With the plethora of not only studio releases but also greatest-hits packages available for this important band, this compilation on Recall is a godsend. While it doesn't cover the band's entire career, it does include almost every track from their first three titles, plus non-album tracks from the same time. During this 1970-1971 period, Steeleye Span sounded most like Liege & Lief-era Fairport Convention, but with considerably less drums (if any) and more vocals. Lead singer Maddy Prior has to be one of the best-kept secrets of folk -- she sounds like a mix between Sandy Denny and Linda Thompson on this early material. This release is another in Recall's line of definitive budget retrospectives, with previous editions covering artists as diverse as Motörhead, Bert Jansch, the Small Faces, and Pentangle. Once initiated, fans will want to investigate Steeleye's post-1972 work (especially the U.K. hit "All Around My Hat"), but this is an ideal starting point for discovering the only band who gave the seminal Fairport Convention a run for their money in the folk-rock realm of England.
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AllMusic Review by Brian Downing
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2