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Reviews Written by
W. J. M. Tirion "Wil Tirion" (Capelle a/d IJssel - The Netherlands)
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Wintersmith
Wintersmith
Price: 9.96

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is absolutely GREAT!, 28 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wintersmith (Audio CD)
As a lifelong Steeleye Span fan I have looked forward to this album. The first studio album in four years, and in the new formation with Julian Littman and Peter Zorn. These men already proved their skills on the life album 'Now We Are Six Again', which was released two years ago.

I received the Wintersmith album on Friday 25 October and I have played it many times over the last few days. The first impression was overwhealming. The more I listen to the album the more I like it. The music sounds great and is very energetic and varied. Maddy Prior is sounding as good as ever and newcomer Julian Littman turns out to be a very good singer as well, as he proves on the fourth track 'You'. Peter Zorn gives Steeleye Span a new sound by playing Sax on a few tracks, like 'We Shall Wear Midnight'. We have not heard sax on Steeleye albums since 1974, when Dave Bowie made a guest appearance on 'Now We Are Six'.

Good wine gets better with the years, and so does Steeleye Span! This album is stunning from the first track to the last and worth every penny.

Apart from the opening track 'Overture' and the following, very strong and powerful 'Dark Morris Song', I especially like the second part of the album with 'The Making of a Man', written and sung by Peter Knight and with Maddy Prior in wonderful shape on 'First Dance' and the haunting 'Ancient Eyes', written by Bob Johnson.

The final track, 'We Shall Wear Midnight', again written and sung by Peter Knight is a really beautiful song, reminding me of 'The Song Will Remain', on the 'Time' album, or 'What's the Life of a Man' on 'They Called Her Babylon'.

This is, without a doubt, the best, the strongest and most solid album Steeleye Span has produced in many, many years, More than one hour of great music! Go out and buy it! ... You will not be disappointed!

Wil Tirion
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2014 3:41 AM GMT


Now We Are Six Again
Now We Are Six Again
Price: 11.24

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Great!, 2 Jan 2012
This review is from: Now We Are Six Again (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Steeleye Span since 1971, when I obtained their second album `Please To See The King'. Now, in 2011, the band has been producing great Folk Rock music for an impressive period of 42 years.

When I heard that Steeleye Span were going to do a series of concerts where they `revisited' the complete album "Now We Are Six", I had my doubts. Not that the original album wasn't good. On the contrary. It was (and still is) a great album and was a milestone for Steeleye Span in 1974. But the band's personell has changed a lot since then, and besides that, there were a few tracks on the album that - to say the least - not all fans were happy with. I am referring to the two children songs `Now We Are Six' and `Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and the cover of the Phil Spector song `To Know Him Is To Love Him', which did not fit into the Folk Rock concept at all.

But being a long-time Steeleye Span fan, I bought the album and I was very pleasantly surprised to hear this live registration of the classic album. In my opinion, most of the numbers sound even better than on the original studio album. Maddy Prior's voice has gained warmth an strength over the years. The arrangements of the original recordings are treated with much respect, and `Now We Are Six', and `Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' are appoached in a more serious way and sound far better than the original versions. Especially `Twinkle Little Star'. Maddy is singing not just one verse, like on the studio album, but several other verses as well. Combined with some beautiful violin improvisations by Peter Knight, this has turned into a real `Steeleye' number!

My favourite tracks are `Seven Hunderd Elves', `Drink Down The Moon' and `Long-A-Growing', sung by Maddy with much more power and emotion than on the original studio album.

Peter Zorn and Julian Littman, the `newcomers' to the band, are doing a great job and they 'fit in' amazingly well, as you can hear on the instumental `The Mooncoin Jig'. This almost sounds like a studio recording, but it is live!

I do hope that this `new' Steeleye Span will produce some studio albums soon.

The second CD contains a number of live recordings of long-time Steeleye favorites, but in my personal opinion, we could do without numbers like `All Around My Hat' and `Gaudete'. As good as they are, they are to be found on (almost) every live recording of Steeleye concerts and the band has so much more good material to offer...

All together a great album, and an absolutely marvellous live recording of the classic album `Now We Are Six.' The sound quality is of a high level too! So, go out and buy this. You won't be disappointed!

'Wil Tirion
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2013 7:58 AM GMT


Cogs, Wheels And Lovers
Cogs, Wheels And Lovers
Price: 10.54

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars are not enough!, 12 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cogs, Wheels And Lovers (Audio CD)
I have been a huge fan of Steeleye Span since 1972, when I bought `Please To See The King'.
`Cogs, Wheels and Lovers' is their 21st studio album in 40 years and the music is better than ever. No newly written material this time but only `Steeleye-interpretations' of classic Folk songs. It is the thing they do best and it was their original concept when they recorded their first album `Hark! The Village Wait' in 1969.

Maddy Prior is taking the lead on almost all track (Except on the beautiful `Two Constant Lovers', which is sung by Peter Knight). Maddy's voice has gained warmth over the years and it is a real joy to listen to her. Combined with Peter Knights unique violin playing, some very good percussion by Liam Genockey, bass guitar by Rick Kemp and some good guitar work by Ken Nicol, this has become a very good and harmonious album. There is not one track I do not like. My favourite track? Hard to say. I would go for `The Unquiet Grave' but that is mainly because I have loved this song for many, many years. I first heard it on the album Joan Baez/5, which was released in 1965. Steeleye's version of the song is brilliant.

Don't stop your CD player when you think the last track (Thornaby Woods) is ended. After a little more than a minute of silence (at 5:20 m) a 'hidden track' follows. It is a beautiful version of 'The Great Silkie of Sules Skerry'. Joan Baez sang it in 1961, on her second album (Then the title was simply `Silkie') and Maddy sang another version of this ballad on her solo CD `Ravenchild' in 1999. Here it is sung by Maddy, with only Peter on the violin. Wonderful!

Congratulations, Steeleye Span! Let's hope more masterpieces like this album will follow!


The Very Best of Steeleye Span - Present
The Very Best of Steeleye Span - Present
Price: 11.21

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'voice' of Steeleye is back, 15 Dec 2002
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Since I bought my first Steeleye Span record (Please To See The King) in 1972, I have been a great fan. I have all their records, and still enjoy the magic they create in their music. A great part of that magic is due to the voice of Maddy Prior. I also collected all her other records; solo and with The Carnival Band.
Over the years Steeleye Span has seen many changes in personell, but when Maddy Prior decided to leave the group in 1996 their next two albums, as good as they were, were missing something: Maddy's cristal clear voice! That voice now rejoined Steeleye and they recorded a new studio album, with many of their old classical songs. Some in the original arrangements, and some ('Hard Times of Old England' and 'When I Was On Horseback') are done in a refreshing new way.' There is one song that they never recorded before: 'Lyke Wake Dirge', a wonderful piece of 'accapella' singing.
Comparing the new versions with the originals shows that many songs are now in a 'lower' key. Maddy's voice is obviously not as 'high' as it was in the seventies, but it is still as powerful as always. She really is a joy to listen too.
All Steeleye-fans: Do not hasitate to buy it. You'll love it.
Not-yet-Steeleye-fans: This is a good place to start!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2009 8:04 PM BST


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