on 28 June 2010
For those of us who obtained the first parcel this second package is most welcomed.
This set contains:
Rocket Cottage (1976)
Storm Force Ten (1977)
Live At Last (1978)
Sails Of Silver (1980)
Tempted And Tried (1989)
Some of you will be asking where is Back In Line.This album was released by Flutterby records hence the jump in recordings on this set.Firstly,i am glad to say the quality matches the first parcel which for ardent Steeleye Span fans will be the main reason for buying this box set.Some of you will relish the thought of owning these recordings for the first time as some of the recordings were originally quite hard to find especially Rocket Cottage And Sails Of Silver.
There are two bonus tracks contained in this set The Boars Head Carol and Rag Doll.It should be noted that the bonus live tracks from Sails Of Silver have been omitted from this set as they were recorded in the nineties.
All in all another great selection of Steeleye in remastered form to enjoy at a very reasonable price.
Identical in style and presentation to EMIs original collection which contained the first five of Steeleye Spans albums for the Chrysalis label, this new set contains the next (and final) five for the label. With the exception of the 1986 release "Back in Line" the bands complete back catalogue from 1970 to 1989 can now be obtained easily with the purchase of just three competitively priced compilations - that is thirteen full albums and a small selection of bonus tracks. "Back in Line" was not released on Chrysalis hence its absence from this new collection - however Amazon now have it available as an MP3 download if you don't want to pay a high collectors price for the CD.
This new collection was once again co-ordinated and compiled by Tim Chacksfield and the tracks have been newly remastered for this set. The thin booklet contains full album track details, and other information about the original releases including album covers. The five albums are split chronologically over the three CDs so "Storm Force Ten" and "Sails of Silver" each run across two CDS - slightly annoying but keeps the cost down I suppose! However, if you transfer the CDs to iTunes you just get one long album on your iPod, which makes it easier to get the running order you want.
There is some excellent material gathered here and fans will be eager to add this new set to their collections. Perhaps not quite as strong as their earlier work there are still enough classic Steeleye tracks here to make this new set well worth buying, and for shear value it has to be five stars. Packed full with all the albums there was just enough space left to squeeze in two bonus tracks, a '77 and a '78 single, to keep collectors happy!
on 2 March 2014
Obviously this is nowhere as near as good as the first five Chrysalis albums, but this collection still contains many gems. "Rocket Cottage" is an excellent album, and "London", "Sir James the Rose" and the magnificent "Fighting For Strangers" are almost worth the cost by themselves. I'm not a fan of Storm Force Ten or Live At Last! Sails of Silver is decent enough, but no tracks on it would make any Best of Steeleye Span compilation. It's a pity the excellent Back in Line album is not part of this collection and Tempted and Tried rarely rises above the merely worthy. I gave it four stars for filling gaps in my collection rather than its great merit.
on 16 October 2012
This is the third of three box-sets containing their earlier albums. Good value if you like Steeleye!
The three boxed sets containing Steeleye Spans earlier 13 albums are:
The Lark In the Morning - The Early Years (2009). containing:
Hark! The Village Wait - 1970
Please To See the King - 1971
Ten Man Mop, Or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again (including General Taylor) - 1971
A Parcel of Steeleye Span: Their First Five Chrysalis Albums 1972-1975 (2009). containing:
Below the Salt - 1973
Parcel of Rogues - 1973
Now We Are Six -1974
Commoner's Crown - 1975
All Around My Hat - 1975
Another Parcel of Steeleye Span, Their Second Five Chrysalis Albums 1976-1989 (2010). containing:
Rocket Cottage - 1976
Storm Force Ten - 1977
Sails of Silver - 1980
Live At Last - 1978
Tempted And Tried - 1989
Later Albuns (all still available) are:
Back in Line (1986)
Tonight's the Night...Live (1992)
The Collection: Steeleye Span In Concert (1994)
Horkstow Grange (1998)
The Journey (1999)
Bedlam Born (2000)
Present--The Very Best of Steeleye Span (2002)
Live In Nottingham (2003)
They Called Her Babylon (2004)
Bloody Men (2006)
Folk Rock Pioneers In Concert (2006)
Cogs, Wheels and Lovers (2009)
Live At A Distance (2009)
Now We Are Six Again (2011)
Hurrah hurrah, they did it! Here are the next 5 albums in the Steeleye canon for a knock down price! I have been waiting for Rocket Cottage on CD for YEARS! I think it did appear, but only briefly, and was never widely available for some reason. It's one of the best ever albums in my book, and I am overjoyed to hear it again, especially the Bosnian pipes and Orfeo. It's from their Mike Batt period, and there was a time in there when they really rocked!
