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The Lark in the Morning: The Early Years

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Lark in the Morning: The Early Years is a mid-priced, two-disc rendering of the band's first three records. Remastered for the first time, Hark! the Village Wait, Please to See the King, and Ten Man Mop are featured in their entirety, and in their original sequence, making this an absolute necessity for fans, and a perfect entry point for the uninitiated. Steeleye Span are masters of arrangement, and nowhere is that more evident than on their debut. Though familial tension ran high during its recording, Hark! the Village Wait yielded some of the most agreeable tunes the band ever laid to tape. Beginning with the a cappella "A Calling-On Song," the group ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Lark in the Morning: The Early Years is a mid-priced, two-disc rendering of the band's first three records. Remastered for the first time, Hark! the Village Wait, Please to See the King, and Ten Man Mop are featured in their entirety, and in their original sequence, making this an absolute necessity for fans, and a perfect entry point for the uninitiated. Steeleye Span are masters of arrangement, and nowhere is that more evident than on their debut. Though familial tension ran high during its recording, Hark! the Village Wait yielded some of the most agreeable tunes the band ever laid to tape. Beginning with the a cappella "A Calling-On Song," the group established itself as peerless singers, utilizing the dual lead vocals of sirens Gay Woods and Maddy Prior to a tee, particularly on "My Johnny Was a Shoemaker" and "Dark Eyed Sailor." The lineup is legendary, rivaling only Fairport Convention in their Sandy Denny/Richard Thompson heyday. Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Tim Hart, future Pogue Terry Woods, and Gay and Maddy produced a landmark album that continues to inspire countless musicians and fans alike. For their follow-up, British-folk icon Marin Carthy and former classical violinist Peter Knight were brought in to replace the departed Woods family, resulting in a more challenging, folk-based approach. The disappearance of drums gave the songs on Please to See the King the distinct timbre of electric medieval music, using Hutchings' bass in lieu of a courtly tambourine. The record yielded beautiful ballads "Lovely on the Water" and brutal electric dirges "Boys of Bedlam" anchored by Prior's and Hart's lilting pipes and Knight's complex violin parts. The reissue includes a cover of the Buddy Holly hit "Rave On," explained by Hart as "an idea the record company had for a possible novelty hit." While not their strongest, Please to See the King signaled the beginnings of a real force in the burgeoning world of folk-rock. Ten Man Mop finds the group getting sparser still. Like the gritty live act they had become, the songs straddle the fence between hauntingly beautiful the gorgeous "Wee Weaver" and drunk and jaunty "Marrowbones" and "Four Nights Drunk". An added bonus is the inclusion of "General Taylor," a long sought after piece of vocal magic that sounds right at home at disc's end. The excellent remastering job does wonders, especially on King and Mop, warming up the analog hiss and removing some of the more piercing elements that plagued earlier versions. A 12-page booklet with liner notes by the bandmembers, as well as some photos, rounds out this irreplaceable collection from one of folk-rock's -- or any genre for that matter -- most influential and rewarding outfits.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/2003
  • Label: Castle Music Uk
  • EAN: 5050159178124
  • Catalog Number: 781
  • Sales rank: 43,061

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Steeleye Span Primary Artist
Martin Carthy Organ, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Bells
Tim Hart Organ, Dulcimer, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Harmonium, Vocals, Bells, 5-string Banjo, Electric Dulcimer
Maddy Prior Tambourine, Vocals, Bells, Spoons, Tabor, 5-string Banjo
Ashley Hutchings Electric Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bells
Gerry Conway Drums, Guest Appearance
Dave Mattacks Drums, Guest Appearance
Gay Woods Autoharp, Concertina, Vocals, Bodhran
Terry Woods Mandolin, Concertina, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Mandola, 5-string Banjo
Peter Knight Organ, Fiddle, Mandolin, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bells, Timpani, Tenor Banjo
Technical Credits
Martin Carthy Arranger
Tim Hart Arranger
Ewan MacColl Composer
Maddy Prior Arranger, Step Dancing
Steeleye Span Producer
Ashley Hutchings Arranger, Composer
Norman Petty Composer
Jerry Boys Engineer
Victor Gamm Engineer
Bob Potter Engineer
Roger Quested Engineer
Gay Woods Arranger, Step Dancing
Terry Woods Arranger
Roger Mayer Engineer
Sandy Roberton Producer
Bill Tilghman Composer
Sonny West Composer
Nicolas Jones Composer
Traditional Composer
Peter Knight Arranger
Geoff Wall Liner Notes, Sleeve Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    3 albums in one package-What a deal!

    The first three releases by seminal "folk-rock" act Steeleye Span on two cd's. Unlike some repackaging, these discs maintain the same running order as they did when first released so the transition of the band is readily apparent. The first disc features session drummers as well as the wonderful vocals of Terry and Gay Woods as well as the superb Maddy Prior. Very polished for a first release in a new genre'of music. By the end of the first disc a major change has occured-no drumming-and no Terry and Gay Woods, but something equally important in Martin Carthy and the fiddle(violin?) of Peter Knight occurs. An excellent line up with great vocals, superb instruments as well as a great selection of songs. Too bad this line up had so short a history for the band would again morph into another line up shortly there after. Fine liner notes and a couple of interesting pictures as well as another song not included in the original releases.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews