B&C Records (CAS 1029)
MADDY PRIOR - PETER KNIGHT - TIM HART - ASHLEY HUTCHINGS - MARTIN CARTHY
Recorded at Sound Techniques, Chelsea, London/
Producer - Sandy Roberton
Engineers - Jerry Boys, Vic Gamm, Roger Mayer, Roger Quested
Peak UK Chart Position - 45 (2 weeks on chart)
This second album introduced Martin Carthy and Peter Knight, creating what some called the first Folk 'Super Group'. These changes created a harsher, heavier sound than Hark! despite the absence of drums. It was also more progressive and experimental. Part of the new sound was Carthy playing the electric guitar for the first time. He described his playing style as similar to how he played acoustic but that he found he needed to 'do less' to still create a full sound. Widely regarded as a defining album in English Electric Folk music.
The title comes from the 'Cutty Wren' ceremony where the Wren is treated like a King, hence also the track 'The King' on the album. The album was Melody Makers folk album of the year.
Maddy Prior - Vocals, Vocals, Spoons, Tabor, Tambourine;
Tim Hart - dulcimer or guitar;
Martin Carthy - guitar, banjo, organ;
Ashley Hutchings - bass;
Peter Knight - fiddle, mandolin, organ, bass.
(4.49, trad. Slower tempo than original with some harmony singing and relatively simple guitar/dulcimer instrumentation)
Does not appear to have been played live very frequently across the decades. I suspect (no evidence though) it was heard around 1970/71 as it was played in BBC sessions/ATV but after that it disappears until 1986/87 as a "Mk3" version, based more on this Mk2 version, When it reappears in 2008 & 2014/15 it is back to the original tempo and style, as it is during the the Hark! tour in 2017 but gets a 'Mk 4' reworking in 2019.
 June BBC Session and July ATV 'Music Room'. Both on 'Please to see the King Castle CD Reissue' (2006). Although performed by Steeleye MK2 this variant is actually close to this original version with more instrumental breaks. Recorded for the only time without drums it still however retains the Mandolin/Banjo driven tempo of the original. Better quality versions of the BBC Session are widely available.
[1986/1987] BBC Session and 'Back In Line' World Tour including US in '87. Available on 'In Concert' CD 1994. A reworking of the song and more in line with this version although Maddy introduces it as the Mk.3 version as that line up had not yet attempted it.
 The Journey concert (available on The Journey CD ,1999). Hart-Acoustic Guitar; Carthy-Banjo; Hutchings; Prior; M Gregory-Drums. A close approximation to the original in timing and tempo with Martin Carthy stepping into Terry Wood's place but using a banjo rather than the similar sounding Mandola.
 Spring Tour. Available on 'Live at Distance' CD (2009)'. A Mandolin driven version in keeping with this original version but has more instrumental breaks.
 Spring 40th Anniversary Tour
 Spring 2013 Tour. Peter on Mandolin but retains tempo of original Hark! version.
 Autumn 45th Anniv. Tour. Original Hark! tempo
 Hark the Village Wait Tour. Original Hark! tempo
 Dec 50th Anniversary Tour. A reworking of the song and is available to listen to here.
(4.37, Trad. Introduced; arranged and sung by Martin Carthy)
Was used as part of the 'Corunna' play. This version was played live during 1970/1 while Carthy was active. It was also played on two BBC Sessions in 70/71, neither of which appear on the 2006 Castle reissue CD of the album & sessions. It then disappeared completely, apart from the Journey concert, until revived and newly arranged by Rick Kemp in 2004. It was then recorded in 2006 as a new Studio Version on the 'Bloody Men' album.
 July BBC Session, and so almost certainly played live at the time
 Jethro Tull Support UK Tour; Corunna Tour; Sept BBC Session; Oct 1st headline UK Tour
 . The Journey concert. Carthy-lead vocals & electric guitar; Knight; Tim Hart-dulcimer; Hutchings; Prior- vocals . A close approximation to the original, replicating the unique, and at the time progressive combination of the electric guitar, dulcimer and fiddle. Available on The Journey CD (1999) and to view Here
[2004-2015] See 'Bloody Men' for live appearances of reworked version
(3.21 Trad. tunes introduced by Knight. Prior-Spoons; Carthy-electric guitar; Hart-dulcimer;)
Bryan O'Lynn had a name change to 'Hitler's Downfall' when the tunes appeared in a 1970 BBC Session. Playing with tunes names was a common theme for Peter Knight. These jigs were almost certainly played live during early 70's, but on most set lists tunes appear just as 'jigs' so identification of which tune is almost impossible unless retained on a bootleg.
