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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A folk-rock take on a literary fairy tale
Released in 1977, this album is an adaptation of the 1924 fantasy novel of the same name by Lord Dunsany. Consisting of nine songs, plus nine brief segments of narration (taken directly from Dunsany's text), The King of Elfland's Daughter relates what happens when the men of Erl, bored with their mundane lives, go to their lord and request to be ruled, in future, by a...
Published on 3 Oct 2010 by Murray

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite What I Expected But Glad I've Finally Had A Chance To Listen To This
I love 70s prog and folk rock but being 34 years old I missed the heyday for these bands and so a lot of the albums from that era I sort of stumble upon through chance, links to other bands or from being suckered in by a nice looking cover picture (hello Olias of Sunhillow).

Steeleye Span is my favourite folk rock band and after hearing that two of their number...
Published on 11 Dec 2012 by J. Patching


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A folk-rock take on a literary fairy tale, 3 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
Released in 1977, this album is an adaptation of the 1924 fantasy novel of the same name by Lord Dunsany. Consisting of nine songs, plus nine brief segments of narration (taken directly from Dunsany's text), The King of Elfland's Daughter relates what happens when the men of Erl, bored with their mundane lives, go to their lord and request to be ruled, in future, by a "magic lord". The Lord of Erl duly sends his son, Alveric, to Elfland, there to woo and win Lirazel, the King of Elfland's daughter.

Bob Johnson and Pete Knight (both at the time, fresh out of Steeleye Span), have recruited a talented cast of singers here, including Mary Hopkin (who sings the part of Lirazel), Alexis Korner (who provides the voice of the Troll), P P Arnold (as the Witch) and, presiding over the whole album as both narrator and King of Elfland, the great Christopher Lee. Although each singer plays a specific part, this is not a dramatisation. Each song gets one singer, and manages to tell a section of the story from that point of view entirely. And some songs, such as the finishing "Beyond the Fields We Know", sung with a beautiful air of never-never longing by Mary Hopkin, aren't strictly sung by a character at all. (Lee's "Rune of the Elf King" is the magnificent exception -- he half sings, half acts the part, delivering the line "Why should my daughter be taken by pitiless years?" with aching despair.) The general tone is folkish, but within a wide variety of styles, ranging from the rocky and bluesy to the more traditional. P P Arnold's wild vocal performance on "Witch" is wonderfully mad, while "Too Much Magic" is like an old-fashioned knees up, complete with children's choir. Although all the songs form part of a story, they certainly work on their own as songs.

This has been a difficult album to find for rather too long. Second Harvest's CD release is a no-frills digipack (with no lyric booklet, or background information), and I don't know if it has been digitally remastered, but the sound is certainly good enough, to my ears. One minor annoyance is that the narration and music haven't been divided into separate tracks, which I'd have preferred. But I'm very glad they have re-released it. Wonderful to hear this album at last.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite What I Expected But Glad I've Finally Had A Chance To Listen To This, 11 Dec 2012
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J. Patching "panzer-attack" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
I love 70s prog and folk rock but being 34 years old I missed the heyday for these bands and so a lot of the albums from that era I sort of stumble upon through chance, links to other bands or from being suckered in by a nice looking cover picture (hello Olias of Sunhillow).

Steeleye Span is my favourite folk rock band and after hearing that two of their number made a stand alone album called The King of Elf Land's Daughter I've always wanted to hear it. The name alone makes it sound just like my sort of thing.

Unfortunately it's been unavailable for donkey's years ... until now!

I've got to admit, after waiting so long to hear this album I was rather disappointed after my first listen. The first track on the album has some decidedly dodgy singing on it, which got things off to a bad start.

I was expecting the album to sound a lot more folky than it does. I'd put this squarely in the prog rock category, which isn't a bad thing as I love a bit of prog, but it wasn't what I'd been anticipating for this.

Christopher Lee narrates the unfolding story in between tracks, and whilst there's nothing wrong with Mr Lee's narration (the guy is a living legend after all), for some reason the volume of the narration seems to tail off towards the end of his passages. I found myself having to turn the volume up quite high to properly hear what he was saying, only to then be blasted by the next track when it kicked in.

A lot of the songs are sung by characters from the story and some of them sound a bit laughable on first listen. There's one song sung by The Troll and it just sounds like someone doing a poor Gollum impression.

So, after my first listen the verdict would be 'not great'.

However .... there's something about this album. It's a grower. I'd been waiting so long to hear it I thought I've got to give it a fair shake and listened to it a few more times. Whereas before the songs sounded twee and forgettable, now I'm finding them stuck in my head. I even like the Gollum/Troll song. Christopher Lee rumbles through one musical track in his deep baritone voice and it's like listening to Saruman stretching his prog muscles. I love the cover art. You know, I kinda like it.

So all in all, I'm glad I bought this album. It's one that takes a bit of effort to get the most out of and it's certainly got some failings, but if you can get over those it's really quite charming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past, 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
When this came out, aaaaaages ago, no-one seemed to care very much, in the mainstream, about elves and trolls and Dunsany. Today,thirty four years later, I'm overjoyed at being able once again to listen to these songs, specially the very funny and geeky "Too much magic", the kind of song we'd sing at sf or fantasy conventions in the small hours in the seventies, and the beautiful "Beyond the fields we know". And some of the narration, in Christopher Lee's voice, is as chilling and thrilling as it was all those years ago. Lee speaks, and I find myself speaking with him words I thought I'd forgotten, "like the blended twilight of long lost summer evenings". A treat... i'm going to try to find a few Steeleye Span oldies, now that the fancy has taken me again
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nostalgia, 29 Jan 2011
This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
Bought this for my 40 year old son who has been after the cd. version for years.
Nostalgia visited and fulfilled!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top CD, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
Excellent Quality, sounds as good now as it did all those years ago, worth every penny!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great to hear this album again after so many years, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
Great to hear this album again after so many years. I'm just not so pleased about the cheap cardboard casing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The King of Elfland's Daughter, 11 April 2013
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
A great CD i enjoyed listening to it and see if it was the same as my long playing album
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King of Elfland's Daughter, 21 Jan 2010
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Rev. B. Senior (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
I've wanted to get hold of this for years ... brilliant music, The service was excellent.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars false memory betrays me, 27 Feb 2013
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Mr. G. Glover - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
I remembered this album [vaguely] from a long time ago, i wish I'd left it as a fond memory. Horrifically dated however there are two stand out performances; Mary Hopkins & Christopher Lee transcend the material. Best not bother commenting on the rest.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Never never...., 28 Sep 2011
This review is from: Bob Johnson & Pete Knight - King Of Elfland's Daughter (Digipak) (Audio CD)
.............. heard this, although I have always wished to hear & own a copy . I put 3 stars which are meaningless as I still have not got this..........yet......and on benefits , it's a struggle to find the money ,only having £18 per week , to buy food , clothing , transport etc..........but it is now closer to my pocket , from £45 + , down to under fifteen......we are exploited by the sellers when things are scarce , even deleted music has policing to stop people sharing ( it's not as if sales are harmed is it ? ...if they won't re-issue ! )..........anyway , tho not heard , I read the book as a child , and was captivated by it ......just hope I can afford it before it falls back down to the higher prices again !
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