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Strawbs - BBC in concert CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.69 | 14 ratings

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4 stars The recordings on this Strawbs live album are taken from two 1-hour radio concerts from the seminal BBC In Concert series during 1972/1973. I wonder how many other ProgArchives members recall this wonderful series... happy memories. The band was at its commercial and artistic peak at the time and this album features the two most successful Strawbs line- ups, with Cousins and Lambert performing on all 16 tracks. Tracks 1-11 are taken from the 1972 recording at which time the band's line-up was completed by Hudson, Ford and Weaver. The remaining 5 songs are from the 1973 concert and this section of the album effectively adds material from Hero And Heroine, with Coombes, Cronk and Hawken in their places. One of the nice things about these recordings is that Blue Weaver and his replacement, John Hawken, both play a variety of vintage keyboards and there are tidal waves of Mellotron throughout the album.

However, while musical instruments can enrich the sound it's the songwriting genius of Dave Cousins that makes you really sit up and take notice. The set list is superb and reads like a ''best of'' with all the classic material from their most popular albums. Highlights include a febrile version of SHEEP, a stunning AUTUMN (in spite of Lambert missing his vocal cue!), a rendition of TEARS AND PAVAN that surpasses the studio cut, an explosive NEW WORLD and an even more incendiary HERO AND HEROINE... really, all the songs are marvellous and none will need any introduction to fans of the group. Interestingly, a verse has been omitted from LAY A LITTLE LIGHT ON ME presumably because of its lyrical content of sexual self- exploration. All in all, this is a classic live album and is essential for Strawbs die-hards. For others, it makes a great introduction to the band at their symphonic best.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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