Steeleye Span

Steeleye Span was an English folk-rock band from London that debuted with an album on RCA Victor in 1970, followed by titles on Pegasus and B & C Records in 1971. Between 1972 and 1982, the band issued eight studio albums and two live discs on Chrysalis, plus a come-back album on the label in 1989. The subsequent two decades witnessed sporadic Steeleye releases on Park Records. The band evolved from a partnership between vocalist Maddy Prior and string-instrumentalist Tim Hart, who issued three albums as a duo between 1968 and 1971.

Members: Maddy Prior (banjo, vocals, tambourine, bells), Tim Hart (dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, guitar, harmonium, vocals, 1969-82), Ashley Hutchings (bass, vocals, 1969-71), Gay Woods (vocals, concertina, percussion, tambourine, 1969-70, 1995-2001), Terry Woods (guitar, mandolin, vocals, 1969-70), Peter Knight (organ, fiddle, mandolin, violin, guitar, keyboards, vocals, bells, 1970-77, 1980-2013), Martin Carthy (organ, banjo, guitar, vocals, bells, 1971-72, 1977-78), Bob Johnson (guitar, vocals, 1972-77, 1980-2002), Rick Kemp (bass, vocals, drums, 1972-86, 2000-present), Nigel Pegrum (synthesizer, flute, drums, oboe, tambourine, 1973-89), John Kirkpatrick (accordion, vocals, 1977-78)


Steeleye Span was formed in late 1969 by bassist/singer Ashley Hutchings, who co-founded Fairport Convention two years earlier. He left Fairport after they suffered a road accident that claimed the life of drummer Martin Lamble.

Wishing to explore a more trad sound, Hutchings teamed with the Irish husband/wife duo Terry and Gay Woods. Terry hailed from the folk trio Sweeney’s Men, which issued two albums on Transatlantic Records in 1968/69.

To round out the new band, Hutchings tried to recruit Terry’s ex-Sweeney’s colleagues Andy Irvine and Johnny Moynihan. When they declined, Hutchings sent the invite out to three different parties: brothers Robin and Barry Dransfield (later to record as Dransfield); husband/wife pair Bob and Carole Pegg (just prior to their two-album stint in Mr. Fox); and the folk duo of Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, who accepted. Hart and Prior had performed together since 1966 and released two albums, Folk Songs of Olde England Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (both 1968).

The new band named itself Steeleye Span after the character in the folk traditional “Horkstow Grange.” To cut costs and bond as a musical unit, the five members shared the same house. Before long, tensions developed between the two duos. This lineup only lasted long enough for one album, recorded in March 1970. 

Hark! The Village Wait

Steeleye Span released their debut album, Hark! The Village Wait, in June 1970 on RCA Victor.

1975 reissue

Please to See the King

Steeleye Span released their second album, Please to See the King, in March 1971 on B&C.

Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again

Steeleye Span released their third album, Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again, in December 1971 on Pegasus.

Below the Salt

Steeleye Span released their fourth album, Below the Salt, in September 1972 on Chrysalis.

Parcel of Rogues

Steeleye Span released their fifth album, Parcel of Rogues, in April 1973 on Chrysalis.

Now We Are Six

Steeleye Span released their sixth album, Now We Are Six, in March 1974 on Chrysalis.

Commoners Crown

Steeleye Span released their seventh album, Commoners Crown, in January 1975 on Chrysalis.

All Around My Hat

Steeleye Span released their eighth album, All Around My Hat, in October 1975 on Chrysalis.

Rocket Cottage

Steeleye Span released their ninth album, Rocket Cottage, in September 1976 on Chrysalis.

Storm Force Ten

Steeleye Span released their tenth album, Storm Force Ten, in November 1977 on Chrysalis.

Live at Last!

In September 1978, Steeleye Span released Live at Last!, recorded at a March 7 show at the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth.

back cover

Sails of Silver

Steeleye Span released their eleventh album, Sails of Silver, in November 1980 on Chrysalis. 


  • Hark! The Village Wait (1970)
  • Please to See the King (1971)
  • Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again (1971)
  • Below the Salt (1972)
  • Parcel of Rogues (1973)
  • Now We Are Six (1974)
  • Commoners Crown (1975)
  • All Around My Hat (1975)
  • Rocket Cottage (1976)
  • Storm Force Ten (1977)
  • Live at Last! (1978)
  • Sails of Silver (1980)
  • All Around My Hat (EP, 1982)
  • Back in Line (1986)
  • Tempted and Tried (1989)


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