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Steeleye Span - Rocket Cottage CD (album) cover


Steeleye Span


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3.54 | 27 ratings

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Symphonic Team
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!


SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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