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BLOODY MEN is the 20th studio album by British folk rock band Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
.

This album represents a continuation of the band's recent surge of activity. In 2002, the band was in a state of near collapse, since three members of its line-up at the time, Tim Harries , Gay Woods , and Bob Johnson , had all departed, leaving long-time member Peter Knight and recently returned member Rick Kemp as the only remaining members. That same year, Knight persuaded former members Maddy Prior and Liam Genockey to return and coaxed Johnson out of retirement to record the album Present--The Very Best of Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
. Ken Nicol came on board to replace Johnson, and the band has been relatively active since then, releasing two albums, They Called Her Babylon and Winter, in 2004, and Bloody Men
Bloody Men
late in 2006, as well as touring extensively.

During its heyday in the 1970s, Steeleye almost exclusively recorded their arrangements of traditional songs, with occasional forays into versions of 20th century songs by other artists such as Buddy Holly and Bertolt Brecht. But starting in the early 1980s, the band's albums have increasingly focused on a mixture of traditional songs and their own compositions, and 'Bloody Men' continues that trend, albeit with a new twist. The album consists of 2 CDs, the first a mixture of traditional and original pieces. The second CD is the 5-song "Ned Ludd" cycle, written mostly by Kemp, about the 19th century Luddite movement. The band has never attempted a multi-song cycle like this before.

The album opens with the bawdy "Bonny Black Hare", on which Prior sings in a gravelly voice and Knight plays his violin rather like an electric guitar, a successful experiment that goes unrepeated on the album. Other highlights include a hard-rock cover of "Cold Haily Windy Night", which the band first offered on Please to See the King , the brisk "The 3 Sisters" and the cheerful "Lord Elgin". The notes for "Lord Elgin" say that "this song is not what it seems on the face of it," indicating that it is a riddle-song. A probable solution is at the bottom of the page. The song "Whummil Bore" is about a servant looking through a whummil bore (a hole bored with a gimlet-like tool) and watching a lady getting dressed. The instrumental "First House in Connaught" is a cover of a track from Tempted and Tried , the first time the band has ever covered one of its own instrumental pieces.

The Ned Ludd cycle begins with a song about the enclosure movement in Early Modern England, effectively a pastoral ode to pre-industrial England, and then moves on to the plight of the workers who have been displaced by industrialization. The third song is an appeal to the mythical Ned Ludd to destroy the machines and lead the workers in a rebellion. The fourth and fifth songs deal with the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, in which the British cavalry charged into a peaceful crowd of protesters supporting a repeal of the Corn Laws
Corn Laws
. Neither the Enclosure
Enclosure
Movement nor the Corn Laws
Corn Laws
were directly related to the Luddite
Luddite
Movement, but in the cycle these serve to explore the wider problems of common workers.

PERSONNEL

* Maddy Prior
Maddy Prior
- vocals * Peter Knight - violin, vocals * Rick Kemp - bass, vocals * Ken Nicol - guitar, vocals * Liam Genockey - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING

Disc 1

* "Bonny Black Hare" * "The Story of the Scullion King" * "The Dreamer ">

* v * t * e

Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span

* MADDY PRIOR * RICK KEMP * JULIAN LITMAN * JESSIE MAY SMART * SPUD SINCLAIR * LIAM GENOCKEY

* Tim Hart * Ashley Hutchings
Ashley Hutchings
* Gay Woods * Terry Woods * Martin Carthy
Martin Carthy
* Bob Johnson * Nigel Pegrum * John Kirkpatrick * Mark Williamson * Chris Staines * Tim Harries * Michael Gregory * Terl Bryant * Ken Nicol * Peter Knight * Pete Zorn

STUDIO ALBUMS

* Hark! The Village Wait (1970) * Please to See the King (1971) * Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again
Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again
(1971) * Below the Salt
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) * Sails of Silver (1980) * Back in Line
Back in Line
(1986) * Tempted and Tried (1989) * Time (1996) * Horkstow Grange
Horkstow Grange
(1998) * Bedlam Born (2000) * Present--The Very Best of Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
(2002) * They Called Her Babylon (2004) * Winter (2004) * Bloody Men
Bloody Men
(2006) * Cogs, Wheels border-left-width:2px;border-left-style:solid;width:100%;padding:0px">

* Live at Last (1978) * Tonight\'s the Night...Live (1992)

RELATED ARTICLES

* The King of Elfland\'s Daughter (1977)

* Book: Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span
*

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