Customer Reviews


23 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new fan of an old band
I'll be honest, I only knew Steeleye Span as some odd group I'd heard on the radio a few times in my childhood! I'm probably considerably younger than most other reviewers (stereotyping there) and noticed that everyone else who'd written reviews were ardent fans of the band from their past.
I only bought this album because it was a recommendation from Amazon, based...
Published on 29 April 2003 by Niall A

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All Present- but then BOB left!
In part, this double album was recorded in response to an online poll reflecting people's favourite Steeleye songs.

I voted 20 times for "Wife of Usherswell"- but it's not on it! That (and all the naughty cheating some did aside), this was intended to PRESENT- the then current reformed Steeleye. Then as soon as the album was done and the tour planned- Bob...
Published on 29 Jun. 2007 by PHIL ALLITT


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new fan of an old band, 29 April 2003
By 
Niall A (Scottish Borders) - See all my reviews
I'll be honest, I only knew Steeleye Span as some odd group I'd heard on the radio a few times in my childhood! I'm probably considerably younger than most other reviewers (stereotyping there) and noticed that everyone else who'd written reviews were ardent fans of the band from their past.
I only bought this album because it was a recommendation from Amazon, based on my other purchases and tastes. Having taken the plunge, I was pleasantly surprised to say that the recommendation system works!
The only tracks I recognise from the past are 'All Around my Hat' and 'Gaudete', so I can't compare this album to any previous efforts by the band. What I can say is that I was impressed with the musical content.
For anyone else out there, who, like myself, likes the older Mike Oldfield albums and Folk Music in general, or who has this album recommended to them, I would say try this album. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why Not!, 27 Oct. 2009
There are some negative reviews here that entirely miss the point and fail, at the most fundamental level, to understand the contradictions involved in thevery existance of this band. Folk music is base on the notion of the shared experience of the performance; it is a live and living music. The very idea of a "folk concert", which my father always argued was an oxymoron, in a concert hall presents a contradiction. We should not be sitting in ernest watching musicians on stage; they should be amougst us as we participate in the music. Incidentally my father failed to see that exactly the same could be said about jazz.

Steeleye Span are, therefore a conundrum, they are a folk/rock band designed for larger venue performance in a genre that cries out for intimacy. Having said all that when I saw them in the Caird Hall Dundee back in the mid-70s I was hooked, as I was by Fairport Convention.

The fact that folk music develkops and changes with every performance means that live recordings of the same songs can be very different and worth recurring reinvention. Similarly it is perfectly valid to re-record songs as has ben done here. What Steeleye Span have is a long back catalogue of songs including a number of available live albums. They have also had a shifing membership so to mark the consolidation of this new line-up, albeit based around what many believe to be the core membership, why not re-record what fans voted for as their best tunes?

There are a number of paralels in Jazz, Billie Holiday re-recorded many of her classic songs in her later career with the Verve label. Ms Holiday herself said that she could never bear the idea of singing a song the same way night after night.

Thelonious Monk started his recording career relatively late in life with recording sessions for Blue Note Record where he recorded all of his well known tunes, but throughout the rest of his career he re-recorded most of these with different bands line ups several times.

A studio recording should not be seen as fixing a song/tune in a definative shape. I may not like all the tracks here as well as I do the originals but it is a great collection and think it is a wonderful addition to my collection of this band's work.

