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Strawbs - Ringing Down The Years CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.72 | 27 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Only one album per decade, and yet they needed to include remakes!

Strawbs took four years to come up with another album after the previous comeback album, Don't Say Goodbye. That album had been the band's only 80's release, and the present album would be the sole new 90's release from the band (not counting Heartbreak Hill that had been recorded in 1978). Still, they seemed to have found themselves short on new material!

Ringing Down The Years starts with a cover song. Cousins is one of the best song writers of all time, so why record covers? The King is a good song but the female lead vocals make it sound a bit out of place on a Strawbs album. Forever Ocean Blue is a typical Cousins ballad, based on piano and vocals. Good song with nice guitar solos, but nothing really outstanding. Grace Darling is, of course, a song that we have heard before. It was originally featured on Ghosts in 1975. It is a great song and this is not a bad version of it, but it adds very little to the original and leaves us wondering what the point is of re-recording songs that the large majority of fans have already? Also Tell Me What You See In Me is an older song, originally on the band's debut album from 1969.

The title track is a really beautiful song about Sandy Denny. The first time I heard this song was on the live DVD Strawbs - Classic Rock Legends. I much prefer the live version, simply because it is livelier and has (even) more emotion. In addition, on the DVD Dave does a really moving introduction to the song, telling the story of Sandy's tragic death. While listening to this album I get the feeling that they were a slightly tired band - a band on auto pilot. There are indeed a couple of very good songs and no really awful ones at all, but there are too many mid tempo songs that are too similar to each other and too many non-original compositions.

Personally, I prefer Don't Say Goodbye over this one. There is more energy and freshness in Don't Say Goodbye. I would recommend this only for fellow fans of the band.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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