Saturday, 15 June 2013

Steeleye Span: Now We Are Six, and Seven Hundred Elves




 'Now We Are Six' by Steeleye Span, from 1974, is a favourite one of mine.   I believe this was the first of their records I listened to back many years ago, and thought it was wonderful.  What first put me on to them was reading that Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull was the production consultant for the album, and Jethro Tull being my newly favourite band, I had to seek it out.  So over I went to the secondhand record shop and was delighted to find that they had several Steeleye Span records, and I ended up buying them all.   
 
One thing that immediately strikes one is the beautiful album cover art and design, I think one of the best covers of all time.  It's reminiscent of an exquisite, but rustic medieval wood painting; like a fascinating discovery that was long-lost in a dusty attic in a 15th century half-timbered house.
 
This album has a much fuller, polished, more rock sound than their previous ones, with the sound quality much improved from the earlier recordings (no doubt due to Ian Anderson's superior supervision and Robin Black's engineering).  The only track I don't like is the final one, 'To Know Him Is To Love Him' with David Bowie on saxophone; it's not up to the standard of the other tracks and doesn't fit in with the tone of the rest of the album.
 
'Now We Are Six' would be one of the folk albums I would recommend to anyone who isn't too familiar with folk-based music but would like to listen to some and expand their musical horizons.  It's rocky enough to please some, but with traditional ballads as a base and plenty of old-world and eccentric touches to interest anyone like myself who revels in those sort of ingredients.

Here is a video clip of Steeleye Span at the time, performing 'Seven Hundred Elves':
video



Welcome To The Folk & Rock Musical Box

Hello and welcome to this new musical blog, where I will be journeying through the archives of good music from times past and present, but with a preference for the 1970s.  I'm a musician/artist, and have been an avid record/cd collector for most of my life, and will be sharing some favourites and also rarities from my searches and finds. My musical interests range from traditional English, Celtic and northern European folk music, folk/rock, Rock, Progressive Rock, early music/medieval, Baroque, Classical, etc... I'm continually finding fantastic music previously unknown to me, and enjoy hunting out rarities.

 I will not be reviewing any music that I don't like here, for despite how much one may know about music, we all have our own preferences, and I will keep negativity about music not liked away from here; and as much as music can be a subjective thing, I strive to keep facts accurate about bands, as there is so much misinformation floating about, so if I happen to get anything wrong let me know and I will change it, as I can't stand inaccuracies to get spread and passed on. 

There will tend to be a leaning toward whatever I'm particularly into at the moment, so it may be more focused on rock, or folk, or something else, then may shift into another direction.

 Lastly, The Folk & Rock Musical Box is meant to be a lovely and enjoyable place for music lovers to visit!  Comments are very welcome.