PETER KNIGHT - BOB JOHNSON - TIM HARRIES - GAY WOODS
Drums - Dave Mattacks
Produced by Steeleye Span
Recorded at Element Recording Studios London
Engineer - Steve Watkins (and who mixed 'Poor old Soldier')
Mixer - John Etchells
A second Album for this line up coming just 2 years after the last, but a big change in direction after the largely acoustic Horkstow Grange album. This was a return focus on the Rock in Folk-Rock with Tim Harries taking a more prominent song writing role.
The title is not related to Bethlem Royal hospital, London. but is actually a lyric from the song 'Stephen' - "There is a child in Bedlam born" and refers to Christ's birth in Bethlehem.
There were various reports that there were personality clashes in the recording of the album and many parts were recorded individually. In addition there are songs where not everyone is involved (see individual songs) which is generally rare for any Steeleye Album - apart from occasional duets or acoustic tracks. Bob was missing from the most because he had decided to leave the band while recording the album. As Peter said after: "Having made the decision to leave, Bob simply wanted to work on his songs and then go. I did say that I thought this album would be a good one to finish on and we were aware that they were to be his swan songs". Tim Harries described the recording of the album as a ‘A conference of alienation’
With the breakup of this line-up in 2001 it meant a short lived run out for many of the songs, with a significant number having never been heard live. 'Who told the Butcher' is the only track that survived into the 'reunion' line up's live set in 2002.
(Written by Tim Harries). A song about an "Elizabethan Psycho"
Played live in 2000 - UK Bedlam Born Tour & 2001 - Cromer.
Recorded in the sessions but excluded from the final cut on the advice of Park Records. Peter Knight has said frequently that this was a bad decision and he regrets it. It has yet to be released as an outtake and we only have a couple of poor quality bootlegs of it being played live. You can here it HERE