Steeleye Span

Hark! The Village Wait

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Originally released by British RCA, this debut album by Steeleye Span's original lineup -- Ashley Hutchings (bass), Tim Hart (electric guitar, electric dulcimer, banjo, harmonium, vocals), Maddy Prior (vocals, banjo), Terry Woods (mandola, mandolin, electric guitar, vocals), and Gay Woods (vocals, concertina, bodhran) -- barely made it out the door before Gay and Terry Woods exited. This was probably the best singing edition of Steeleye Span, with Gay Woods and Maddy Prior melding beautifully on tracks like "Dark-Eyed Sailor" and "My Johnnie Was a Shoemaker," and Terry Woods adding some realistic coarseness on "The Hills of Greenmore." The sound is fully electric here (with superb playing on the epic "Lowlands of Holland"), if not as aggressive or well crafted as later albums -- Hart, Hutchings, and Woods comprise a good core band, and Gerry Conway and Fairport Convention's Dave Mattacks sit in on drums.

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