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Steeleye Span - Hark! The Village Wait CD (album) cover


Steeleye Span


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3.84 | 44 ratings

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4 stars Steeleye Span - Hark! The Village Wait (1970)

The debut of the British folkrock-band Steeleye Span is one of the groundworks of the genre, in line with Pentangle's 'Basket of Light' and Fairport Convention's 'Liege and Lief'. Around 1970 the folkrock movement would find the sound that would prove to be the least timebound with mild rock arrangements, traditional instruments, authentic female vocals and an total absence of modern electronic sounds, kitch production or popinfluences.

On the debut Steeleye Span has a relatively long list of twelve tracks of re-arranged tradional folk tracks. There some variety, with a cappela moments and a slightly progressive approach on 'The Blacksmith'. Furthermore one hears a lot of traditional instruments that give music an authentic feel, seemingly unhindered by the drums and bassguitar in the background. Maddy Prior has a great voice and gives the record some motherly warmth whilst remaining that magical charm that folk can facilitate. Gay Woods sings some soulfull leads on a few other tracks, which is good for the variety.

If you have never heard a good seventies folk-rock record (there are many younger people around here like me) and aren't to straight a proghead, you wouldn't do yourself too much harm in approaching the genre with this album or the beforementioned albums by other bands. Next to 'Hark! The Village Wait', one will find Steeleye Span would also deliver a real great album with 'Below the Salt', which I myself would prefer by an inch.

Great folkrock, great seventies vibe and sound, and beautifull replayvalue due to its charming effect on the livingroom. The big three and a halve it is.

friso | 4/5 |


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