had reached its peak with the album All around my hat in 1975. This had been produced by Mike Batt, (The Wombles)
The next album, the ninth album, Rocket Cottage 1976 (also produced by Batt) was recorded in only one week and had been a commercial flop. Band members Bob Johnson and Peter Knight left and there was need of new recruits. Martin Carthy had been in the group on the second and third albums and was invited back. He agreed and brought John Kirkpatrick with him. This meant that without the familiar sound of the fiddle by Peter Knight, the sound of Steeleye had a new sound via the accordion playing Kirkpatrick,
There were great hopes for this new album. It is not a disappointment This is a unique studio album from Steeleye with a strong traditional feel to it. There is some excellent tunes and performance and it is one of the strongest albums by the group.
The album did chart in America and was a reasonable success in the UK bet it failed to return the group to the success of All around my hat.
Musically this doesn't matter. It is an excellent album.. The track "The Victory" is outstanding. There are plenty of tempo changes and it is rich in instrumentation and voices. It is long. Very long. An epic of a song about Admiral lord Nelson and General Wolfe.
Martin Carthy also brings the song "Wife of the soldier" which is a clever song that he had recorded previously on his album Byker Hill. It is a Brecht Song and vocals by Maddy give the song new dimensions. This is an anti war song.
Track one "Awake Awake" is a lovely folk song of love.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Storm Force Ten 15 Feb 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I agree with everything the previous reviewer says about Storm Force Ten, but I would like to add that, in my opinion, the album was over-produced and the accordion lost out to the guitar in the mixing process. It does a disservice to Kirkpatrick.
For a much better example of how good Kirkpatrick could be in a folk-rock context, check out 1972`s brilliant "Morris On", recently reissued on CD - or for Kirkpatrick AND Martin Carthy together, the Albion Dance Band`s "Battle of the Field" is a folk-rock must-have.
By the time Storm Force Ten was recorded, British folk-rock, as we knew and loved it, was on its deathbed.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it has its faults, but is generally underrated 22 Mar 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
An underrated album. An earlier reviewer suggested that the band had lost its way at this point. On the contrary, Storm Force Ten(and Live at Last, the following year), if anything, *redeemed* the reputation of Steeleye Span. They really DID seem to have lost their way on the previous album, Rocket Cottage, which was a very hit and miss affair. After that mediocre offering, Peter Knight and Bob Johnson left the band, to be replaced by stalwart folk musicians Martin Carthy and Jonn Kirkpatrick. This line-up, during their all too brief existence, came up with some lovely arrangements of traditional songs that are substantially more authentic sounding and pleasing to the ear than some of the material on the previous album (Bob Johnson was always more rock-orientated than anything else and, even though he did compose some Steeleye classics, he had an irritating propensity for re-arranging old traditional songs into nothing more than pop/rock numbers, e.g.,James the Rose, on Rocket Cottage, is just a throwaway rock song, completely robbed of any traditional `feel`). It`s great to hear Carthy`s vocals again on a Steeleye album, and Kirkpatrick`s accordion playing makes a welcome change.
I like all of the songs on Storm Force Ten. My only `complaint` would be that it is perhaps a little over-produced. I recommend this album and the other album of this line-up, Live at Last.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do you mean, not their best? 30 Aug 2007
By Gregory Zeigerson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Storm Force Ten" is among the very best Steeleye Span albums. Every song is extremely interesting to me, and gets under my skin. I visualize the characters: the proud chimney sweep who only plans to work for the gentry, the miserable treadmill prisoners/laborers, the ecstatic girl about to turn 17, the army widow...What the band does with the interlaced voices and harmonies, and electric and acoustic guitars interweaving, is improve these ancient songs from mere folk ballads (and Brecht's strange theatrical songs) into something more ambitious. Some songs on earlier Steeleye Span albums, like "Thomas The Rhymer," while catchy, are essentially very simple, repetitive, rock treatments of their source. The songs on "Storm Force Ten" are more developed, with sophisticated experiments that work in every case to bring them alive. I am shocked that critics in the past, and many Amazon reviewers today, consider this a lesser work by this great band. My suspicion is that creativity and change of style aren't prized by many traditional folk music fans. But if you are simply interested in music that is magical, lyrics that cinematically transport you into the dramatic or whimsical or romantic or joyful or miserable stories of past souls, and into the sunny or dark atmospheres of places in distant centuries, and you don't mind--even appreciate--that the band uses different instruments than they did in another album, this is a not-to-be-missed selection of songs. This album, and the collection "The Steeleye Span Story (Original Masters)," were the first two Steeleye Span albums I bought, and they remain my favorites. If you like Dickensian tales, or shows like "Oliver!" or "Mary Poppins" or "Threepenny Opera," this album is recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant return to form 24 Nov 2003
By mianfei - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After the commercial failure of Rocket Cottage, Steeleye Span regrouped seriously for the first time in their history, rerecruiting Martin Carthy and adding accordionist John Kirkpatrick for "Storm Force Ten".

