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Steeleye Span & Maddy Prior - ""A Rare Collection 1972 - 1996"
Raven RVCD-90

A collection indeed, collated by Steeleye Span expert Warren Barnett in Australia. Rare as well - included amongst the eighteen tracks are ten tracks never before available on CD and four tracks now released for the first time.

Steeleye Span went through umpteen ups downs and sideways shifts, and indeed still follow this tradition. However this collection is in many ways a tribute to Maddy Prior, one of the most impressive and enduring performers of the folk revival. Her all too brief appearances at this year's Brampton Festival brought appreciative audiences to their feet and, for myself, were among the many remembered highlights of the weekend. Her voice has a sound and shape that is instantly recognisable and resourceful enough to soar heavenward, as on " Some Where Along the Road", and "Gaudete", or see off the combined attack of drum kit and electric guitars on, " Montrose", "The Royal Forester" and "Thomas the Rhymer". There are also some fine contributions from Rick Kemp, Martin Carthy and Peter Knight and ending with a truly rollicking version of "All Round my Hat", courtesy of Status Quo.

Peter Fairbairn

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This album was reviewed in Issue 35 of The Living Tradition magazine.