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Steeleye Span - Below the Salt CD (album) cover


Steeleye Span


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3.66 | 54 ratings

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4 stars Steeleye Span- Below the Salt (1972)

Collecting some folk-rock can really uplift the spirits in your living-room and finding some strong, light folk records that compliment the heavy psych-folk (Comus, Spirogyra, etc.) is important in that regard. Steeleye Span can hardly called progressive, but I must admit I think they are more inventive (on this album) then there bigger brother Fairport Convention (on for instance Liege and Leaf).

Steeleye Span plays folk with major traditional influences and minor rock instrumentation. The sound of the band on this album is full and warm and all instruments, as well as the vocals, sound great. The female, gentle vocals of Maddy Prior are a blessing for the ear. A good folk record is made by collecting beautiful and moving folk tracks, making well balanced arrangements and playing the music as traditional and authentic as possible. The band succeeds in this regard with a strong list of catchy and touching songs and some fine ideas about the arrangements. A slightly distorted rock guitar here, a phaser effect on a violin there and an a cappela track that sounds as if recorded in the back of church all are great ways to keep the music interesting. And of course a folk record has some happy tracks, but luckily this album doesn't have to much of them (they can really put me of). The recording of the album is perfect and all the arrangements sound pitch-perfect.

Conclusion. A great, gentle folk-rock album with the best of vocals, a well balanced reportoire and some nice arrangements. Love additions to every collection, though I wouldn't mention this album when talking about prog- or psych-folk. A warm four stars and a recommendation for collectors of folk music and those who want to uplift spirits in dark winter months ahead.

friso | 4/5 |


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