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Strawbs - Classic Rock Legends (DVD) CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.02 | 6 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Well I am not a fan of this series of Classic Rock Legend DVDs (I much prefer their Master From The Vaults) and one of the reason is that most of those releases in this series present the groups well past their prime and mostly living of their legends. But my curiosity was definitely piqued when fellow early-Strawbs fans told me that both Tony Hooper and Hudson were playing on this thingie. Gladly so, my library system had it and I wasted no time renting it and rushed home. Unfortunately the same usual flaws are again present, no dependable information both in the booklet and on the disc; both the recording dates and the line-up are difficult of access as is the tradition on this rather poor CLR series with rather bland Roger Dean artworks.

And sadly my initial enthusiasm got a cool shower, as not only was the track list only half promising, but the line-up was fairly deceiving. Yes, Hooper is there (and we wonder why, as obviously he does too from the look on his face), Hudson's drumming sounds is very actualised, which actually ruins a bit the feeling of the better tracks, but does not hinder the more commercial ones, and the keyboardist is certainly no match for his predecessors (be it Wakeman, Weaver or Hawken), but on the other hand there is a rather good lead guitarist in the name of Willoughby and Cousin's voice that is still every bit as good as it was back then.

If the start of the concerts starts in a minor mode, just warming up, we have to wait until the poignant Hangman track to get our first thrill (with Hudson's drums sound rather apt for the military beat), but we get a slap in the face with a very boring, sloppy and smoochy Grace Darling, with just drips dirty love song. If I mention it so severely, it is because right after this completely unworthy track, we get a doubleheader or River/Sea (from the same BAS album), which sizzles (superb lead guitar and good drumming, if you manage to forget the 90's sound) and get our hopes up for more to follow. Sadly though, it does not come as Strawbs throws in the worst two tracks ever (and their most commercial) of Lay Down and Part Of The Union and finishing on the very average H&H track.

It is rather sad to see that CR Legend series keep pushing sub-par performances (and misspelling the group's name by adding the hideous "The" before their name) with rather un-daring set lists. And it is rather sad to see Hooper being coerced into participating on four songs of the BATS album, over which he split from the group because he disliked the musical direction. Yes Tony, I too wonder what you were doing on that ship. Definitely not a good buy, but did we expect that much from this serie.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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