STEELE SPAN "BELLOW THE SALT" 1972
Below the Salt is a 1972 album by Steeleye Span, and considered by many fans to be one of their best. The album has a slightly medieval theme, most notably in the artwork and title.
The album cover shows the band in period costume at a feast, while the title refers to practice in the Middle Ages of having salt (something of a rarity) placed in the center of the table separating the family from the servants, who were situated "below the salt". Some of the music on the album has a medieval motif, but only a few of the songs arguably date back quite so far.
The ballad "King Henry" (Child Ballad 32), and the a cappella "Gaudete" are certainly very old, and the lyrics to "Royal Forester" date from 1293. However, while "Gaudete" is performed in an authentic style, electric guitars abound in the performance of "King Henry". Gaudete became the band's first hit, reaching number 14 on the UK charts.
To give the impression of the choristers approaching and moving away, as if on a pilgrimage, the song was given a long fade in and out (the single did not fade in/fade out).
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.
2."Rosebud in June"
3."Jigs: The Bride's Favourite/Tansey's Fancy"
4."Sheep-crook and Black Dog"
All songs on the album are traditional, adapted by Steeleye Span.
The lineup of the band (which changed greatly throughout their career) for this album was:
Maddy Prior - vocals
Tim Hart - vocals, appalachian dulcimer, guitar
Peter Knight - violin, viola, mandolin, banjo, piano, vocals
Rick Kemp - bass, drum, vocals
Bob Johnson - guitar, vocals