Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Steeleye Span

Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Steeleye Span Rocket Cottage album cover
3.64 | 32 ratings | 3 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. London (4:14)
2. The Bosnian Hornpipes (0:57)
3. Orfeo/Nathan's Reel (6:00)
4. The Twelve Witches (4:32)
5. The Brown Girl In The Ring (5:05)
6. Fighting For Strangers (4:25)
7. Sligo Maid (3:44)
8. Sir James The Rose (6:15)
9. The Drunkard (7:55)

Total time 43:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Maddy Prior / vocals
- Tim Hart / vocals, guitar
- Bob Johnson / vocals, guitar
- Peter Knight / violin, mandolin
- Rick Kemp / bass, vocals
- Nigel Pegrum / drums

Releases information

LP Chrysalis ‎- CHR 1123 (1976, UK)

CD BGO Records ‎- BGOCD318 (1996, UK) Remastered (?)

Thanks to zafreth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy STEELEYE SPAN Rocket Cottage Music

More places to buy STEELEYE SPAN music online

STEELEYE SPAN Rocket Cottage ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

STEELEYE SPAN Rocket Cottage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars As the 1970s proceeded, Steeleye Span became more rock-folk than folk-rock, adding ever denser bass, drums and rhythm guitars and a more aggressive attitude. Yet even by this late stage, they held steadfast to their goal of bringing traditional songs and dances to life. Unfortunately, the whole pop music world had changed drastically just in the year since the hugely successful "All Around my Hat", and it seemed there was no longer much market for music of Steeleye's ilk. As a result, although "Rocket Cottage" is a superb hard folk effort, and more consistent than its predecessor, it seems to have been largely ignored.

While "London" has as strong a pedigree as anything the group has done, I don't find the sing songy style working as well for Steeleye at this stage. Instead, "Orfeo/Nathan's Reel" and "The Brown Girl" have a greater impact, with more incorporation of lighter progressive elements in the form of changes of pace and alternating moods and instrumentation. In addition, the band's choice of traditional material has been fine tuned at this point, as well as their ability to match the appropriate vocalist to the material, rendering "The Twelve Witches" and "Sir James the Rose" among Tim Hart's best contributions as member, ably backed by Maddy on the chorus of the latter. The listener really wants to know the peculiar powers of each of the twelve witches and the gory fate of Sir James. In the instrumental department, "Sligo Maid" is miles ahead of the mostly tepid and rote work we've seen on prior recordings, with driving electric guitar and fiddle working in unison, and syncopated bass and drums. Sure one can hear the influence of the disco era in the wah wah guitars, but when have we heard them with cascading fiddles and a traditional Irish tune that gets stuck in your head for days?

While it may not have a catchy "hit" like "All Around my Hat", "Rocket Cottage" is fueled by greater energy and enthusiasm and may be of more interest to fans here simply for its punchier approach and small "p" progressive arrangements.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Minstrels in space

For some reason Rocket Cottage is an album that is harder to find than the immediately preceding albums by Steeleye Span as well as many later albums. But finally I got my hands on this one and I must say that it was worth my while as this is one of the band's most progressive albums and also a definite improvement over the misguided attempt to cross into the commercial with All Around My Hat. Indeed, I would say that together with Now We Are Six and Commoner's Crown, Rocket Cottage is the best of Steeleye Span's first decade as a recording and performing unit.

Over a series of several albums since the early 70's there was a clear progression in the music of Steeleye Span with each album from Below The Salt onwards adding further and further Rock elements including of course electric guitars first and then drums and even some discrete keyboards while also expanding their versions of traditional material giving them more adventurous arrangements. Sadly, they also mixed in some Pop elements by making a few covers of modern songs and they even had a hit with the title track from All Around My Hat. Thankfully, there is no obvious attempt to repeat that on Rocket Cottage but London is the closest they get. The sillyness of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and To Know Him Is to Love Him from Now We Are Six and New York Girls from Commoner's Crown is represented by the short tune at the start of The Drunkard (I don't know the name of the tune, but I recognize it.)

For Rocket Cottage they but opt instead of continuing their interesting fusion of Folk and Rock. The music here leans slightly more towards the Rock than to the Folk compared to all their earlier albums. Rocket Cottage is also slightly heavier than any earlier album and the electric guitar sound is much improved over their early experiments with the instrument. The vocal arrangements are complex on a cappella songs like The Bosnian Hornpipes. There are some sparse keyboards here as well, though not very much. Any fan of Prog Folk should be able to like this fine album!


Review by Warthur
4 stars Steeleye Span rebounded from their glancing collision with popularity (heralded by the All Around My Hat single and accompanying album) with this piece, which took their folk-rock blend about as hard into the rock end of things as they'd ever manage to steer it. The closing The Drunkard is a bit alienating, the messing-about involved taking a bit too long before things settle in, and there's still enough roots in traditional folk songs (and a delightful a capella Bosnian Hornpipe rendition) to keep the folk fans happy, but this is really one for those who wished that Steeleye Span and Jethro Tull would meet in the middle somewhere.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of STEELEYE SPAN "Rocket Cottage"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.