For those who cannot bear the idea of deviation from the versions on the original album then fine; stick with the originals. By re-recording these song Steeleye Span are not destrying the original, they are giving us an idea of what the current line-up sound like performing the classic songs that fans will want to hear when they go to a Steeleye gig.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This truly is The VERY best of Steeleye Span-(At Present!), 5 Dec. 2002
By 
Benjii (Auld England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Present (Audio CD)
First things first:-
THIS IS NOT A COMPILATION ALBUM!
-This is a 2002 version of all their very best hits over the (almost) 35 years of Steeleye Span, and let me tell you it is a wonderful treat for both avid-followers & new-comers alike.
Steeleye are like a good wine, as they mature they simply improve!
Here are a few words to describe my feelings towards this album...
TREMENDOUS, INSPIRING, SPECTACULAR.
The energy with which they re-approach all the classics is amazing; a real highlight is the new version of 'Hard Times of Old England', slowed down to make quite a moving song, with a classical guitar-type interlude from Bob Johnson (best wishes to him by the way!)
Peter Knight uses his new deeper violin alot which changes the whole sound of some songs (which is very refreshing indeed!) Maddy of course, is tip-top. Rick kemp, recently returned is raw and rocky, Liam carries all songs very well.
In conclusion this is a product of 35 years of maturing, it's now ready to drink!
-Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than just another 'Best Of' Collection, 16 Dec. 2002
By 
This review is from: Present (Audio CD)
This album is different from the many other 'Best of Steeleye' compilations out there, as the songs have all been re-recorded by the band themselves. Most of the tracks were voted for by fans in a poll on Park records website.
Judging by the performances here, Steeleye Span have a new lease of life. All the members of the band are on top form throughout. Maddy Prior is back in the fold (praise be!), and sings as well as she has ever done, which is saying something! Bob Johnson spices things up with his excellent guitar work, and is also in good voice. Likewise the stalwart Peter Knight. His violins and occasional mandolin playing add a touch of magic as they weave in and out of the songs. Rick Kemp's rock-solid bass and Liam Genockey's sympathetic drumming combine to form a watertight rhythm section (check out their work on "All Around My Hat").
Some of the songs have been given new arrangements. "Hard Times Of Old England" is a standout, this version being slower and more sombre than the original, and much more in keeping with its theme of unemployment and poverty. There is a surprisingly boisterous performance of "John Barleycorn", sung by Rick, which sounds like a good time was had by all. It certainly brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it. Liam Genockey adds the finishing touch to songs that were originally recorded without drums, such as "King Henry" and "When I Was On Horseback".
In terms of track selection, "Present" rivals any other Steeleye Span compilation on the market. Old favourites like "Thomas The Rhymer", " Long Lankin", and "Gaudete" rub shoulders with one or two more unexpected choices. The inclusion of "The Lyke Wake Dirge" in particular is an added bonus. Steeleye used to perform this song to great effect at their live shows back in the seventies, but this is the first time they have recorded it. Sung unaccompanied , it is both beautiful and eerie, and its images stay in the mind. All the songs are played not only with the skill you would expect from a band of Steeleye's ability, but also with great energy. If all goes well, they plan to record an album of new material for their 35th anniversary in 2004. Until that appears, "Present" will do very nicely to be getting on with.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'voice' of Steeleye is back, 15 Dec. 2002
By 
W. J. M. Tirion "Wil Tirion" (Capelle a/d IJssel - The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than just another 'Best Of' compilation, 5 Dec. 2002
By 
This review is from: Present (Audio CD)
This album differs from the many other 'Best of Steeleye' compilations out there, as the songs have all been re-recorded by the band themselves. Most of the tracks were voted for by fans in a poll on Park Records website.
Judging by the performances here, Steeleye Span have a new lease of life. All the members of the band are on top form throughout. Maddy Prior is back in the fold (praise be!), and sings as well as she has ever done, which is saying something. Bob Johnson spices things up with his excellent guitar work, likewise the stalwart Peter Knight. His violins and occasional mandolin playing create magic as they weave in and out of the songs. Rick Kemp's rock-solid bass and Liam Genockey's sympathetic drumming combine to form a watertight rhythm section (check out their work on "All Around My Hat").
Some of the songs have been given new arrangements. "Hard Times Of Old England" is a standout, this version being slower and more sombre than the original, and much more in keeping with its theme of unemployment and poverty. There is a surprisingly boisterous performance of "John Barleycorn", sung by Rick, which sounds like the band were really enjoying themselves. It certainly brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it. Liam Genockey adds the finishing touch to songs that were originally recorded without drums, such as "King Henry" and "When I Was On Horseback". An added bonus is the inclusion of "The Lyke Wake Dirge". Steeleye used to perform this song to great effect at their concerts back in the seventies, but this is the first time they have recorded it. Sung unaccompanied, it it both beautiful and eerie, and its imagery lingers in the mind.
In terms of track selection, "Present" rivals any other Steeleye Span compilation on the market. All the songs are performed not only with the skill you would expect from a band of Steeleye's ability, but also with great energy. If all goes well, they plan to record an album of new material for their 35th anniversary in 2004. Until then, "Present" will do very nicely indeed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steeleye Span - Back at their best., 14 Feb. 2003
The new versions of these Steeleye classics are an improvement from the originals. The arrangements are different, some more so than others, but all are a progression. Despite being around for over thirty years, in terms of musical competence Steeleye Span have never sounded better.
For example, take 'Hard times of old England'. The applicability of the dark lyrics is still there, but the change of music is a masterstroke. The original was a jolly tune that never really fitted the lyrics, but the new slow harmonic version has turned this song into an epic ballad.
There is great care and thought given to each song, and each band member sounds more superior than ever before. Maddy Prior's passionate voice, particuarly on 'Long Lankin' is another example of the band's progression.
Steeleye have changed their line up many times, but this 'classic' one is by far the best there has been. This album finds the group at their greatest in terms of ability, and they show maturity in their knowledge of musical arrangement, which enhance these Steeleye Span 'greatest hits' considerably, for the benefit of the listener.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars still the best, 28 Feb. 2009
By 
M. C. Watson "bengytoby" (lancashire, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Steeleye Span have still got all the old magic..This compilation really is the best of their music, the new editing has not spoilt it at all..
well worth the purchase even if you have all the albums..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The magic is still there!, 6 Jan. 2003
I had the huge pleasure of seeing the band perform music from this album live, before I listened to the recording, and I can assure all fans that they haven't lost their touch. Bob Johnson is on the album, but unfortuantely was prevented from touring by health problems, so listeners to the CD will miss out on Ken Nichol's ace guitar work, and the fresh dimension he brings to the old favourites.
What to say about it? Well, devoted fan though I am, it is apparent that some of the spring has gone from the steps, but the upside is that some of the new arrangements are a revelation. "John Barleycorn" is a song I've never cared for, and especially didn't like Steeleye's version, but now ... well, rock on, Rick!! I love it! Also, "When I was on horseback" has acquired a brooding, dark quality, absent (for me) from the original, prettier version. I think,if they continue with more recordings, as, I gather, is the plan, then we may see them become more rocky and dark - I can't wait! Meanwhile, however, if you like Steeleye then buy this - you won't be disappointed. (It's also a double album, so very good value!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A damned good folk CD set!, 26 Feb. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Steeleye span have been around a while and are well worth a listen if you like entertaining folk music.

This Best of two CD set contains a lot of good music which is a painless way to spend an hour or two!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews