Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Spanning the Years
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock
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Maddy Prior's folk-rock group
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 05/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The British folk-rock scene of the sixties, though much smaller than its American counterpart, produced a few stars. The first real success came via Liege and Lief, an album by Fairport Convention, a group that launched the careers of several major figures on the British folk-rock scene. Sandy Denny was an excellent singer often acclaimed as the queen of British folk-rock, though Maddy Prior (who describes Sandy as both inspiring and infuriating) also has legitimate claims to that title. Richard Thompson continued to make excellent music after Fairport Convention disbanded. Ashley Hutchins quit Fairport Convention because he didn't like the direction the group was heading. He became one of the founding members of Steeleye Span, a group that has seen many line-up changes through the years but Maddy remained throughout. This helps to explain the diversity of music here, some very close to traditional English and Irish folk but some more like pop-rock music. Even so, Maddy's love of traditional folk ensures that all but the die-hard traditionalists should find plenty to enjoy here.To the wider public, there are only a few familiar songs. All around my hat was a huge UK pop hit. Gaudete, a Christmas song, regularly turns up on Christmas compilations. There are also covers of Rag doll (Four seasons), Rave on (Buddy Holly) and To know him is to love him (Teddy bears, later a hit for Peter and Gordon, also covered by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou for their first Trio album). Of the other songs, some are traditional and some are original but none are well known outside folk circles.This comprehensive collection covers Steeleye Span's music from 1970 to 1992. Original released as a full price compilation, it was later re-released at a much lower price and is now a real bargain, still available in the UK as I write. Traditionalists may prefer to buy the original albums from the early part of their career, but if (like me) you want a collection that captures the full range of their music, this is the one to go for."
A fine collection of Steeleye Span
Peter Durward Harris | 12/08/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a fine collection Steeleye Span. The only fault I could find was the omission of "Two Magicians". Many of the songs are centuries old and still have the feel of ancient celtic music. The inclusion of modern songs was a mistake, but it is still a must for people who like to experience a variety of music. This is not for people who only like one type of music."
An Excellent Collection for long term listening
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 06/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Spanning the Years' is a two CD collection issued in 1995 of a wide range of Steeleye Span's music which began in the early 1970s. As a great fan of The Pentangle, Fairport Convention, and The Incredible String Band in the late 1960's and early 1970's, I suspect I fell victim to the confusion between the Steely Dan and Steeleye Span names, as the former was much easier to stumble across on the radio dial, and seemed to have little to offer me.
Steeleye Span's range of material and style has a passing resemblance to The Pentangle and Fairport Convention, yet they definitely put it all together in a distinctive manner which ring more of the Victorian English music hall than it does of the rural manor house or Renaissance stage.
While a relatively large number of their selections are traditional, many of those come from the last 200 years. And, when they duplicate material done by Pentangle, Incredible String Band, and Fairport Convention such as `Black Jack Davy' and `John Barleycorn', they certainly have their own twist. Their `Thomas the Rhymer' rendition starts out as if it were being done by `The Who'. Then, there are the pieces brought in from far left field such as `Rave On', `To Know Him is to Love Him', `Rag Doll', and `The Black Freighter'. Their rendition of the Kurt Weill classic from `The Threepenny Opera' benefits more from the surprise one has at seeing it in the company of their other material than it does from the rather weak imitation of Lotte Lenya's German accented English rendition of the song.
This is a really great album for listening in the car or while gardening, especially if you have a taste for both their traditional base and the great renditions of the little surprises they stick in every two or three songs.
Since little of this material is original, they don't quite have the same stature as The Incredible String Band or Fairport Convention (especially the original lineup with Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson), but it is great fun and a great listen when you have run through all the works of their Brit colleagues from the heyday sixties and seventies.
Highly recommended album for price and quality!