'Good Times of Old England' 
Steeleye Span 1972-1983

12 Disc Box Set celebrating the Chrysalis years

The wait is over!

On May 27th 2022 Steeleye finally got a box set from the Chrysalis years and it has been worth waiting for!  

The Box Set has been put together by Liam Donoghue from 'Blue Raincoat Music' (who now own the Chrysalis music rights) and journalist/writer Simon Jones (who has written the included booklet) . Simon is a lifelong Steeleye Span and perfect for the role. It meant the set was sympathetically and expertly put together with Steeleye fans in mind and we can rest assured that the Chrysalis archives were exhaustively mined and everything worthwhile has been included.

Steeleye have for many years craved a box set covering these classic years, and with this set including studio outtakes plus live sets from 1974,1976, 1978 and 1982 from the UK, US and Australia, it finally feels like we are close to getting some closure on the Steeleye Span 70's legacy. Whilst there are still some gaps and opportunities (BBC Sessions!) if nothing else does surface then personally I feel we have got to a good place.

Whilst 9 of the discs are mainly re-issues of studio albums with extra tracks, the highlight is two new live concerts - the long wished for 'Rainbow Theatre' (London) show from 1974 and a concert from the 1976 US Tour - Boston Berklee Performance Centre (USA). No full live concert from the 70s had ever been made available before, making this new set a vital purchase for any Steeleye fan.
A 1982 Australian tour concert is also included but this has been available previously on the 1983 (Australian only) LP 'On Tour', and most of it had featured on the 'Gone to Australia' 2001 CD.
Very importantly we do get 3 additional tracks from the 'Live at Last' concert, including 'The Victory', which has not been available live before.  
The new studio outtakes include two previously unreleased tracks: 'Singing the Travels (1972) and Devil's Dream (1975).
In addition there are alternative 'takes' of various tracks including versions of 'New York Girls', with more Peter Sellers Goons 'voices' , Gaudete 'take 1'; Galtee Farmer; Bach Goes Limerick; The Drunkard and finally a couple of instrumentals ('Ups and Downs' and 'Bachelors Hall')

I have made some detailed notes about all the new material below

Good Times of Old England. Steeleye Span 1972-1983
Released 27th May 2022

"Steeleye Span are amongst the biggest and most commercially successful folk rock bands. Their career, spanning over 50 years, has seen them achieve 4 Top 40 albums and 2 Top 20 singles as well as countless sold out live shows. Through an everchanging line up, their popularity has continued to this day. This collection brings together their recordings over an 11 year tenure with Chrysalis Records covering the years 1972-1983. Housed in a clamshell box with a 56 page perfect bound book, there are 145 tracks, (46 unreleased) over 12 CDs include a number of unreleased studio tracks including an expanded version of New York Girls (featuring Peter Sellers), a studio take of The Devil's Dream, 3 previously unavailable additional live tracks from the Live At Last" album, an Australian only live album, as well as 2 completely new live concerts from The Rainbow Theatre in London from 1974 and the Boston Berklee Performance Centre from 1976. The Rainbow show in particular has been the subject of much speculation with a small selection of tracks appearing on various low quality bootlegs over the years. The band are undertaking a (delayed) 50 year celebratory UK tour with 17 dates in May and a further 7 dates in October.".

Detailed notes on the box set

Albums and previously released extra tracks

The Box Set includes all the Steeleye Chrysalis Albums . (If you ignore the 1989 'Tempted and Tried' album that was released by Dover Records, a subsidiary of Chrysalis). This covers all studio albums from 1972-1980. This new box set lists tracks from these albums as 'remastered 2009' (or 2010). This is because in 2009/2010 EMI (who at that time owned Chrysalis) released two "Parcel of.. Steeleye Span" box sets (see here for more details) featuring all the albums featured here (plus Tempted and Tried). This new box set set does not therefore have newly remastered album tracks beyond the work done on those older sets. The 2009/2010 releases also had bonus tracks (noted below), which also feature on this new box set. New unreleased tracks in the box set will show as 'remastered 2022'. 

The Albums:

Below the Salt (1972); Parcel of Rogues (1973); Now We are Six (1974); Commoners Crown (1975); All Around My Hat (1975).
All remastered by EMI/Chrysalis in 2009 for 'A Parcel of Steeleye Span' 3CD collection.

Rocket Cottage (1976); Storm Force 10 (1977); Sails Of Silver (1980).  
All remastered by EMI/Chrysalis in 2010 for 'Another Parcel of Steeleye Span' 3CD collection.

