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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three albums in one package, 25 May 2005
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Tim Hart and Maddy Prior became founder members of Steeleye Span, one of Britain's leading folk-rock groups. Before that, they established their reputation playing the folk club circuit. During that time, they recorded two albums of traditional folk songs, now combined to form the first CD here.
The music is suitably primitive with very little musical accompaniment, sometimes none at all. These albums were apparently each recorded in one afternoon with no second takes although Tim and Maddy wanted to re-record some songs. There are mistakes but one of the biggest is when Tim incorrectly pronounces Keighley (Key-ley instead of Keith-ley) in Dalesman's lament. Re-recording would not have helped there since Tim didn't realize his mistake until the album was released.
Maddy and Tim each sing solo and there are also some duets. Tim's rustic voice will not appeal to everybody although I quite like it. Nevertheless, Maddy was then (and still is) a class act and the best tracks are those that feature Maddy. My favorites here include Maid that's deep in love, Bruton tow, The brisk butcher, The stately southerner, Copshawholme fair, Horn of the hunter, Queen Eleanor's confession and Captain Wedderburn's courtship. You don't get songs like those anymore. One of Tim's solos (Paddy stole the rope) is an amusing song about two men and a rope.
After forming Steeleye Span, it came as a surprise that they recorded this third album of old English folk songs in 1972. Unlike the previous two albums, this was recorded professionally and includes three non-traditional songs. While the music is still clearly traditional (albeit more polished) with none of the rock influence of Steeleye Span, there are none of the mistakes that you can find on the first two. This album is on the second CD. It's a pity there wasn't a fourth album to fill the spare capacity.
Maddy does nearly all the singing although Tim gets some solos (The ploughboy and the Cockney, Dancing at Whitsun) and joins Maddy on other songs (Of all the birds, Westron wynds, Sorry the day I was married, Adam catched Eve). Tim is mainly preoccupied playing guitars, dulcimer, harmonium, psaltery and tabor. Other musicians (not from Steeleye Span) play mandolin, string bass, percussion, bells and electric bass. This may seem a lot of instruments for a traditional folk album but of course, they aren't all used on the same tracks. Quite rightly, the dominant instrument here is Maddy's superb voice, one of the finest that has ever graced the world of folk music. Among the highlights are The false knights on the road, I live not where I love, Three drunken maidens and Serving girls holiday.
If you enjoy traditional folk music and you didn't buy the albums when they were previously available separately, you will surely enjoy this fine collection.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 10 Aug 2006
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
A re-issue of three albums from 1968-1971: Folk Songs of Olde England Vols. 1 & 2 and Summer Solistice. Just Tim & Maddy on the first two, some extra instrumentalists (Gerry Conway, Andy Irvine...) on the third.

Overlook the dreadful 'Olde' - probably used at the behest of the recording company's marketing department. This is an oustandingly good collection of 39 traditional songs, simply arranged and brilliantly sung (with relatively few embellishments) both by Maddy Prior and Tim Hart.

