All Around my Hat: The Steeleye Span Story

Author(s): John Van der Kiste 

ISBN: 9781781557457
$17.00 $24.00
The biography of Britain’s best-loved and most established groups in the folk-rock genre.

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  • Thoroughly researched history of one of Britain’s longest-established folk-rock groups

  • Detailed and comprehensive discography

  • One of the best-established groups in their genre, approaching half a century in the music business

  • Lavishly illustrated with rare and obscure mono/colour images 

Steeleye Span have been at the forefront of British folk-rock for half a century. Formed in 1969 by Ashley Hutchings after his departure from Fairport Convention, the genre’s founding fathers, and named after a character in an old Lincolnshire song, they began as a traditional folk group, but gradually moved more into folk-rock territory.

They dismayed some fans but acquired many others with their disdain for the more purist elements and a love of mixing original material with traditional songs, ambitious musical arrangements, multi-part harmonies, collaborations with pop producer and arranger Mike Batt and writer Terry Pratchett, and even occasional guest appearances on their records from Peter Sellers and David Bowie.

This biography looks in detail at the music, the many personnel changes with vocalist Maddy Prior an almost constant presence throughout their long history, the highs and lows, and periods of commercial success – notably with the hit singles ‘All Around my Hat’ and ‘Gaudete’, which have made them a well-respected staple of the British music scene for so long.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557457
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 176 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 05 December 2019
ILLUSTRATIONS 38 colour photographs



John Van der Kiste has published over forty books including works on royal and historical biography, local history, true crime, music and fiction, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His previous titles include Queen Victoria’s Children, Kaiser Wilhelm II and The Romanovs: Tsar Alexander II of Russia and his Family. He lives in Devon.