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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Strawbs - Hero And Heroine CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 303 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Even though we are constantly (and rightly so) forewarned to award 5 stars ratings only to the truly deserving "generals" and not to every half decent prog recording, there are some undeniable exceptions when dealing with Prog, as it's the most personal of all musical genres due to the huge variety of various influences within the grooves.There are albums that are so deeply seared into each progfan's psyche and musical soul (for whatever personal reason) that even 31 years later , the circumstances around the purchase remain vivid to this day! I ,for one, can still recall the when & where of buying Dark Side , Selling England, Hamburger Concerto, El Dorado, Phaedra, Fish Rising etc... Such is the case with the seminal "Hero & Heroine" , my all time #2 behind the obvious "In the Court of The Crimson King". In the glorious vintage Prog year of 1974, this piece of vinyl struck a very deep personal chord (I was in love for the first time and paying the price for it!), soothing the bewilderment and addressing the melancholia of the times thanks to the opening bars of "Autumn" : swirling and uplifting mellotron washes, marshalled by that steady and simple beat, leading to the 9 minute suite of grandiose proportions. The following flowing songs are sad (Sad Young Man), solemn (Midnight Sun, Lay A little Light) ,bitter (Out in the Cold), angry (Round & Round, Hero & Heroine) & hopeful (Its just Love, Shine On Silver Sun). David Cousins' voice, not always the easiest to digest, is plain perfect here, never better before or after. Dave Lambert's crisp guitar playing also elevated his reputation at the time, plus a rock solid rythm section and of course John Hawken's keyboards all weave together to make this an undisputed classic. The production by Tom Allom -more reputed for his work with heavy rock artists- also deserves some serious applause as the entire disc is a glowing affair, combining delicacy and power, heavily orchestrated with the glorious mellotron leading the charge. What can be said of the cover art , a misty classic bathed in a shimmering white haze and evoking a unique dreaminess that is the exact artistic interpretation of the music inside. I often return to this "friend", especially when in need of comfort and nostalgia. Which is why I have asked to have it in my casket (along with a few other albums) , so that I can truly Rest In Peace, whenever that day arrives! No collection is complete without this masterpiece.

5 Midnight Suns

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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