Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Strawbs - A Choice Selection of Strawbs CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.52 | 20 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you don't have an album by Strawbs, this 16-track compilation would be a great place to start. If you only own one or two Strawbs CDs, this disc will do an admirable job of filling out your collection. (If you're already a rabid fan, who can remember when the angel-voiced Sandy Denny was their singer, there'll likely be nothing new for you here.)

Most prog fans will agree that Strawbs were a very important part of the late 60s to early 70s Prog movement. Their music is folk-based (that's where the original Strawberry Hill Boys' roots lie) symphonic prog. (Later YES keysman Rick Wakeman was an early member of the band.) For the uninitiated, you'll probably know them best from their radio/union hall-friendly single "Part of the Union." That catchy ditty is included here, but Strawbs' overall sound was much deeper than that seminal little Seventies song would seem to indicate. Lead singer/songwriter Dave Cousins' voice and lyrics are heartfelt, moving, and often intensely introspective (Roger Waters is not the sole proprietor of that oftimes disturbing musical realm). For example, here's the opening line of that other Strawbs "hit," the essential and infectious -- but disquieting -- "Round and Round," (also found here): "I drew the blade across my wrist, to see how it would feel. Looked into the future, there was nothing to reveal. For we were just a product of the ever-spinning wheel...." I can still remember being blown away the first time I heard that song on late-night FM in the 70s, and it still resonates today!

The remainder of this excellent CD is very, very good, with "not a duff track in the lot" (to quote another Prog Archives reviewer -- albeit of a completely different band and disc; thanks). Classic tracks such as "Lay Down," "Autumn," "The Hangman and the Papist," "Tears and Pavan," "To be Free" and "Down by the Sea" run the gamut of progressive rock styles and human emotion.

This is deep and tasty stuff -- redolent of red wine, fine ale, candlelight, and late nights. Strawbs have many fabulous songs and albums, and a healthy cross-section of their laudable catalogue is represented here. Just remember that there are plenty more that merit a place of honour in your collection where these came from!

Peter | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this STRAWBS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.