This Steeleye Span souvenir tour guide follows the format for pretty much every such publication over the past fifty or so years; a high gloss print job with lots of photographs and text covering the band. This one differs from the usual such offering by being a retrospective look at the band instead of focusing on the latest release which most of these publications rightfully do.
The opening page shows the band forty years ago with the next page being on their newest album, Cogs, Wheels and Lovers which the Guide notes contains ‘lyrical and later ballads’ similar to their first album, Hark! the Village Wait. There’s what amounts to liner notes on each track on the album.
The really good stuff starts on the next page as that’s where the retrospective looks starts complete with tour posters, album covers and such. This extensive essay is quite well done.
The middle section is taken up with looks at the various musicians in Steeleye Span, what they’re up to, their newest album and tour dates. I like the essay by Maddy Prior the best as it’s less about her and more about the band down the years, whereas the others are definitely focused on themselves.
There’s a two-page cartoon looking at the early years of the band. It would’ve been nice if the artist and the year it was done and who the artist was had been noted.
This is followed by a piece by Maddy Prior on the passing of Tim Hart, a member of the band from 1970 to 1982.
That’s followed by a full page advert for live at a distance, the double CD plus DVD set of Steeleye Span doing traditional songs. This is linked to the final page which is a short essay on them doing these songs.
All in all a good souvenir of that tour and their first forty years.
(Park Records, 2009)