There are countless Steeleye Span retrospectives patiently collecting dust in import bins all across the world. This is not because of horrors contained within; rather it's a classic case of oversaturation. There are a million ways to repackage their beloved material, making each compilation unique. Castle's Collection is a 17-track collage of the band's long and storied career. Many of the songs are culled from their later releases on the Chrysalis label, marking the first time that tunes like "The Fox" and "Shaking of the Sheets" -- two of the weaker tracks from 1989's Tempted and Tried -- have appeared on an overview. The real treat is the inclusion of the nearly nine-minute "Long Lankin," a midcareer standout off of the superb Commoner's Crown album. Favorites like "All Around My Hat" and "Thomas the Rhymer" are included, but for a group that only had one "hit single" the creative opportunities to compile are endless, and despite a few duds, this Collection makes for a fascinating listen.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger