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Below the Salt

Steeleye SpanAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Price: $16.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Spotted Cow 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Rose Bud In June 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Jigs: The Bride's Favorite, Tansey's Fancy 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Sheep-Crook And Black Dog 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Royal Forester 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. King Henry 7:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Gaudette 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. John Barleycorn 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Saucy Sailor 5:47$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Biography

Steeleye Span are an English folk-rock band, formed in 1969 and remaining active today. Along with Fairport Convention they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat". They had 3 top 40 albums. They achieved a certified "gold" record ... Read more in Amazon's Steeleye Span Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Below the Salt + Parcel of Rogues + Hark the Village Wait
Price for all three: $47.57

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 8, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shanachie
  • ASIN: B000000E75
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Like Fleetwood Mac would five years later, Steeleye Span had lost its most celebrated members, Fairport Convention alumnus Ashley Hutchings and guitarist Martin Carthy, when they reconvened in a comparatively anonymous lineup that proved to be their most successful. This 1972 album found vocalist Maddy Prior and guitarist Tim Hart (who'd worked as a duo prior to joining Steeleye) taking the reins, with violinist Peter Knight providing an instrumental foil for the then-drummerless quintet's electric and acoustic guitars. Prior's regal alto and a carefully chosen program of traditional songs (including a medieval Christmas hymn, "Gaudete," that's among the few rock songs extant boasting a Latin lyric) sustain the album's decidedly pre-industrial mood. Below the Salt stands as a British folk-rock classic. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
(46)
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
By BGFN8
Format:Audio CD
This album, along with its sister, Parcel of Rogues, are my two favorite albums of all time. I first heard them before I was old enough to walk, talk, and go to the bathroom on my own. My mother used to read me stories and sing the words to the tune of "Spotted Cow." My father used to rock me to sleep singing their songs. I continued listening to these albums as I grew older and older. Last year, I finally purchased them on CD. I will be 20 this year, and this music still remains one of the most listened to in my 200 large and growing CD collection.
It seems odd thinking of them as ordinary people and musicians at times, because for me, they created a world that was, and still is, nothing short of magical. But now that I am older, I know that (I probably sound like a moron now). But anyway, onto the music.
Much of this album is very medieval, telling tales of old. All of the lyrics are traditional, so some terms such as "maidenhead" may not be understood by the inexperienced. My personal favorite off here is "King Henry," an epic tale which can be well described as Beauty and the Beast reversed. It tells the story of a female beast, who forces the poor king kill his beloved animals for food, and sleep with her. In the end, she turns into a beautiful girl. The tune penned by guitarist Bob Johnson in the key of G minor make it all the more thrilling to hear, and to this day remains arguably my favorite song ever.
Every song tells a story and recalls a time hundreds of years ago, as these songs are hundreds of years old. "Spotted Cow" is a romance tale of a woman who has lost her cow, and a man helps her find it, and they also find romance together. The jigs recall festival dancing in Ireland. dancing in Ireland. "Royal Forrester" is a tale of rape and marriage.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Before I heard Steeleye Span, my musical tastes were only that of hard rock and heavy metal. But when I heard "Below the Salt," my life changed forever! I had never heard of a band that did old English folk songs with a rock attitude until I heard Steelye Span. From the epic "King Henry," to their first major Top 40 hit with the lating chant Gaudete--"Below the Salt" will have you wanting more of Steelye. I recomend ALL their albums. After you try this, get Parecel of Rouges, then "Hark!, the Village Wait." Also try one of their latest, "Time"--the last Maddy Prior album. Their most recent called "Horkstow Grange" is somewhat dissappointing without Maddy but still an album to buy once you get into the band. Let me know what you think. This is the band that changed my life forever--oven your mind, your ears, and open your soul. Travel to a world long ago with tales of ghosts, kings, maidens, and knights. Go their with the help of Steeleye Span!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Their Two Best November 15, 2003
