Loft vinyl: (6) Stefan Grossman and Kenny Ball
Loft vinyl: (8) which LPs to pack for France. McGarrigles, June Tabor and Nanci Griffith in, Cream and Chopin out

Loft vinyl: (7) a further embarrassment of Steeleye Span riches (and rogues)

I knew there was more.

When I retrieved and photographed the Steeleye Span vinyl albums featured here in a previous edition of the Loft vinyl series, I was aware my search though the attic - floorboarded but unconverted so on hands and knees - would produce further records. And so it did.

Here, with apologies for the intrusion of furniture used as a base for the montage, they are:

 

Steeleye montage 3 - 1

At home in London, and also in France, where the forthcoming presidential elections require my journalistic presence, I have lots of Steeleye (and offshoots') CDs and probably a few redundant cassettes.

 

But these two montages ((I'll add the photo of the first) complete the vinyl part of this sub-section of my modest project to highlight the best of my loft collection.

Now that I have something to play them on, most of those old records have been moved downstairs (I'd have said promoted but that seems a contradiction in terms).

In the mixture of old and new that this series necessarily embraces, I had to go back along to YouTube for a clip to represent the superb content of the LPs I rediscovered earlier today.

I decided to go with Parcel of Rogues from the 1973 album of the same name. I could have chosen any of dozens of other tracks from the albums shown but opted for this compelling example of Steeleye as a vocal ensemble, the voices in exquisite harmony and accompanied only by Rick Kemp's solemn, sparing and almost warlike drum beat until Peter Knight's fiddle playing adds a fitting finale.

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation. For your homework, as I complete my search through the attic for LPs that just cry out to be played decades on, decide on which rogues in which nation Robert Burns could so easily have in mind if writing the lyrics in 2022 and not 1791.

 

 

When the first of these Steeleye montages appeared, a fellow folk enthusiast (and Sunderland supporter) tweeted this:

And then, during my trip to YouTube to locate a suitable video, I came across this comment from an American fan:

I fell in love with Maddy Prior, sight unseen, the first time I heard her sing - and have nursed a serious crush on her ever since - lol. And when I saw the Span perform (Penn State, 1974) - it only grew worse. A strikingly beautiful woman, with the purest, most beautiful voice I've ever heard - Ed Federoff

But last words belong to the late Tim Hart, first encountered by me in the 1960s when he and Maddy were touring the folk clubs as a duo. He concluded his sleeve note for the 1988 Portfolio double-album with this assessment:

The impact of Steeleye Span was far greater than the sum of the their albums and concerts. Their success at home and especially abroad made British musicians aware of the relevance and importance of their musical heritage.
And, to a far greater degree than they could ever have hoped for when they first formed the band, they took traditional British folk music out of the folk clubs and gave it a permanent place on the rock music stages of the world

Steeleye LPs - 1

Comments

Sharyn Dimmick

I think this my favorite Steeleye cut at all of them. I love the simplicity, the harmonies, the vocal blend. You see, Colin, you and I do agree at times.

Colin Randall

Yes we do. My comment at uncharted jukebox was tongue in cheek as Iā€™m sure you know. Iā€™d still love to be able to run a piece/pieces by you , not necessarily Cover Story

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