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Strawbs - Burning For You CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.58 | 54 ratings

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3 stars By 1977 it was more than obvious that the times were really taking their toll on the art rock dinosaurs of the early seventies forcing them into delicate artistic dilemas. Some, like Genesis took the easier commercial escape route and was arguably the most successful of the art rock bands to make the transition into the changing face of the musical arena during these testing times. Bands like King Crimson and FRUUPP simply baled out early, whereas others stuck it out with the compromise option by streamlining their work in order to appease record bosses. Unfortunately, this was perhaps the least successful alternative as exemplified in the instances of Gentle Giant and The Strawbs who attempted to maintain their artistic integrity by not allowing their music to be entirely dominated by commercial elements but consequently found themselves being almost completely abandoned by their record companies.

The Strawbs' 11th studio album Burning For You nonetheless still retained some of the sustenance and spirit of their earlier brand of moody folk rock. The album's openers, Burning For Me and Cut Like A Diamond reach the romantic proportions of this earlier period with rich, sublime orchestrations and Dave Cousins' brooding vocals, while Baricole ( The Death Of Venice ) and the bluegrass influenced The Old Routine seem to be saying we're not dead yet, standing out against the remaining tracks which sound more or less creatively drained and soppy despite harbouring some of the older artsy musical components. The artistic restraints placed upon them by management by this time are unfortunately glaringly obvious by this time in spite of the album's excellent production. The CD remaster is rescued in part by a bonus track, a reflective acoustic composition entitled Joey & Me again with the noble vocals of Dave Cousins.

The Strawbs in '77 are not quite down for the proverbial count and Burning For You does have redeeming moments during these dangerous times for art rock relics.

Vibrationbaby | 3/5 |


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