Steeleye Span
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(Translated by Giovanni Radaelli)

When Ashley Hutchings (bass) left Fairport Convention and formed Steeleye Span with Tim Hart (guitar) and Maddy Prior (violin), his simple idea was to renovate traditional repertoires using electric instruments. Hark The Village Wait (Chrysalis, 1970) wasnít particularly original nor well played. Veteran Martin Carthy became the new lead vocalist (with Maddy Prior), and then the band recorded Please To See The King (1971), with Lovely On The Water, and Ten Man Mop (1971), melodic and soft album, closer to easy-listening than folk-rock. Hutchings was probably ashamed of this results when he left the band to join the Albion Band with his wife Shirley Collins. Shortly afterwards, Carthy did the same. From Below The Salt (1972), Steeleye Spanís sound became rocker (as exemplified by King Henry) and they also transformed a Latin hymn a cappella (Gaudete) into an hit. More and more distant from its folk origins, albums like Parcel Of Rogues (1973) with Alison Gross (almost hard-rock even without drums), and Now We Are Six (1974), with hits like Thomas the Rhymer and Seven Hundred Elves, however began to offer some original material. Commoner's Crown (1975), All Around My Hat (1975), with All Around My Hat, and Rocket Cottage (1976) can be defined as southerner boogies. With Storm Force 10 (1977), the band returned to tradition even if it also seemed to be their last effort. On the contrary the band reformed, but only to produce anonymous albums like Sails Of Silver (1980), Back In Line (Flutterby, 1986), Where Would You Rather Be Tonight (Sunrise, 1987) Tempted And Tried (Chrysalis, 1989), Time (Shanachie, 1996).

Quando Ashley Hutchings (basso) lascio` i Fairport Convention e formo` con Tim Hart (chitarra) e Maddy Prior (violino) gli Steeleye Span, l'idea era semplicemente di aggiornare il repertorio tradizionale alla strumentazione elettrica. Hark The Village Wait (Chrysalis, 1970) non era ne' particolarmente originale ne' particolarmente ben suonato.
Il veterano Martin Carthy subentro` al canto (con Maddy Prior), e il gruppo registro` Please To See The King (1971), con Lovely On The Water, e Ten Man Mop (1971), dischi di musica melodica e soffice, piu` vicina all'easy-listening che al folk-rock. Hutchings, forse vergognandosi dei risultati, abbandono` il complesso e si uni` alla moglie Shirley Collins nella Albion Band. Cosi` anche Carthy. Il sound degli Steeleye Span divenne ancor piu` rock a partire da Below The Salt (1972), come esemplificato da King Henry, e il complesso pote` vantarsi di aver mandato in classifica persino un inno latino a cappella (Gaudete). Dischi sempre piu` lontani dal folk come Parcel Of Rogues (1973), con Alison Gross (quasi hard-rock, anche senza batteria), e Now We Are Six (1974), contenente l'hit Thomas the Rhymer e Seven Hundred Elves, cominciarono pero` a proporre materiale originale. Commoner's Crown (1975), All Around My Hat (1975), con All Around My Hat, e Rocket Cottage (1976) sono praticamente album di boogie sudista. Storm Force 10 (1977) segno` un ritorno alla tradizione, ma sembro` chiudere la partita. Invece il gruppo si riformo` e continuo` a pubblicare album anonimi come Sails Of Silver (1980), Back In Line (Flutterby, 1986), Where Would You Rather Be Tonight (Sunrise, 1987) Tempted And Tried (Chrysalis, 1989), Time (Shanachie, 1996).
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