Steeleye Span

All Around My Hat - Chrysalis 1975

Tracks: 1. Black Jack Davy / 2. Hard Times Of Old England / 3. Cadgwith Anthem / 4. All Around My Hat / 5. Gamble Gold (Robin Hood) / 6. The Wife Of Ushers Well / 7. Sum Waves / 8. Dance With Me / 9. Batchelors Hall


"All Around My Hat" from 1975 was Steeleye Span's follow-up album to the artistically very successful "Commoner's Crown". A new producer, Mike Batt, had been hired and there is generally a harder and less polished sound on this album. "All Around My Hat" was the be the band's best selling album. The title-track single was also their most succesful hit-single reaching number 7 on the UK charts.

The songs are mostly new band compositions to old traditional lyrics, a concept the band had followed for some years at this point. Like on "Commoners Crown" the songwriting is generally great, with great melodies such as "Wife of Usher's Well", "Black Jack Davy", "Bachelors Hall" and of course "All Around My Hat".

"Hard Times of Old England" is a traditional tune in the same boogie beat as the title track, and almost as catchy. "Cadgwith Anthem" is another traditional tune, performed in Steeleye Span's wellknown and impressive a capella style.

A few tracks come out slightly light weight, which is the reason that I don't rate the album quite as highly as "Commoners Crown" and "Parcel of Rogues"; but it's still easily worth five stars.

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