Below the Salt

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Below The Salt
Steeleye Span Below the Salt Album Cover.jpg
Studio album by Steeleye Span
Released September 1972
Recorded May – June, 1972
Sound Techniques, Chelsea, London
Genre British folk rock, folk
Length 39:42
Label Chrysalis
Producer Steeleye Span and Jerry Boys
Steeleye Span chronology
Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again
(1971)Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again1971
Below the Salt
Parcel of Rogues
(1973)Parcel of Rogues1973
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link

Below the Salt is the fourth studio album by Steeleye Span and their first after they joined the Chrysalis label. The album takes medieval influence and combines it with the band's British folk rock style. The lineup on the album includes Bob Johnson and Rick Kemp making their debut for the band.[1]

The album was recorded in May and June 1972 at Sound Techniques studios in Chelsea, London.[2] Tracks were mainly chosen by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, but it was Johnson who suggested the band added their later Christmas hit "Gaudete". They self-produced the album because they could not yet find a replacement after Sandy Roberton departed.[3]

"Gaudete" became the band's first hit, reaching number 14 on the UK charts. To give the impression of the choristers approaching and then moving away, the song was given a long fade-in and -out on the album.[4] The single release, however, featured no fade.

By this point, Ashley Hutchings had left the band, leaving Maddy Prior and Tim Hart as the only remaining founding members. The album reached number 43 in the UK album charts.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs on the album are traditional, adapted by Steeleye Span

  1. "Spotted Cow"
  2. "Rosebud in June"
  3. "Jigs: The Bride's Favourite/Tansey's Fancy"
  4. "Sheep-crook and Black Dog"
  5. "Royal Forester"
  6. "King Henry"
  7. "Gaudete"
  8. "John Barleycorn"
  9. "Saucy Sailor"