Live at Last (1978).
Remastered in 2010 as part of a BGO double CD release with Sails of Silver.

Box Set bonus tracks that were included on the previous 'Parcel of Steeleye Span Collections':

Gaudete (Single Version) [2009 Remastered Version]
The Holly And The Ivy (2009 Remastered Version) - Released as a single in 1972 (b side to Gaudete)
Bonny Moorhen (2009 Remastered Version) - Studio Outtake from 1972 Parcel of Rogues album
Thomas The Rhymer (Single Version) [2009 Remaster]. The short single edit
The Boar's Head Carol (2010 Remastered Version) - Released as a single only in 1977

New Bonus Tracks on the Box Set

(Thanks also to Chris Haines for his thoughts on these bonus tracks)

'Gaudete' Take 1 (2022 Remaster)
 This early recording does not have any of the echoes and reverbs of the final recording and is a clearer, more stark version. As the liner notes say, a more 'medieval rendering'

'Singing The Travels'. (2022 Remaster) 
Maddy Prior later sang this song on the 1976 'Silly Sisters' album. This is the only completely new Steeleye studio track on the box set. Recorded at the same time as Below the Salt in 1972. Was played live during 1972 (at Reading Town Hall, 23rd June 1972). This recording is sung (and whistled!) by Bob with mainly Peter on the piano. This suggests it could have originated from Bob and Peter's time as a duo a couple of years prior to them joining Steeleye. It is a different style to the rest of the album and hence the probable reason for exclusion

'Rag Doll' Alternate Take. (2022 Remaster) -
Released as a single in 1978 but recorded in 1972. This has been released before but here included as an 'Alternate take'. It is a 'looser' version with a less 'Rock 'n' Roll' style vocals and the guitar is higher in the mix. Simon Jones in the notes say it sounds more folksy and more like 'Steeleye'.

'Ups & Downs' Instrumental. (2022 Remaster)
This is a great upfront instrumental version of the song and virtually stands alone as a tune in its own right. This version has drums, which if recorded during the album recording sessions would have been played by Rick. However, no recording date noted but see below for speculation on when recorded, which may also explain the drums. 

'Bach Goes To Limerick/Devil's Dream'. Alternate Take. (2022 Remaster)
Possibly an outtake from Commoners Crown. Devil's Dream was often played live by the band and is also included in this box set as the opener to 'Royal Forester' on the 1976 concert. As with Ups and Downs above, see below for speculation on when recorded.

'Galtee Farmer' Alternate Take (2022 Remaster)
Double the length with the verses repeated by Maddy. There is some additional subtle percussion and an instrumental break between Maddy singing the song again. We assume recorded at the same time as the album. 

'New York Girls'. Alternate Take 1. (2022 Remaster) 
An early take without Peter Sellers on Ukulele (or 'Goon' voices). Maddy sings the entire song (with a few la la's / da da's to fill the missing ukulele breaks and when she is not sure of the lyrics) with no backing vocals from the band. Gives the song a much 'sparser' feel. An early take to set the rhythm and structure. The last verse has Maddy singing 'this is the last verse.."

'New York Girls'. (More Sellers Version) [2022 Remaster].
For many years Peter Knight often referred to a version that had more of Peter Seller's silly 'Goon' voices so it's great to hear it. It also has a much 'looser' feel to the song, especially the ukulele, so could be a first take with Peter Sellers. 

'Sum Waves/Devil's Dream' (2022 Remaster).
A studio outtake from 'All Around My Hat album'. The two tunes together were popular in the live set in 1974/5 and features on 'A Rare Collection' 1999 CD (from Australia 1975) and on the Rockpalast' German TV concert (on Youtube). This is a longer version than the version at the end of Bach Goes to Limerick above. See below for speculation on when recorded.

'Batchelor's Hall' Instrumental (2022 Remaster)
Unlike the Up's and Down's above this does have the feel as an alternative backing track to the song itself. See below again for speculation on recording date.

'The Drunkard' (Alternate Take) [2022 Remaster]
 A very similar take (without Camptown races) to the recorded version but with less reverb which gives it a clearer feel. There is an acoustic guitar accompliment in the first part of the song and later there is different violin overdubbing than the original. Assume recorded during album studio sessions. 