Though this might have seemed a fatal mistake, in fact "Storm Fore Ten" was a surprising return artistic form, with Kirkpatrick's accordion adding a touch that had not been seen beforehand, notable at the end of the beautiful, complex Bertolt Brecht tale "Wife Of The Soldier", which Maddy, John and Martin turn into exemplary folk-rock. The next song, the epic "The Victory" was an amazingly enchanting epic of ever changing mood that yet managed not to repeat the same line in its eight minutes. The alternating lines of fuzzed-out rock and mystical folk - and everything in between - enchant in a way Steeleye had not done since "Sheep Crook and Black Dog."

The album's other Bertolt Brecht piece, "The Black Freighter," featured even more prominent accordion work and a tearfully slow chorus that actually fitted the mood of the faster sections of the song. Maddy's amazing voice here has more range and clarity than one might even suspect from previous Steeleye works. Martin Carthy's melodic solo reminds one of the things Tom Verlaine was praised lavishly for at the time of "Storm Force Ten"'s release.

After those two amazing epics, the simple "Some Rival" sounded like a return to earth, but Maddy's melodic and pure voice cannot let the song down. The a capella "Sweep, Chimney Sweep" showed that Steeleye's voices had developed on a par with the band's ability to produce original and challenging interpretations of traditional folk songs, a point reaffirmed yet again by "Treadmill Song" with its quasi-danceable beat and vocal inflections.

The closer "Seventeen Come Sunday" showed how well the accordion fitted into traditional folk songs, and the joyful voices sounded utterly quirky, and by no means serious. John's accordion produced a long yet brilliant melody that recalls the band's best years when it interplays with the fiery guitar at the end of the song.

Though overlooked for many years by both listeners and critics, "Storm Force Ten" is a blend of classic folk-rock and unconventional song structures that sounds like nothing you will ever hear. Though sounding more modern than Hark! The Village Wait or Below The Salt, it was the first time since then that the band was really on form - and at their best Steeleye has few rivals in the 1970s.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mid-range Steeleye Span 24 Jun 2008
By W. M. Dix - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've been a Steeleye Span fan for 30 years and have been working on completing my collection. SFT is difficult to find so I was glad that the price of this import was reduced from an astronomical $30 to a more reasonable $18. Although not their best effort, it's another fine set of songs with roots in English folk music, this time with a darker tone than on some earlier albums.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential "Classic" Steeleye Span... 2 May 2007
By Michael Gmirkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Steeleye Span pioneered folk rock along with Fairport convention (whose music I still haven't picked up yet, though I've been meaning to for variety's sake). If you're a Steeleye Span fan, you will like this CD. Period. It's a Steeleye classic, and one of my many favorites.

Skip the newer releases, like: They Called Her Babylon, Bedlam Born, Bloody Men.

Go for the Classics: Tempted and Tried, All Around my Hat, Sails of Silver, Storm Force Ten, Rocket Cottage, Hark! The Village Wait, Please to See the King, Ten Man Mop, Commoners Crown, Now We Are Six, Parcel of Rogues, Below the Salt, Back in Line.

If you must pick up "modern" Steelye albums, pick up: Time (one of their best "modern" releases) and Horkstow Grange (their other good "modern" release). "Winter" is supposed to also be good, on par with the classics (traditional arrangements of holiday songs), though I haven't yet seen it.

The above "classic" albums cover the early and middle years.
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