Dificult to pick favourites - there are so many. I 'll just mention The Dalesman's Litany and Capt. Weddebourn's Courtship as sticking in the mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heydays, 2 Sep 2009
By 
K. Hobbs (South of England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Full set of the two Folksongs of Olde England LPs plus the Summer Solstice album in full. Good value. Recording quality on Folksongs of OE LPs was not the best, so don't expect modern studio sound. Good songs, and lots of them, though.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding music at excellent value, 11 Aug 2005
By A Customer
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Three early albums (Folk Songs of Olde England vols 1 & 2 and Summer Solstice) on 2 CDs. The first two albums are from their pre-Steeleye Span days inn the late 60's and the third was released at the same time as Span's 'Please to see the King'.
Traditional songs, simply arranged and well performed. Maddy does most of the singing, but Tim has some solos and there are a number of duets.
Favorites? Farewell Nancy, The Dalesman's Litany, Copshawholme Fair, Captain Wedderbourn's Courtship (I don't think I have heard this anywhere else) and Sorry the Day I was Married work for me, but other people will have their own favorites.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars steeleye fan, 29 May 2010
By 
Mr. Donald Forbes (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Large assortment of good traditional tracks well performed by 2 of our better folk performers. It was sad to hear that Tim Hart recently passed away. However this is a fitting tribute.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heydays folk songs of England vol one and two and summer solstice, 29 Mar 2011
By 
Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Heydays is a great collection of the three albums recorded by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior. The great thing is that the sound of the discs have been re mastered and bring all three albums together. Disc one has the albums Folk songs of old England volumes one and two together on one disc. This is ok really since both are only just over half an hour long and were recorded so close together that the arrangements, the production and recording sound are all the same. I am glad that this record company did not choose to try and spread Folk songs of old England volume two over two discs to balance out the time value. Instead we get just the entire album Summer Solstice on disc two. This is how it should be since this album has a completely different production with many over dubs and added instrumentation. All three album are excellent.
Before helping to form Folk Rock group Steeleye Span, Maddy Prior and Tim Hart recorded this album in a small recording studio set up in the owner's front room. This album, Folk songs of olde England volume one was released on Tee Pee Records in 1968. It took three hours to record and although there are mistakes in some of the lyrical pronunciation it is a beautiful album.
The album features a very simplistic arrangement of the songs with Maddy on vocals and 5 string banjo. And Tim Hart on vocals, guitar, fiddle, and banjo.
This extraordinary album is raw in its performance and there is fine harmonisation and a great selection of songs.
The songs include The "Rambling Sailor", "Adieu sweet Nancy", "The stately southerner", "Babes in the wood" and "Adam and Eve". These songs are performed without instruments.
Other songs such as the beautiful "Maid that is deep in love", and the jaunty "Bruton Town", the lamenting "Farewell Nancy", and the marvellous "who's the fool now" are all fantastic illustrations of England's colourful heritage.
despite the fact that the recording was made in mono.
The performance is full of spirit and passion and it is a very special album indeed.
Maddy and Tim went on to record folk songs of olde England volume two a few months later which is equally good.
This time the recording was in stereo. And it features Maddy on vocals and 5 string banjo. And Tim Hart on vocals, guitar, fiddle, and banjo.
There are songs such as "My son John" with its great melody and its descriptive story. Also there is the interesting story of "Earl Richard" with some atmospheric playing from Tim. There is the story of two Irishmen who come to England and steal to survive. I love the melody of the "The Gardner" and Maddy gives us beautiful vocals on this track. There is no instrumentation on "The bay of Biscay" Then three great English ballads with "Queen Eleanor's confession", Horn of the Hunter" and "Copsthawholme Fair". "Oats and Beans" is a folk song with Nursery Rhyme roots and once again its just Tim and Maddy with no instruments. "Fiddlers Green" and "The bold fisherman" are old sea songs, There is another track with just Tim and Maddy and no instruments in "Turkey Rhubarb" and "Capt, Widderburn`s Courtship" is another fine ballad.
These are all fantastic illustrations of England's colourful heritage.
The performance is full of spirit and passion and it is a very special album indeed.
After the formation of Steeleye Span and the Folk Rock treatment of traditional folk songs from 1969 -1971 they returned to the more traditional sound they had created on their two previous mentioned duo albums. They could have called it Folk songs of old England vol 3 since it follows in much the same way as 1 & 2. But they called it Summer Solstice and it is a gem of a recording. It is very different in production style and it is fitting that they had an original title. Besides this was a different record company this time. The album has some fine songs on it. There are other musicians present on the recording that help the set along. Gerry Conway on bells and percussion. and John Ryan on String Bass. And dispite the traditional feel there is an acceptable Electric Bass from Pat Donaldson. Andy Irvine contributes Mandolin as well. There is also added string arrangements on "Dancing at Witsun" and over dub of Maddy and Tim vocal harmonisation to enhance the overall polished arrangements on tracks such as "The ploughboy and the cockney" Combining all this of course is the superb lead vocals by Maddy and Tim. Tim Hart provides Guitar, Dulcimer, Harmonium, Psaltery and Tabor. This is a wonderful album with a great british traditional folk atmosphere.
After this album the duo returned to continue recording as Steeleye Span and didn't record again as a duo.
This compilation is a welcome release and contains all pictures of all the original artwork and there are some interesting notes in the booklet.
It is a wonderful release and is highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Memories - Old England, 18 Jan 2010
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Funny what memory holds: I was convinced I had owned both volumes 1 and 2 on vinyl back in the 70s and 80s. However, on receiving this excellent CD reissue, at bargain price compared to the exorbitant charges on the net for the now deleted Mooncrest articles, I was surprised to find that I only remembered volume 2. And there they were again! Tim and Maddy in natural, clear and ringing voice and masterly instrumentals ~ an age before what I regard as the commercialism and silliness of SES. So, what a corker! Volume 2 to my ears at least is a much more, shall I say 'rounded' without being misunderstood, and enjoyable experience than volume 1. BTW I do not agree (much as I love it for its special charm) that 'Summer Solstice' is in any way 'superior,' as some commentators have opined. Oh well, as I have said before, you pays yer money and you takes yer choice. I think you'll not be disappointed by anything, musically speaking, on this very welcome reissue.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars better than Steeleye, 5 Jun 2010
By 
gille liath (US of K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Perhaps another 5-star review is superfluous, but I was agreeably surprised by how good this is. The two discs, bracketing Steeleye Span's peak years, make you wonder whether that group was such a good idea. Whereas Steeleye was essentially a 60s rock band doing folk - and a bit stodgily, sometimes - the arrangements here are simple, natural and clever, acoustic for the most part, and now sound much less dated. The 1976 album 'Summer Solstice', which makes up the second disc, deserves to be known as one of the very best products of the genre (though on the downside, it is very short).

I endorse what another reviewer said - whether you're into Steeleye, commercial 'folk' or authentic traditional music, you'll be happy with this. In all, probably my most satisfying musical buy of the year.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Folk For Folk, 11 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Heydays (Audio CD)
Love this CD.It has all my favourites Songs/Tunes on it.
Such a bargain for the price
Will go on enjoying those songs till the cows come home!....... Thank you..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great music, 28 Jan 2013
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Great item. Play it all the time brings back lots of memories. Great service too nothing else to say. Finished
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