 ATV 'Music Room'; Sept BBC Session. Appears on the 'Please to See the King' CD Reissue (2006)
 B side Single. Released on the b side of the 'Jigs and Reel's 1972 Pegasus single/EP. Same version as Album
 Played at the big 25 year reunion concert. The Journey CD (1999). Carthy-electric guitar; Knight; Hutchings; Hart-dulcimer; Prior-spoons . A faithful reproduction with the same line up and instrumentation.
( 4.17 Trad. Introduced by Maddy). Faithful to the Brigid Tunney version sung in 1953.
Although appearing in the ATV 'Music Room' show in early 1970 and in BBC sessions we can't find examples of it being played live during this line up's existence - although set lists are hard to come by at that time so it is hard to believe it wasn't played at all. It makes a brief re-appearance in early 80's and returns for the 35th Anniversary tour in 2004, and infrequently up to 2016. The coincidental timing of the re appearances has meant a frequent appearance in official live recordings.
 ATV 'Music Room'; July BBC Session - Appears on 'Please to see the King' CD Reissue (2006)
 March BBC Session
 Autumn UK Tour
 The Journey concert. A close approximation to the original, replicating the line up and instrumentation. Sung in a lower register which is inevitable given the very high register it was originally sung in, slightly longer instrumentation. Available on The Journey CD (1999) and to view Here
 35th Anniv. Tour. Appears on 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert' CD (2004). Prior-lead vocal and in addition the '35th Anniversary World Tour' DVD (2004)
 Spring and Autumn UK Tours. Spring tour version appears on 'Now We are Six Again' Live CD (2011). Prior-lead vocal; Knight; Littman; Kemp; Zorn; Genockey. Faithful version but with even longer instrumental breaks.
 Holland/UK Autumn 'Catch Up' Tour.
 Appeared at Cropedy Festival
2006 Castle Music CD Reissue - Bonus Tracks
The 2006 Castle Music CD re-issue had the following additional tracks from various BBC Session. Please see the BBC Sessions page for a more accurate view of where these versions come from as it was not always correct on the official CD listing. The first session listed below has been played frequently by the BBC over the years in pristine condition (the copy on this CD is quite poor in comparison)
Top Gear Radio Session 27/6/70
|1-14||I Was A Young Man||3:51|
|1-15||The Lark In The Morning||3:41|
|Stuart Henry Show Radio Session 23/7/70|
|1-17||Prince Charlie Stuart||4:10|
|Folk On One Radio Session 17/10/70|
|2-1||College Grove/Silver Spear||2:51|
|2-2||Lay Down Your Weary Tune||4:20|
|2-3||False Knight On The Road||3:22|
|2-4||Hitler's Downfall/The Hag With The Money||1:58|
|2-5||Female Drummer (Mk2)||3:50|
|Stuart Henry Show Radio Session 4/2/71|
|2-8||Female Drummer (Mk2)||4:12|
|Top Gear Radio Session 27/3/71|
|2-13||Bring 'Em Down/A Hundred Years Ago||2:40|
|2-14||Lark In The Morning||3:52|
|BBC TV Performance (Date Unk.)|
|2-16||Bryan O'Lynn/The Hag With The Money||2:13|
Released by B&C Records (CAS 1029) in 1971 with a textured/hessian sleeve cover. Issued by Big Tree Records (BTS 2004) the same year in the US with a non textured sleeve.
A second UK LP pressing by United Artists later in 1971. Cover also used in international releases including Japan and NZ.
A second Mooncrest 1976 UK LP reissue. The first had the original cover with a small picture of the band added.
First CD of the album issued was in the US by Shanachie
A CD and LP Reissue by Mooncrest in the UK
The original cover has been used on various CD reissues:
Big Tree Records UK (2005)
Castle Music 2xCD (2006) (Extra tracks, see above)
Talking Elephant CD (2016). Triple pack of 1st three albums.