The Victory (2022 Remaster) - From the same concert as features on 'Live At Last' The only available live version of this track
Cam Ye O'er Frae France (2022 Remaster) -  From the same concert as features on 'Live At Last'
Seventeen Come Sunday (2022 Remaster) -  From the same concert as features on 'Live At Last'
These three additional tracks from the 'Live At Last' concert (Bournemouth 7th March 1978) do not necessarily mean we have the whole set from the concert unfortunately. Some of the the additional songs can be heard (from the same tour) on the 2019 CD 'Live at De Montfort' but there are still potentially three missing from both CD's from this tour ('Sweet Swansea/ Treadmill Song' & 'Down in the Valley', although we can't be 100% certain they were played on the night), but it's still a missed trick that this box set does not have the whole concert (and in the correct order). I estimate the whole concert would have been around 104 minutes, it would be a shame if it was just a space issue on this CD that stopped the inclusion of more.

Disc 10: 8th/9th February 1982 Opera Theatre Adelaide 
This concert was originally released as an Australian only LP in 1983 (;On Tour') but did then feature on the 2001 CD release 'Gone to Australia', although without 'Little Sir Hugh' and 'Thomas the Rhymer', which are included here. If you want to hear the whole concert you also need the 1999 CD 'A Rare Collection' as that has 'Royal Forester' which did not feature on the 'On Tour' LP. 

Disc 11:  28th or 29th November 1974, Live At The Rainbow, London.
Recorded during the big Autumn UK tour of 'Now We Are Six'. The tour opened with a short film based on the 'Bold Poachers' which has not been seen since. The set also featured 'The Mummers Play' but that is not included here. One track from this concert was released ('Wife of Ushers Well') on 'Original Masters' so it has always been hoped that the full concert would one day get released. (It was assumed the concert had been recorded for possible release).  

Tracks of interest:
8 Jig Jam (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974) - Unknown tune and likely to have been played just before or just after the band went off to change for the 'Mummers Play' segment.

9 The Musical Priest/ The Silver Spear (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974) 
Neither tune features on a studio album but both are available on the 2006 CD reissues of 'Ten Man Mop' and 'Please to see the King' as poor quality off-air recordings from BBC sessions in 1970/71. Both tunes were at that time partnered with different tunes (College Grove/Silver Spear and £10 Float/Musical Priest). College Grove/Silver Spear was also on the Ashley Hutchings 'The Guv'nor Vol 1' CD. A contemporary recording of these two tunes together is on the 1974 YouTube concert from German TV

13 Oh You Beautiful Doll (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974) 
During this tour the band played 'Oh You Beautiful Doll' (for which Peter wrote the Barber Shop arrangement) with Maddy dressed up, plus blonde wig, while Nigel [mock] 'serenaded' her! (Can be heard on my 1974 Timeline page at the end of 1974 with a pic)

15 Irish Jigs (Including Paddy Clancy's) [Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974] 
Paddy Clancy is on the album 'Ten Man Mop'

16 'The Mason's Apron' (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974) 
A popular live closing tune that was played for many years. Can be heard on the 2001 'Gone to Australia' CD; The Journey Concert CD and the 1994 '25 Live' video. 

Disc 12: 15th October 1976 Boston Berklee Performance Centre, USA
Recorded during the bands 1976 World 'Rocket Cottage' tour. A number of concerts were recorded and played on local radio Stations so there a few bootlegs from this tour. Whilst this particular concert had not been specifically noted as being recorded or played on the Radio, there are bootlegs known as the 'Cambridge 1976' & 'Chrysalis Concert' Tape that include tracks from this concert. (Cambridge is next door to Boston) and as it was known as the' Chrysalis Concert' does suggest it was recorded by Chrysalis with the possible intention of a live release, and hence why it was included here.

Tracks of interest:
9 I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
An unreleased track. First heard one the 1975 All Around my Hat tour and can be heard on Steeleye's BBC 'Mad Mummers' Play from 27th Dec 1975 (On Youtube here

12 Devil's Dream/The Royal Forester (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
This tune opened Royal Forester throughout the tour.

13 Eins, Zwei, Drei. (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
Known on Bootlegs as 'Song For Germany' a 'nonsense' comical song written by (per Nigel) Peter and Tim based on a German Restaurant Menu and presented as a 'long lost' German Folk song! 

14 The Black Joke/Sligo Maid (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
The Black Joke was usually partnered with Sligo Maid when played live. The tune was later used on 'The Shaking of the Sheets'

15 All Around My Hat/ The Mason's Apron. (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
Another appearance for the Mason's Apron which never made it to a studio album. 