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
With this album, Steeleye Span came to the fore of the British folk/rock movement and made serious headway with American listeners. Though it begins with the precious yet jaunty "Spotted Cow" followed by the forlorn "Rosebud In June" and then some snappy jigs, the songs become progressively complex thereafter. Tunes such as "Sheepcrook and Blackdog", "Royal Forester", the resplendent "King Henry", and a cappela "Gaudete" are haunting beyond belief. The interplay between voices, guitars, bass, and violin is unlike anything one will hear on record. The way these elements and the spirit of Olde England perfectly meld in a relatively "low-production" manner would later be replicated, with added drums and percussion, on the group's other best album Commoner's Crown. Their rendition of "John Barleycorn" breaks the serious mood just long enough to set the stage for the beautiful concluding tune "Saucy Sailor".
I have owned and listened to all the group's albums through Get In Line and must conclude that Below the Salt and Commoner's Crown are the essential albums to own while their other efforts would tend to sway toward more ancillary tastes. Try them for yourself and see.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful classic November 28, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album is just one of the very finest albums of any kind I have ever heard. The songs are just utterly gorgeous, haunting, and beautiful - wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! From the irrestibly lovely "Spotted Cow" to the toe-tapping "Jigs" to the marvellous "Sheepcrook and Blackdog" - listen to the haunting lyrics. Theres the brilliant "Royal Forester" which sounds astoninshingly good for a song dating from the year 1293 - the live version (on the "Rare Collection" is even better), to the spine tingling "King Henry" and "Gaudete" and finishing with the delicious "Saucy Sailor!"
This album is something to be cherished forever, a glorious, timeless classic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Blend of Folk and Rock April 26, 2000
Format:Audio CD
For me anyway, this is something close to perfection; in reaching into "rockier" realms after the departure of folk giant Martin Carthy and founder Ashley Hutchins, Steeleye hit upon a truly beautiful blend of all that is best in Folk and Rock in this wonderful album. Vignettes of traditional country life mix with religious mysticism and a sprinkling of sword and sorcery. Maddy's peerless vocals are well to the fore on most tracks, but the ensemble singing is also great and the musicianship throughout is superb. Highlights include the irresistibly uplifting "Spotted Cow" and the breathtaking "Gaudette", but the whole album is simply beautiful. A timeless classic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love These Guys!
Anyone who enjoys Renaissance fairs or medieval costumes and role play should listen to Steeleye Span. They're GREATTT!!
Published 29 days ago by M. Beddoes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect! Everything I expected
Published 3 months ago by Stephen R. Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Steeleye Recording
Believe it or not I lost the record and no longer own a record player. I am really enjoying this as I stroll down memory lane.
Published 10 months ago by geminga
4.0 out of 5 stars folk music
The folk sound is very interesting. I ordered this cd because I knew one song but several other songs are pretty good, also.
Published 10 months ago by Amy Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Below the Salt
Steeleye Span excel themselves in this outstanding CD. Musicianship, voice and arrangements blend perfectly. Another must for every collection, in my opinion.
Published 12 months ago by John Goggins
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient muses
I have loved this album since it was first issued. I have the original LP in vinyl....my intro to British electric folk music. Read more
Published 15 months ago by David O'Vitt
5.0 out of 5 stars A group from England
Some of the songs on "Below the Salt" are a it quirky such as "spotted Cow" while others like "Gaudete" have more solemnity. Read more
Published 17 months ago by susan carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music!
Great oldie, so happy to have found it! Came fast, safe packing, what more to say but aloha and mahalo!
Published 20 months ago by Lily Aquarian
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Steeleye Span's best
I bought this album back in 1976, after hearing several Steeleye Span songs on the local folk/rock radio station. Read more
Published 22 months ago by D. Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Heard them live, had to get the album
This was the first Steeleye Span album I bought. Lo, these many years ago I went to see a Jethro Tull concert--they had just issued "Passion Play" one of their worst albums, and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Fred B. Goldstein
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