A rare version of a track that originally appeared on Steeleye's second album Please To See The King. This was recorded in Adelaide during an afternoon rehearsal for an evening concert on Steeleye's 1982 Australian Tour. It appeared, with overdubbed applause, on the On Tour album but this is how it was recorded.
Thomas The Rhymer
The full length studio version of what has become probably Steeleye's most popular classic after All Around My Hat and the version most commonly heard in live performance. This long version popped up originally on the vinyl release of the Original Masters compilation set but was replaced on the CD release with the shorter version. According to the original Chrysalis release sheet, the song "is the story" of Scotland's legendary prophet and seer, who is believed to have lived in the 13th century. He was given the gift of prophesy by the Queen of Elfland. She also gave him the tongue that can never lie from which he became known as "Truthful Thomas".
Australia has always held a special place in Steeleye's career not only for the band but also for the thousands of fans who took them to their hearts. Their enormous popularity prompted Festival Records, who distributed their product, to release some very rare edited singles to promote the albums and tours. Elf Call is one. Taken from the Commoners Crown album, it has a different start and fade out here. The single was never released outside Australia and was used for Steeleye's 1975 Tour.
First released in 1972, and then re released in November 1973, was the band's first outstanding chart success. It has appeared on many compilations over the years but with the exception of the 2CD Original Masters set, this single version seems to have become lost in favour of the album version from Below The Salt which features the Cathedral voices. An original tape copy was found recently in the Festival tape vaults and has been fully sound restored for this CD.
The B-side of the Somewhere In London single and a different recording to the version on the Back In Line album. This single version has an instrumental ending as opposed to the accapella offering on the album.
I Live Not Where I Love
This song features Tim, Maddy and Pete as part of a concert performance recorded by ABC Radio during Steeleye's 1982 Australian tour and produced by David Mulhalan. The recording effort was eventually released by Festival Records as the On Tour album but never issued outside Australia. Although the band were disappointed with the commercial results of the live album, it has become a rare and desirable piece of Steeleye recording history. The version that appears here includes Maddy's introduction which didn't appear on the On Tour album.
The Boar's Head Carol
Steeleye's 1977 British Christmas single recorded in Holland and given special mention by Nigel Pegrum in the liner notes.
The ancient ceremony of The Boars Head Carol was performed for many years on Christmas Eve at Queens College Oxford. The College Choir processes into the Hall stopping 3 times so that a verse from the Boar's Head Carol may be sung; and the singer is given an Orange, decorated with Bay and Rosemary, from the Boars Head's mouth.
On March 7 1978, Steeleye delivered at the Bournmouth Winter Gardens what just may be their finest ever live performance. The evening concert was recorded for what was to become the Live At Last album. A highlight of that magical night was the 15 minute epic Montrose which Nigel reflects upon in his notes and Tim describes as the most complicated arrangement ever undertaken by the band.
Upon Australian release of Live At Last in late 1978, Festival Records was given exclusive permission to edit this mammoth track down to an acceptable single length to promote the forthcoming live album. An eight-hour editing session was undertaken by devoted Festival Mastering Engineer Warren Barnett, and the result, as heard here, were never issued outside Australia.
The Holly And The Ivy - With Christmas Greetings
This obscure track released as the B-side to Gaudete in 1972 has become a rare piece of Steeleye Span history. Preceding this fine yuletide offering are special Christmas greetings from the band members.
Like The Wind
All the members of Steeleye Span undertake other musical projects from time to time, but Maddy Prior remains the most diversified and has appeared in an array of different roles. Her effort with Mandalaband, lifted from their second album The Eye Of Wendor on Chrysalis, displays that amazing vocal style for which she is acclaimed.
I Have A Wish
Recorded live in 1982 at the Royal Opera Theatre, Adelaide during the soundcheck for the evening performance that resulted in the On Tour album. I Have A Wish is presented here in its original form, without overdubbed applause.
Recorded during the band's 1972 American Tour, and produced by Dick Glasser of Everly Brothers fame. The track was not released as a single until 1978 and appeared in the U.S. as a bonus track on the Live At Last album as a substitute for Bonnets So Blue. The song was originally a number one for the Four Seasons in 1964.
First released as a 1972 U.S. single and later on a U.K. compilation album of British folk songs, Rave On is a rollicking outing from the early days of Steeleye Span, before they became a major influence in British folk rock. Buddy Holly just made it into the Billboard top forty with the song in 1958.
Fire On The Line
Taken from Rick And Maddy's Happy Families album, this delightful song is just another example of the different musical styles various members of Steeleye pursued on their own away from the Steeleye Span spotlight.
Somewhere Along The Road
Included as a bonus track on the CD of No More To The Dance featuring Silly Sisters Maddy and June Tabor, this magnificent song penned by Maddy's husband and former Steeleye bassist, Rick Kemp, is an expression of Maddy's powerful and compassionate vocal ability and rightfully commands a place on this rarities compilation.
Autumn To Spring Medley
This an extremely rare live performance recorded during Steeleye's 1984 tour of Australia, brings together Marigold / Harvest Home from the Sails Of Silver album with a previously unissued song The Spring Will Bring Us Together into an 8-minute piece specially remastered for this CD.
Betsy Bell And Mary Gray
A rare live version of a song that had its studio debut on the album Tempted And Tried. This performance was recorded at a concert in Eastbourne, England during the band's Back In Line U.K.tour, and transferred from it's original cassette master format to digital and fully restored for this CD release.
The theme to the late 1980s British children's TV show written and produced by Maddy and Rick. A rare piece of Steeleye history.
The Royal Forester
The climax of a spectacular live performance recorded at the Royal Opera Theatre in Adelaide during Steeleye's Australian 1982 tour. This version was intended for inclusion on the On Tour Australian release but was subsequently deleted due to time limitations of vinyl pressings. We now present this rare piece of Steeleye Span, live sprinkled with that essence of magic which has enthralled audiences across the world's concert stages for 30 years.
All Around My Hat
A fitting end to this collection is Status Quo's 1996 version of All Around My Hat with Maddy guesting on harmony vocals followed with some mumbling by Peter Sellers from the final moments of the Commoners Crown album. Quo recorded the song on their album of covers and tributes to their heroes titled Don't Stop - The 30th Anniversary Collection Album.
Like the Beach Boys, Maddy Prior was invited to participate in the studio.