Recording date of some of the bonus tracks

Thanks to some great investigative work and listening by Chris Haines, he has a theory as to when the instrumental bonus tracks were recorded. The tracks - 'Ups and Downs (Instrumental)'; 'Bach Goes Limerick/Devil's Dream'; 'Bachelor's Hall (Instrumental)' are all identical to the backing tracks played on the 1975 Electric Folk Episode 'New Inn' in Gloucester. The Sum Waves/Devil's Dream track is identical to the 'Rivington Hall' recording.  This would fit in with reports at the time that some of the 2nd series of Electric Folk was partly mimed and subject to overdubs etc. Additionally the drums on 'Ups and Downs' sound more complex than Rick played drums on two of the Parcel of Rogues tracks, so would have been played by Nigel if recorded for EF. 

It is feasible therefore that prior to recording the 2nd series of EF the band went into the studio to record these backing tracks in preparation. It would also explain why they were kept and not discarded (as alternative takes during album recording often were), and of course why Chrysalis would own the rights and not the BBC (as they probably would have been recorded in a Chrysalis paid studio). This would make the likely recording date of all these tracks in May 1975.
Cheers Chris!

Full Track Listing

Disc: 1
1 Spotted Cow (2009 Remastered Version)
2 Rosebud In June (2009 Remastered Version)
3 Jigs (Medley) [2009 Remastered Version]
4 Sheepcrook And Black Dog (2009 Remastered Version)
5 Royal Forester (2009 Remastered Version)
6 King Henry (2009 Remastered Version)
7 Gaudete (2009 Remastered Version)
8 John Barleycorn (2009 Remastered Version)
9 Saucy Sailor (2009 Remastered Version)
10 Gaudete (Single Version) [2009 Remastered Version]
11 The Holly And The Ivy (2009 Remastered Version)
12 Gaudete Take 1 (2022 Remaster )
13 Singing The Travels. (2022 Remaster )

Disc: 2
1 One Misty Moisty Morning (2009 Remastered Version)
2 Alison Gross (2009 Remastered Version)
3 The Bold Poachers (2009 Remastered Version)
4 The Ups and Downs (2009 Remastered Version)
5 Robbery With Violins (2009 Remastered Version)
6 The Wee Wee Man (2009 Remastered Version)
7 The Weaver And The Factory Maid (2009 Remastered Version)
8 Rogues In A Nation (2009 Remastered Version)
9 Cam Ye O'er Frae France (2009 Remastered Version)
10 Hares On The Mountain (2009 Remastered Version)
11 Bonny Moorhen (2009 Remastered Version)
12 Rag Doll Alternate Take. (2022 Remaster )
13 Ups & Downs Instrumental. (2022 Remaster )

Disc: 3
1 Seven Hundred Elves (2009 Remastered Version)
2 Drink Down The Moon (2009 Remastered Version)
3 Now We Are Six (2009 Remastered Version)
4 Thomas The Rhymer (2009 Remastered Version)
5 The Mooncoin Jig (2009 Remastered Version)
6 Edwin (2009 Remastered Version)
7 Long-A-Growing (2009 Remastered Version)
8 Two Magicians (2009 Remastered Version)
9 Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (2009 Remastered Version)
10 To Know Him Is To Love Him (2009 Remastered Version)
11 Thomas The Rhymer (Single Version) [2009 Remaster]

Disc: 4
1 Little Sir Hugh (2009 Remastered Version)
2 Bach Goes To Limerick (2009 Remastered Version)
3 Long Lankin (2009 Remastered Version)
4 Dogs And Ferrets (2009 Remastered Version)
5 Galtee Farmer (2009 Remastered Version)
6 Demon Lover (2009 Remastered Version)
7 Elf Call (2009 Remastered Version)
8 Weary Cutters (2009 Remastered Version)
9 New York Girls (2009 Remastered Version)
10 Bach Goes To Limerick/Devil's Dream. Alternate Take. (2022 Remaster)
11 Galtee Farmer Alternate Take (2022 Remaster)
12 New York Girls. Alternate Take 1. (2022 Remaster)
13 New York Girls. (More Sellers Version) [2022 Remaster]

