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Strawbs - From The Witchwood CD (album) cover

FROM THE WITCHWOOD

Strawbs

 

Prog Folk

4.02 | 163 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is so far the only other Strawbs album I have heard besides Hero & Heroine. That album has some very stereotypical 'prog rock' moments, while this album is more 'prog folk' and shows the band coming into it's own. This is the only Strawbs album where Rick Wakeman was a full member; after this he left to join some band called Yes to which leader Dave Cousins was not happy. On this album Wakeman plays not only piano, organ, harpsichord and celeste, but also clavinet, electric piano, Mellotron and Moog synthesizer as well. The duo of Hudson and Ford make their appearance here. Compared to what came before, From The Witchwood is a lot more rock and 'prog' oriented.

"A Glimpse Of Heaven" has very traditional sounds for the most part. Nice choir vocals. Halfway gets more energenic with what sounds like phased organ and banjo. After gets almost lullaby-like for awhile. "Witchwood" is a highlight. Great melodies and chord changes in this song. Sounds like the banjo has an echo effect on it which adds to the atmosphere. "Thirty Days" has some sitar. A very Beatlesesque song, especially the singing. "Flight" begins with some Moog sounds before acoustic guitars set the mood for the song. Nice harmony vocals here. Good classical piano from Wakeman. Interesting but subtle drumming. Over halfway a steady beat comes in with some jazzy piano.

"The Hangman And The Papist" is another highlight. Great organ work from Wakeman. Almost a Tull flavour to this song. "Sheep" is almost a throwback to late 1960s rock. More great organ work. Awesome Moog parts which only make the song more enjoyable. Good organ solo. Gets more mellow and laid-back over halfway. "Canon Dale" features more sitar and some cool phased harmony vocals in the middle with some great wah-organ (or is it guitar?) Some backwards effects at one point. "The Shepherd's Song" has some Mellotron. One of the more interesting songs on the album. Some trumpet-like sounds from the Moog. More sitar. Good harmony vocals which remind me of the early Bee-Gees. Almost a Spanish flavour to the music, especially the acoustic guitar playing. Love the build- up at the end with the military drumming, Mellotron and Moog soloing. Sweet.

The last two songs are accessible and even poppy. Different to the rest of the album but still folky. "I'll Carry On Beside You" could have been a single, don't know if it was or not. The vocals on the album are shared by Cousins and Hudson/Ford, who would make a name for themselves after they left the group in 1973. A very good album from the turn of the decade. I'll give this a 3.5 rounded it up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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