Also stunning, and again never widely available, is Storm Force Ten. Fiddler Peter Knight wasn't with them at this stage, which was a great loss, of course, but with the addition of the master, John Kirkpatrick, on concertina/melodion, and Mr Carthy popping back with vocals, the sound, although different, is AMAZING! I particularly rate Sweep Chimney Sweep for it's stunning harmonies.It's quite awesome.
In addition you have Live at Last, Sails of Silver and Tempted and Tried. These contain more self-penned material, which is sometimes a bit a bit patchy, but there are also some real crackers - Seagull (don't misinterpret the "three in a bed" line. It's about Shove Ha'penny!!) being my favourite, but Sails of Silver also a goodie. There's also the floor-filling version of the Padstow May-Day song, and Shaking of the Sheets (quite a jolly little ditty until you realise it's about death coming to get you!), etc etc etc.
These boxed sets are just great. They are fantastic value, and are very nicely presented. They even look good on the shelf! I would advise getting rid of your separate albums, and buying these lovely things! They certainly make good replacements for your vinyl, and very nice gifts for a fan! I await the next set with anticipation.
on 24 October 2015
As a collection of Steeleye Span's work they are fine however as collection of album's they are not. They are 5 albums spread over 3 discs and as i like my albums as albums on my computer they are a pain in the proverbial rear end. they do not sort themselves out into their respective albums. You have to do that yourself and it is a pain . it has taken me several hours and i have done three, i have had to sort one out copy it to a disc, delete it from my and then do the next one. Why they couldn't do them as five disc's i don't know but spreading five album's over three disc's is a pain if like me you like them as complete album's not a compilation. i have bought the first five album's in a box set and they are in individual albums and they are fine.
on 7 September 2010
Most fans of the British Folk scene that came alive in the late 60's are aware of the first 5 Fairport Convention Albums, as well as a smattering of the early Steeleye Span albums, most notably "Parcel Of Rogues" and "All Around My Hat." Several UK singles helped buoy "Commoner's Crown" and "Now We Are Six" as well, but as the 70's gathered steam, Fairport fell prey to numerous line-up changes, and audiences gravitated toward punk, dismissing conventional guitar bands as artifacts of a dead era. As Steeleye's chart entries became less, their albums became more adventurous, and this collection gathers five of their best, uncommercial offerings in one package. They had a hit with "London" which kicks off "Rocket Cottage," an album which also dropped gems such as "The Bosnian Hornpipes," the second single, "Fighting For Strangers," and the sublime "The Drunkard." "Storm Force Ten" which follows, was a richer, more sophisticated Steeleye, with layers of harmonies, accordians, and tricky time signatures. "Live at Last' was a mild hit in the U.K., being their first live offering, and while "Sails of Silver" was seen, at the time, as a slight let-down, over the years, it has become one of their stronger efforts, and led the way toward "Temped and Tried," one of the best albums of their career. So, definitely track down "Lark In The Morning," and without a doubt, the first "Parcel..." box set, but once you've tired of hearing the familiar, get this to delve into a rich, and underrated period of Steeleye Span's 40-year catalogue.
on 26 December 2014
Some of these albums are now more or less impossible to obtain separately, so great value even if one has some but not all the separates. The sound quality is pretty good, though the remastering isn't so noticeable as the early Parcel Of box, but still very good.
on 14 September 2011
Considering how hard it is to get separate CDs of all the early albums, it's great that these box sets are available. It's a shame that they've split the different albums across physical CDs but I suppose they were limited by the CD box set manufacturers.
The only specific thing I can add to what others have said is to comment on the sound quality, which is rather disappointing. I suppose in this age of digital production we've come to expect CDs to have brilliant crisp clarity, which these recordings certainly don't offer. It's probably a limitation imposed by the quality of the original masters, and perhaps they could have cleaned them up a lot given more investment, which would of course have ended up coming out of our wallets, but as it is they sound distant and a bit muddy, with even the occasional apparent very brief drop-out. Not quite bootleg-low quality but certainly not top-class either. Yer gets wot you pays fer.
So, worth having if you yearn for an inexpensive and comprehensive collection of early Span, but not something to revel in sonically.
on 18 August 2015
Takes me back 40 years - I remember buying Rocket Cottage when it first came out, and going to see them live when I was at University the same year.
My only comment is that this remaster does not always sound quite the same as the original vinyl - or quite the same as my memory of the music I played repeatedly for many years. Maybe I just miss the scratches!