Disc: 5
1 Black Jack Davy (2009 Remastered Version)
2 Hard Times Of Old England (Remastered Version)
3 Cadgwith Anthem (2009 Remastered Version)
4 Sum Waves (Tunes) [2009 Remastered Version]
5 The Wife Of Ushers Well (2009 Remastered Version)
6 Gamble Gold/Robin Hood (2009 Remastered Version)
7 All Around My Hat (2009 Remastered Version)
8 Dance With Me (2009 Remastered Version)
9 Batchelors Hall (2009 Remastered Version)
10 Sum Waves/Devil's Dream (2022 Remaster )
11 Batchelor's Hall Instrumental (2022 Remaster )

Disc: 6
1 London (2010 Remastered Version)
2 The Bosnian Hornpipes (2010 Remastered Version)
3 Orfeo/Nathan's Reel (2010 Remastered Version)
4 The Twelve Witches (2010 Remastered Version)
5 The Brown Girl (2010 Remastered Version)
6 Fighting For Strangers (2010 Remastered Version)
7 Sligo Maid (2010 Remastered Version)
8 Sir James The Rose (2010 Remastered Version)
9 The Drunkard (including Camptown Races) (2010 Remastered Version)
10 The Drunkard (Alternate Take) [2022 Remaster ]

Disc: 7
1 Awake, Awake (2010 Remastered Version)
2 Sweep, Chimney Sweep (2010 Remastered Version)
3 The Wife Of The Soldier (2010 Remastered Version)
4 The Victory (2010 Remastered Version)
5 The Black Freighter
6 Some Rival (2010 Remaster )
7 Treadmill Song (2010 Remastered Version)
8 Seventeen Come Sunday (2010 Remastered Version)
9 The Boar's Head Carol (2010 Remastered Version)

Disc: 8
1 The Atholl Highlanders/ Walter Bulwer's Polka (2014 Remaster )
2 Saucy Sailor / Black Freighter (2014 Remaster )
3 The Maid And The Palmer (2014 Remaster )
4 Hunting The Wren (2014 Remaster )
5 Montrose (2014 Remaster )
6 Bonnets So Blue (2014 Remaster )
7 The False Knight On The Road (2014 Remaster )
8 The Victory (2022 Remaster )
9 Cam Ye O'er Frae France (2022 Remaster )
10 Seventeen Come Sunday (2022 Remaster )

Disc: 9
1 Sails Of Silver (2010 Remastered Version)
2 My Love (2010 Remastered Version)
3 Barnet Fair (2010 Remastered Version)
4 Senior Service (2010 Remastered Version)
5 Gone To America (2010 Remastered Version)
6 Where Are They Now (2010 Remastered Version)
7 Let Her Go Down (2010 Remastered Version)
8 Longbone (2010 Remastered Version)
9 Marigold/Harvest Home
10 Tell Me Why (2010 Remastered Version)

Disc: 10
1 The King (On Tour)
2 Black Jack Davy (On Tour )
3 Sails Of Silver (On Tour )
4 Little Sir Hugh (On Tour )
5 Let Her Go Down (On Tour )
6 Alison Gross (On Tour )
7 Bach Goes To Limerick (On Tour )
8 Thomas The Rhymer (On Tour )
9 I Have A Wish (On Tour)
10 Longbone (On Tour )
11 I Live Not Where I Love (On Tour )
12 Gone To America (On Tour )
13 Gaudete (On Tour )
14 All Around My Hat (On Tour )

Disc: 11
1 Bach Goes To Limerick (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
2 Ups & Downs (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
3 Demon Lover (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
4 Two Magicians (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
5 The Wife Of Usher's Well (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
6 One Misty Moisty Morning (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
7 Long Lankin (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
8 Jig Jam (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
9 The Musical Priest/ The Silver Spear (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
10 Little Sir Hugh (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
11 Thomas The Rhymer (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
12 Cam Ye Oe'r Frae France (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
13 Oh You Beautiful Doll (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
14 Gaudete (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)
15 Irish Jigs (Including Paddy Clancy's) [Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974]
16 The Mason's Apron (Live At The Rainbow, London, 1974)

Disc: 12
1 London (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
2 Orfeo/Nathan's Reel (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
3 Hard Times Of Old England (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
4 Cam Ye O'er Frae France (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
5 Twelve Witches (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
6 Black Jack Davy (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
7 Gaudete (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
8 Brown Girl (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
9 I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
10 The Wife Of Usher's Well (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
11 Sir James The Rose (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
12 The Devil's Dream/The Royal Forester (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
13 Eins, Zwei, Drei. (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
14 The Black Joke/Sligo Maid (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)
15 All Around My Hat/ The Mason's Apron. (Live At Boston Berklee Performance Centre 1976)