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Summer Solstice

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 22, 2012
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$16.73 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: October 22, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Valley
  • ASIN: B008Y5OWRA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,283 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Tim Hart and Maddy Prior were founder members of Steeleye Span in 1969 and remained with the group until its first disbandment in 1978. Before that, Tim and Maddy had recorded a couple of albums of old English folk songs. They were recorded cheaply on primitive equipment and sound as close as you are ever likely to get on record to raw, traditional folk music. After forming Steeleye Span, it came as a surprise that they recorded this third album of old English folk songs in 1972. Unlike the previous two albums, this was recorded professionally and includes three non-traditional songs. While the music is still clearly traditional (albeit more polished) with none of the rock influence of Steeleye Span, there are none of the mistakes that you can find on the first two.

Maddy does nearly all the singing although Tim gets some solos (The ploughboy and the Cockney, Dancing at Whitsun) and joins Maddy on other songs (Of all the birds, Westron wynds, Sorry the day I was married, Adam catched Eve). Tim is mainly preoccupied playing guitars, dulcimer, harmonium, psaltery and tabor. Other musicians (not from Steeleye Span) play mandolin, string bass, percussion, bells and electric bass. This may seem a lot of instruments for a traditional folk album but of course, they aren't all used on the same tracks. Quite rightly, the dominant instrument here is Maddy's superb voice, one of the finest that has ever graced the world of folk music.

Among the highlights are The false knights on the road, I live not where I love, Three drunken maidens and Serving girls holiday. If you enjoy traditional folk music, you will surely enjoy this fine collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Before forming Steeleye Span with Ashley Hutchings in 1969, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior had recorded two albums, FOLK SONGS OF OLDE ENGLAND VOL. 1 and VOL. 2 in 1968. After recording the first three Steeleye Span albums, Hart and Prior returned to the studio in 1972 to record this minor classic of traditional English Folk.

Unlike the rock elements (drums and electric guitars) introduced into Steeleye Span recordings, this is an unplugged affair with Hart on guitars and dulcimer. Vocal chores are split between Hart and Prior, sometimes singing solo (Prior on the delicate "The False Knight on the Road" and "I Live Not Where I Love," Hart on "The Ploughboy and the Cockney" and the haunting "Dancing at Whitsun") and occasionally singing duet ("Of All the Birds," "Westron Wynde," "Sorry the Day I Was Married" and "Adam Catched Eve").

Hart and Prior are augmented by Andy Irvine on mandolin (he would later form the celtic band Planxty), John Ryan on string bass, Gerry Conway on percussion and bells, and Pat Donaldson on electric bass.

All told, this is English folk of the highest order. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album looking for more of Steeleye Span's early work, before they began to sound like a 70's rock band. I already loved Please to See the King and Below the Salt, their most traditonal albums, and Hark the Village Wait, which is also wonderful despite the banal drumming, but found that I disliked their later, more electric albums.
Summer Solstice is delightful. All acoustic, with 2 engaging voices, plenty of spunk, lively traditional rhythm, and an alternate version of one of my favorite Steeleye songs, False Knight on the Road -- here a gorgeous full-throated Maddy Prior solo. (On Please to See the King, it's a fast-talking riddle-song duet between 2 men, I'm not sure who -- the CD I have doesn't list credits.) Most of the songs and snippets of song are traditional, and the one or two that are modern fit in well with the others. I'd recommend this album to anyone who likes traditional acoustic music.
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Format: Audio CD
This will be a brief and short review: Buy this album! -- the track "Dancing At Whitsun" is more than worth the price of this cd! It is perhaps the best track you wil; ever hear on any cd by an artist of any genre! I love it! Maddy Prior and Tim Hart have made a great contributioin to celtic/folk/rock traditional music in Steeleye Span . . . and this is equal to anything they did in that group! :)
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