Saturday, June 23, 2012

Steeleye Span - Sails Of Silver (England 1980) @320


The album was produced two years after the band's ostensible break-up, at the request of Chrysalis Records. Peter Knight and Bob Johnson both returned, replacing their own replacements Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick, who had departed after the release of Live at Last. However, although Chrysalis had prodded the band to reform and release the album, in practice the label proved much more interested in promoting rising acts like Blondie than a reformed band that hadn't hit a real hit in four years. Despite being produced by Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon, Sails of Silver was a commercial failure, and this proved a final straw for Tim Hart, who departed the band, leaving Maddy Prior as the band's sole remaining founding member.

Although the band now sported the same line-up that had brought it to the height of its success, Sails of Silver has often been seen as embodying a different spirit from their classic albums of the 1970s. Prior to 'Sails', the band had always performed songs written by other people, predominantly traditional songs, but also a few 20th century pieces, such as the two Brecht songs on Storm Force Ten. But on this album they included several songs they had written themselves, including 'Let Her Go Down' and 'Senior Service'. This was the beginning of a trend that continues down to the present. Every album they have released since 'Sails' has had at least one song written by band members, and Back in Line and Bloody Men were predominantly the band's material.

Maddy Prior has said that, although she likes the album and finds it accessible, the band was in her words "lost" and not particularly confident of the material it had put together. Fans found the album jarring, although they were pleased that the band was touring again, and the band's shows always included their earlier material.

01. Sails of Silver (3.27)
02. My Love (2.53)
03. Barnet Fair (4.34)
04. Senior Service (3.31)
05. Gone to America (4.21)
06. Where Are They Now (4.11)
07. Let Her Go Down (3.36)
08. Longbone (3.58)
09. Marigold / Harvest Home (3.05)
10. Tell Me Why (3.56)

Maddy Prior: vocals
Tim Hart: vocals, guitar
Bob Johnson: vocals, guitar
Rick Kemp: vocals, bass
Peter Knight: vocals, keyboards, violin
Nigel Pegrum: drums, percussion, woodwind


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the re-up.

lemonflag said...


xij64 said...

Many Thanks

CrimsonKing said...


Sails Of Silver


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